Servings: 4 to 8
- Your favorite pie crust recipe, or 1 package of a frozen, ready-to-use pie crust
- 3 pounds apples (Macouns, Empires, or Granny Smiths), peeled and sliced
- Sugar to taste
- Cinnamon to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Light cream for brushing the crust
Build a fire for indirect cooking (see page 6) or, if using gas, only turn on the burners on one side of the grill, to reach a temperature between 350 to 400F. Place the water pan on the opposite side of the grill. Cover the cooker to control the fire, watching to be sure that it does not become too hot [use the oven thermometer or place your hand carefully over the grill and count, to make sure the temperature does not go above 400 (see page 11 for checking the heat this way)].
Prepare your pie dough in advance, wrapping the ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap or waxed paper and keeping it refrigerated until you are ready to roll it out.
Peel and slice your apples into a large bowl, and toss with sugar and cinnamon to taste until the pieces are well coated. You can also use a squirt of fresh lemon to keep the apples from turning brown or if you find the whole mix is too sweet.
On a piece of aluminum foil that has been lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pie dough into a single large circle—larger than you normally would if you were going to put this crust in a pie plate.
Mound the seasoned apples in the center of the crust, then fold the edges of the crust towards the middle of the mound. You will end up with an open inner circle of exposed apples, and the whole thing will look sort of like a tart but with more top crust. Dot the open area with small pieces of the butter, and brush the top crust with the light cream. Finish by sprinkling some additional sugar over the pie.
Slide the pie onto the grill, keeping the foil in place for ease of handling. Cover the cooker.
Add lit charcoal as required to maintain the cooker temperature at 350 to 400F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top crust has browned and the filling is bubbly. We used a flashlight to monitor the progress through the vent holes, to avoid raising the cover and losing the heat.
When the pie is done, transfer it onto a cutting board or other surface, sliding it off the foil to cool. While you may be tempted to just dig right in, the filling of a pie right out of the cooker may be dangerously hot. A brief cooling period also helps the juices to settle and the filling to firm up, resulting in neater cuts and a better presentation. Wait at least 15 minutes to let the pie cool and firm up. Serve warm.