When Carol and I were on our way back home after picking up the sewing machine in Mena and after the delicious homemade coconut pie - oh, and lunch. ;o) , we stopped at a roadside stand and purchased some locally grown Arkansas apples: Jonathans and Arkansas Blacks. Jonathans can be eaten 'out-of-hand' and baked. We were assured that the Arkansas Blacks would make a good apple pie.
The flavor of these two varieties was extremely similar. Sam said he couldn't taste a difference, but there was a difference in texture. They cooked down a bit more than I like, but still had a little tiny bit of 'bite'...just not much.
I always use at least two different varieties of apples using Granny Smiths as one of them. I don't like a smushy apple pie...that's like pouring a jar of applesauce into a crust, baking it, and calling it an apple pie. That's not an apple pie, that's an applesauce pie.
I had found a new recipe for apple pie and decided to try it with these apples.
First, start with a good crust: My Recipe Here
Peel, core, slice your apples...I use one of these to simplify things. Some slices I cut in half, some I don't...varies the amount of cooking and some of the apple slices will have a bit of a 'bite' to them. The recipe called for 6 cups...I used 8. Pour the apples into the bottom crust. Make a lattice top and cover the apples...crimp the edge of the crust.
Now, combine 1 stick butter, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer stirring until sugars are dissolved. Add a bit of cinnamon here if desired. Pour this over the lattice top completely covering the pie.
Put the pie in the oven on a rack below halfway down. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and bake for 25-35 minutes. If the edges are not overly browned, cook another 10 or so minutes...you want that bottom crust completely baked and not doughy.
(The two smaller apples are the Arkansas blacks.)