Adams County Apple Pie

By Jess Clevenger – I’ve been an Adams County resident for two years, and from my observation, there is no dessert more authentically Adams County than apple pie. And it comes as no surprise, as Adams County is the highest apple producing county in Pennsylvania. Most locals I’ve come to know not only thoroughly enjoy eating it, but also know how to make a perfect apple pie. So I decided that after two years of living here, it was finally time that I learned to make an apple pie from scratch. Actually, I decided that it was time to make my first apple pie ever. And right now is the perfect time to do it. This year’s apple harvest is well on it’s way, so I’ve got plenty of fresh, locally grown apples to choose from. Most of Adams County’s fruit farms grow dozens of varieties of apples, and we have many wonderful countryside markets to visit to choose those apples from.

With fall on my mind, I tied up my apron and got to the kitchen to make this pie. I turned to the trusty National Apple Harvest Festival cookbook and found exactly what I was looking for: a recipe for always perfect pie crust and classic apple pie that actually won first place at the National Apple Harvest Festival in ’81 or ’82.

I gathered my local apples, and the few simple ingredients that it takes to make an apple pie. I started with the crust – mixing the flour, salt, butter and ice water. Then I peeled and sliced my apples. The apples got tossed with a heavy sprinkle of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. I (roughly) trimmed, sealed and crimped the edges of the crust. And then into the oven it went. My first attempt at apple pie was far from perfect – I’m calling it “rustic.” But I thoroughly enjoyed the process and can’t wait to make another one again, soon. Maybe I’ll be inspired to make my next one just in time for this year’s National Apple Harvest Festival.

Whether you live in Adams County, you visit, or you’ve never been here before, I hope that this recipe and video inspire you to drive out to the beautiful Adams County countryside to pick up some apples (or even pick-your-own, if you’d like!), and then to go home and make what I’m calling Adams County’s signature dessert. And if you are looking for more fall fun, be sure to check out all that Adams County has to offer this time of year. Take a long, scenic drive to check out our beautiful fall foliage, get adventurous and try out a ghost tour, get lost in a corn maze and get a taste of our fall culinary scene.

Apple Pie

From The National Apple Harvest Festival’s Regional Cookbook

3/4 to 1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg

Mix lightly with 6-7 cups sliced apples, pile into unbaked pie crust. Dot with 1.5 teaspoons butter. Place top crust over it. Seal and trim edges. Slash top. Bake 50-60 minutes at 425°.

Always Perfect Pie Crust

From The National Apple Harvest Festival’s Regional Cookbook

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup shortening (must be cold)

1/4 cup ice water

Mix salt into flour and cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. Add 1/4 cup ice water and using a fork, pull liquid through mixture, just enough to make dough stick together. If too dry, add more ice water one teaspoon at a time, just until mixture clings together. DO NOT OVERWORK. Too much handling of the dough will make it tough. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes or more. Can wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for use within three days. Allow to come to room temperature before rolling out. Handle as little as possible and roll out lightly. Make enough pastry for one double crust pie or two single crusts.

*Maybe one of the reasons my pie came out rustic was that I modified the always perfect pie crust. I substituted butter for the shortening. I will try with shortening next time!

6 thoughts on “Adams County Apple Pie”

  1. Lori Korczyk says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. It’s looks delicious, thank you!

  2. Steve Lewis says:

    I love Adams county and Gettysburg in particular. We’re coming down Saturday for day one of the festival, can’t wait!

  3. Tim Britt says:

    We will be visiting the area in late October . What restaurants serve / sell the best apple pie?

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