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Apple Pie: Celebrating the American Classic

Queen Bee Apple Pie 1

You hear it mentioned often as a measure of patriotism when something is “as American as apple pie,” but did you know that the dessert that defines this country actually has roots all over the world? From the crust to the spices and the main star – the apples – few of the ingredients are native to the United States. To learn more about the humble beginnings of one of our favorite pies, check out this deliciously informative article by Reader’s Digest.

Now with Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and summer just around the corner, apple pie is on our minds a lot, and we’re here to give you some sweet tips on how to take your pie to the next level with the help of our favorite kitchen staple – honey! 

Not only does honey add just the right amount of sweetness (fun fact: honey is slightly sweeter than sugar, so you can actually use less to achieve the same sweetness intensity), it also acts as a humectant, drawing in and retaining moisture to ensure that your pie crust comes out of the oven with the perfect mouthfeel and crumble. This humectant quality has also been proven to help extend the shelf life of your baked goods, including pies.

New to baking with honey? Don’t fret, these sticky tricks will help you out:

  • When you substitute honey for granulated sweetener in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to 1/2 of the sugar called for in the recipe.
     
  • When substituting honey for sugar in baked goods:
    • Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used.
    • Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used.
    • Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning.
       
  • For easy measuring and clean-up, coat measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray before adding honey.
     
  • A 12-ounce jar of honey equals a standard measuring cup.

Not ready to convert your own recipes just yet? That’s fine; we’re sharing our own tried and true recipe for our Queen Bee Apple Pie!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups - green apple, pared and sliced
  • 2 T - lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups - cold water
  • 1/3 cup - cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. - cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. - ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup - honey
  • 1 pkg. (15 oz.) - 2 unroll and bake 9-inch pie crusts
  • 1/4 cup - walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup – raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Toss together apples and lemon juice in large bowl; set aside.

In small saucepan, whisk together cold water, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add honey; mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens and becomes translucent. Pour hot honey mixture over apple mixture; toss to coat evenly.

Turn apple mixture into pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle walnuts and raisins over apples. Place second crust over filling. Seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.

We want to hear from you. How do you enjoy your apple pie? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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