It's apple picking season in the Garden State. That means it's also apple pie baking season. Admittedly, I am not a big dessert guy, I mean I like desserts don’t get me wrong; I didn’t get this way from eating Lean Cuisines but I never really spend time whipping up desserts.

However, this recipe makes me reconsider my stance on the subject. It comes from Cindy Bott of Lawrenceville and it makes me want to give the old standard a try. The fall is all about apples and homemade pies. Cindy writes how this recipe came about:

The pie crust recipe is a family tradition beginning with my grandmother (from Riverdale NJ). The apple pie filling recipe represents many years of apple-picking at Jersey's best apple orchards and finding just the right combination of ingredients to make the best pie!

Well, thank you, Cindy, I can’t describe how good this pie tastes. I was really looking forward to tasting this pie when we had some of our listeners show up for the recipe photos in my sold out cookbook, Cindy made the pie for the photo shoot and we all had a little taste. It’s absolutely the best apple pie I ever tasted! (Sorry Alice, my niece) Great dessert and thanks for sharing it with New Jersey.

For the filling you need:

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples* (*Use fresh-picked apples from your local farmer/orchard. They will identify the season's best for baking, usually Wine Sap, Rome etc.)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1 tbsp. lemon juice

For the pie crust you'll need:

1/4 tsp. butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 three-ounce package cream cheese
pinch of salt

How to put it all together:

Prepare pie crust first: Mix ingredients together. Do not knead. Divide dough in half (for bottom and top pastry). Roll flat and thin. Line 9-inch pie pan with bottom pastry. Set aside.

Prepare filling next: Heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Mix lightly. Spoon into pastry-lined pan. Top with remaining pastry. Fold edge of top pastry under bottom pastry. Press together to seal and flute edge.

Cut slits in several places in top pastry (center and several diagonals). Sprinkle additional sugar lightly over top of pie.

Bake at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edges of pie crust after first 15 minutes to prevent overcooking. Place on cookie sheet to prevent spillage. One pie provides about 8 servings.

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