Classic Apple PieSeptember 23, 2016 By Cathy — 16 Comments
Sometimes nothing beats a classic. Tender cinnamon-spiced apples are tucked inside a pretty, buttery crusty in this timeless favorite.
Fall is officially here. That means at least one trip to the orchard and more apples than one family can eat. It also means apple pie. Come the fall, I put apples in pretty much everything. Salads, sandwiches, pureed into soup, folded into risotto and of course, in dessert.
I love these individual apple crisps that get tossed on the grill and these little apple pie pops are perfect if you’re in the mood for just a bite. And applesauce can pull double duty as a simple dessert or quick snack. But sometimes you have to go with the classic. Apple pie.
I always use a mix of apples when I make a pie. Some tart and crisp, others little sweeter. I like the contrast of flavors and textures and I especially like the apples very thinly sliced instead of cut into chunks. The apples cook down evenly and create these gorgeous layers in every slice.
I always recommend making your own pie dough, especially in a classic like apple pie. A buttery crust with a flaky crumb is the perfect counter to these sweet/tart apples and warm fall spices. You can even decorate your pie to celebrate the season. Instead of a simple top crust, I made a decorative design with braids and leaves. Take a look at the video below for a quick tutorial.
If you find the braids a little too ambitious, you can simply layer the leaves on top in a random or circular pattern. Or just go with the braids in a lattice design and skip the leaves. It’s fun to play around with the different cutters and designs. I know it’s waaaaay too early to be thinking Thanksgiving, but a little pie crust turkey nestled on top of the leaves would make the sweetest holiday dessert.
Now go forth and pick some apples. With all of these recipes and ideas, you may need to make two trips!
- Buttery Pie Crust
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
- 2 Tbsp shortening, very cold
- ½ cup ice water
- Apple Pie
- 4 lbs apples, a mix of Granny Smith, Gala and Honeycrisp (or your favorites)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- dash of cloves
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1½ Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water
- Pie Crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 -12 times until the fat is cut into the flour mixture and it's pea size.
- Pour in about ⅔ of the ice water and pulse a few more times until a ball begins to form, adding more water as needed. Be careful not to overmix. The dough should not be completely blended, it will come together on the counter.
- Scrape dough onto the counter, divide it in two and form into two flat discs. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (Dough can also be frozen for several weeks. Defrost in refrigerator before proceeding.)
- Make the Pie: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel, core and halve the apples. Thinly slice each apple half and place all the apple slices into a large bowl.
- Mix in the spices, zest, lemon juice, sugars and flour.
- Roll out one ball of dough to ⅛ inch thickness between lightly floured sheets of wax paper and lay into the bottom of deep pie plate. Trim the edges, fold underneath and crimp.
- Mound the apples in the pie plate, pressing down slightly and dot with butter.
- Roll out the other ball of dough to ⅛ inch thickness between lightly floured sheets of wax paper and lay over the apples. Trim, fold over the edges and crimp. Cut a few slices in the top to vent. Brush with egg wash. Alternatively, make a decorative crust (see video).
- Place the pie in the refrigerator for 20 mins to set.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any juices and bake at 425 degrees for 20 mins.
- Reduce the heat to 375 and bake for an additional 50-60 mins. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the apples can be pierced easily with a sharp knife. If the pie begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.