McDONALD’S BAKED APPLE PIE

When McDonald’s introduced fast-food apple pies to America in 1968, they were originally deep fried, but in 1992 the chain replaced the fried pies on the standard menu with a healthier baked version (although you can still find the original fried pies at a few U.S. locations and at McDonald’s restaurants overseas). The secret to a perfect clone of the famous pastry is a great crust, which is best made from scratch, but the filling can be quickly duplicated with canned apple pie filling that has been chopped up, and then perked up with a little bit of ground cinnamon. If you’re the nostalgic type and would like to re create the original fried version from yesteryear, pop on down to the Tidbits for an easy recipe variation that should bring back some tasty memories.

CRUST
10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
½ cup water

FILLING
1 21-ounce can (2 cups) apple pie filling
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten

TOPPING
Ground cinnamon in a shaker bottle


Cooking method

1-Make the crust by combining the flour with the sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the shortening, butter, and water and stir well until the ingredients come together into a ball. Use your hands to form the ball, then cover and chill for 1 hour.

2-Prepare the filling by chopping the apples into smaller bits about the size of a dime. You can use a knife, or use a food processor by pouring the entire contents of the can into the processor and pulsing briefly. Stir in the cinnamon.

3-When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a clean floured surface until it is between 1/16 and ⅛ inch thick. Slice the dough into rectangles that are 5 inches wide by 2½ inches tall.

4-To build each pie, brush beaten egg around the edge of a piece of dough. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling into the middle of the dough and then press another piece down on top, being sure to firmly seal the edges. When all of the pies are made, let them chill in your refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

5-When you are ready to bake the pies, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

6-Lightly shake ground cinnamon over the top of each pie, then use a kitchen brush to brush most of the cinnamon off the crust, leaving just a little bit behind for color. Use a sharp, lightly oiled paring knife to make 4 1-inch slices in the top of each pie, then place the pies on parchment paper on a baking sheet (or on a nonstick baking mat) and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until done.

7-OPTIONAL
To make a clone of the original fried apple pies, follow all of the instructions through step 4, but freeze the pies for 2 hours instead of chilling them in the refrigerator. You won’t be making slices in the pies or sprinkling them with cinnamon for this version. Instead, when the pies are frozen, preheat 4 to 6 cups of shortening to 325 degrees F in a deep fryer or in a pan on your stovetop, and fry a couple of pies at a time for 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.

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