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Thankful for perfect pie this Thanksgiving

Thankful for perfect pie this Thanksgiving

During our final Camp MacKenzie-Childs retreat of 2018, we were treated, along with our guests, to a pie-making class at the Aurora Inn. Chef Eric Lamphere shared his recipe for Mama’s Apple Pie, along with a few pie-making tips. With Thanksgiving nearly here, we want to share his knowledge with you as well. Happy baking and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Mama’s Apple Pie
By Chef Eric Lamphere, Aurora Inn


1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 cups thinly sliced apples (at least three varieties)
2 tablespoons butter, sliced
2 9-inch pie crusts (your favorite recipe)
Milk, as needed


  • Combine sugar, flour, spices, salt, and lemon juice. Add apples and toss to mix.
  • Put bottom piecrust in pan.
  • Roll out the top crust and cut vents near the center.
  • Add half the apples and pack well. Dot with sliced butter. Add remaining apples. The apples should mound; they will cook down.
  • Moisten edge of bottom crust with water. Place on top crust with half inch hanging off the sides. Fold the hanging dough under the bottom and seal by pressing thumbs together. Cut off excess dough and brush the top crust with a little milk.
  • Bake 400° F for 50 to 60 minutes or until apples are done.

Tips & tricks

  • Don’t overwork piecrust dough—it will get tough. You’re not making bread.
  • If you’re making your own pie crust, be sure to cut the shortening into the flour. This action encourages microscopic layers of shortening between the flour. When the dough cooks, the shortening melts and creates steam, which rises and creates a flaky crust.
  • A variety of apples creates different flavors, textures, and pectin.
  • Flour thickens the apple juices as the pie cooks. Some people use cornstarch.
  • Slits in the pie crust release steam that would otherwise crack the crust. You could also use a pie bird, too.
  • Cover the edge of the crust with foil to prevent the edges from getting too dark.
  • Egg wash and sanding sugar create a sweet, crunchy top.
  • Use an oat crumble for the top crust to make a Brown Betty.
  • Always let the pie cool completely before cutting.


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