I first made this pie not long after I graduated from college, and I’ve been making it ever since. I really don’t even measure ingredients because the measurements vary based on the apples that I use and the size of the pie dish. For purposes of sharing the recipe, I kept track of my measurements and included them below. Having said that, however, I encourage you to experiment and make it your own. It seems that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the type of apple pie that they like. Some people like a tart pie, others like a sweet or strong cinnamon flavored pie. You also have to consider whether you want thicker, firm, more distinguishable slices of apple, or whether you want smaller, softer apple bits. I will say that my favorite apple pie is made with Macintosh apples which, in my opinion, are the perfect combination of sweet and tart, but they are not particularly firm and don’t hold up well in the baking process – to compensate, I increase the amount of flour or use corn starch. As much as I pack in the apples, the Macs cook down so much that the pie always looks a little sunken. This recipe makes a pie that has the more traditional look to it – larger slices of firm apples which remain mounded throughout the baking process. As is typical of when I makes pies – I enlisted Pillsbury for the pie crust. I have included my pie crust recipe for those of you are up for the full experience. for more information about how particular varieties of apples bake in a pie, check out: The Food Lab’s Apple Pie, Part 1: What Are the Best Apples for Pie?
- Pie Crust (for top and bottom)- see recipe below
- 5-6 Cups of Apples- peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-1/2″ slices -( I used a combination of Northern Spy and Granny Smith)
- 1 TBS. Lemon Juice
- 2/3 Cup of Sugar (reduce to 1/2 cup if you are using sweeter apples or if you like a tarter pie) plus extra for sprinkling on top
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- 1 1/2 TBS. Cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 1/2 TBS. Unsalted Butter
- 1 TBS. Milk
Preheat oven to 450 Degrees. Line a deep dish pie plate with one of the crusts. Add apples to a large bowl – add lemon juice and toss apples (this prevents then from turning brown). Add all of the remaining ingredients except the butter and top crust. Mix until apples are evenly coated. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pie plate. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter around the top of the apples. Lay the top crust over the apples in the pie dish. Trim any excess overhanging crust. Go around the edge of the crust and crimp the edges together. Cut at least four vent slits into the top of the crust. Brush the top crust with milk, but do not brush the outer crimped crust (it will darken too much). Sprinkle sugar over the top (optional). Place the pie on a baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil (in case of bubble over) and bake at 450 for ten minutes. After ten minutes, reduce heat to 350 Degrees and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or several thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese (my favorite).
- 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 Sticks ( 1 Cup) Unsalted Butter – well chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Ice Water
The key to a good flaky crust is to use very cold ingredients and don’t overwork the dough. Add flour, salt and sugar to a food processor and mix until combined. Add butter and pulse for 7-10 seconds until flour mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add water in a steady stream through processor tube, pulsing while adding. Continue pulsing and adding water just until dough holds together. Dough should not be wet or mushy, but must hold together enough to roll out – if it doesn’t hold together to form a ball, slowly add a little more water until it does. Divide dough into two equal parts and form into balls, slightly flatten balls (they will chill faster and be easier to roll out). Cover in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. Remove 1 dough disc from refrigerator and place on a floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin, and roll dough out to desired thickness or size necessary to fit in pie plate. Repeat process for top crust after filling bottom crust.