Apple Pies Made Easy

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Crisp air, changing colors, orchards teeming with ripe apples — all sure signs of autumn.

Usher in the fall harvest season by spending an afternoon with the family picking apples if you can, or getting a good selection from your favorite grocery, and then rewarding yourself with a delectable home-baked pie.

It’s easy to save time in the kitchen by starting with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. Just unroll a crust into your favorite pie plate, spoon in a sweet apple filling, bake and serve. Add a delicious twist to the classic apple pie with a number of complementary and favorite fall flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, streusel, pecans and even cranberries.

From picking apples to baking a pie and enjoying it with family and friends, all in a matter of hours — any way you slice it, it’s a delicious time of year. Here are a few Pillsbury pie recipes to get you started baking apple pies now. For more ideas, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie, or become a fan and share your pie-making stories, photos or tips at www. facebook.com/lovethepie.

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Festive Apple-Berry Pie

Festive Apple-Berry Pie

Preparation time: 30 minutes; start to finish: 1 hour and 20 minutes; makes 8 servings.

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1-1/2 (half) cups sugar, divided

4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

2 tablespoons water

1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

5 to 6 cups sliced peeled apples (5 to 6 medium)

1/2 (half) teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In 1-quart saucepan, mix cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and water. Heat to boiling. Boil 5 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.

In large bowl, mix apples, remaining 1/2 (half) cup sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg until apples are coated. Stir in cooled cranberry mixture. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.

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Perfect Apple Pie

Perfect Apple Pie

Preparation time: 30 minutes; ready in 3 hours; makes 8 servings

1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.

In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust.

Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; crimping up if desired. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.

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Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie

Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie

Preparation time: 30 minutes; start to finish: 3 hours; makes 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

6 cups sliced peeled ripe apples

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 (half) cup sugar

2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup cold butter or margarine

18 caramels, unwrapped

5 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, mix apples and lemon juice. In small bowl, mix 1/2 (half) cup sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to apples; stir gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Pour apple mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.

In small bowl, mix oats, flour and 3 tablespoons sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Cut second crust into wedges; arrange wedges in an alternate pattern across the mixture.

Bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels and milk over low heat until caramels are melted. Stir until smooth; add pecans. Drizzle over pie. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

Apples ripe for baking

Some apple varieties are just made for pie baking; those with a firm texture and that hold their form under heat are best. Pillsbury test kitchen experts cite Golden Delicious apples as particularly suited for use in pies. Other favorites include Cameo, Cortland, Granny Smith, Idared, Jonathan, Newtown Pippin, Pink Lady and Rome Beauty. Ask the staff at your local orchard, farmers market or grocery store which types they recommend for pies.

Source: Pillsbury

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