Quote Originally Posted by Bostondevil View Post
I'll give you the secret. Once you have peeled, cored, and sliced your apples, saute them in butter, cinnamon, and sugar until tender. Put the apples on a cookie sheet. Let them cool completely. Drain the excess liquid off before putting them into the crust. It's this excess moisture sinking into the bottom crust that makes the bottom crust take longer to cook. This takes care of problems 1-3. (Another tip - when peeling, coring, and slicing your apples, pause every few minutes to squeeze a lemon wedge over the apples to keep them from turning brown.)

As to the wrong balance of sweet / tart, I can't really help you with that one as it is a matter of personal taste. I find Cortlands are the best baking apple, especially if I'm only going to use one type of apple in a pie. Red and Golden Delicious do not hold their apple slice shape well enough during the baking process and, IMHO, should always be mixed with at least one other type of apple (Cortlands! Or something else towards the tart end of the apple spectrum cause RD and GD are both very much on the sweeter side.) Granny Smiths are tart and bake that way. They hold up well when baking but if you aren't a tart end of the spectrum fan, you need to either avoid them or mix them with a sweeter apple (Cortlands!) Cortlands are actually tart of center so, maybe Granny Smiths and one of the Delicious varieties would work. I've never tried that combo. My go to is 4 Cortlands and 2 Macs, but I have made many a Courtland/Granny Smith. Sometimes I'll use all three of those varieties. Macs can make a stand alone single variety pie but they don't hold their apple slice shape as well as Cortlands or Granny Smiths. I'm also a purist, apple is the only fruit that belongs in an apple pie. I'm not against baking a variety that adds a couple of cherries or raisins, but then it's not an apple pie anymore, it's an apple/cherry or apple/raisin pie.
Thanks. These are great tips. Iím inspired to give it another try soon!