Thanks everyone for so many kind words!
Rozanne, the leaves took longer than the apples, I made three or four at a time, then popped the sheet I was working from back in the fridge before making more. The surface of the leaves stays smoother when they’re still quite cold (at least if you’re making veins with a table knife…). I don’t think arranging the apples took any longer than half an hour, which is also about how long it would take me to fuss with a top crust. The apples cook down a little, so I really pack them in tightly.
Christine, I did not need to pre-cook the apples, they baked in the oven, covered loosely with vented foil after the first fifteen minutes. This time I used Cortland apples, because that was the best baking apple the orchard had when we were there. I want to try this some year with Ginger Golds (a cross between Granny Smith and Golden Delicious), but every time we get them, we eat them too fast and there are never enough for pie. The Cortlands cook more quickly than Granny Smiths, a little less than the minimum time called for in the PPB. I have made this pie several times with Granny Smiths, which are delicious, but need to be tasted for sugar.
Annie, I used a hand-crank device popular here in New England. It takes about five seconds to peel, core and slice an apple, then you just cut it in half (or thirds if the apple is very large) and check for any missed spots. Kids love to use these machines. It is much faster than peeling and slicing by hand, and so well suited to making this pie.
I have to say, now that we’ve eaten some of this, it’s not hard to remove it from the pan. Maybe that was just one spot, or the first piece being difficult to remove. I like the parchment idea, Mrs. M.
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