I think Classic Apple Pie is one of those dishes that everyone on the face of the planet loves. No really, I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t love it. If you know somebody, send me their name so I can have a talk with them.
Okay, now let’s talk crust. I don’t have a problem with ready made crust, they’re not terrible, but who knows what’s in them. In fact, you will expend more energy going to the market to purchase one then you will if you make it yourself using a few simple ingredients. You can use mixers, and food processors to make your dough, but I like to use this recipe because I don’t have to pull out and clean heavy equipment. I can make it in one bowl just using my hands. Bam! It’s done in just 10 minutes.
Classic Apple Pie
For the Pie Dough:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/4″ dice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold milk
Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
Take the butter that has been cut into 1/4″ pieces from the refrigerator, and add it to the flour mixture.
Using your fingers, begin to pinch the butter together with the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. You want to work quickly as you don’t want the butter to get warm. When the flour has formed little “pea” shapes, add in the cold milk, lightly incorporating the ingredients until they hold together and form a ball.
Cut the ball in half, and lightly shape it into a small ball. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and then flatten it into a disk shape. Refrigerate for an hour, or make the day before. When ready to use it, let it sit out for about 10 minutes.
For the Filling:
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
9 apples (use a variety of: Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Cortland, and Rome Beauty)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon, cold butter, diced
1 tablespoon cold milk
Remove the 2 dough disks from the refrigerator a let them sit out for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and place the rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Have a 9″ or 10″ pie plate ready. Lightly flour your surface and the rolling pin.
Take the first dough disk and begin to roll it out, rolling from the center outwards turning the dough as you go to maintain the circular shape. Roll the circle out to 12″. Lay the dough into the pie plate and trim the dough leaving about 1″ overhang. Cover the pie plate and dough and place back into the refrigerator. Roll out the second disk into a 12″ circle and then place it onto a parchment covered baking sheet, and return it to the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Peel and core the apples, and cut them into thin slices (1/4″-1/8″ thick) and place them in a large bowl. Toss them in the lemon juice. Add in the dry ingredients in three additions, tossing well each time to fully coat the apples.
Take the pie plate from the refrigerator, and add the apple mixture. Pat down the apples but try to have it piled higher in the center. Place the cold butter pieces over the top and then cover with the second crust, leaving about a 3/4″ overhang. Trim with scissors if it’s more than that.
Take the top crust, and roll it under the bottom crust to seal the two crusts together so that the juices will not escape. You can crimp the edges with your thumb and fingers (as I did in the photo) or seal with the tines of a fork.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk together and brush over the top of the pie. Sprinkle the top of the pie with turbinado sugar, (raw sugar) if you have it or just use some granulated sugar. With a sharp pairing knife, cut 5 slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
Place the pie on a parchment covered baking sheet to catch and juices, and place in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and fifteen minutes, until juices begin to bubble. Crust should be golden brown. If crust starts to become too brown, just tent the pie with foil. Let cool for at least one hour, but fours hours is better so that the juices will thicken.
The edge of the pie crust tends to brown very quickly, so once it becomes golden you should use a pie protector like this one, or cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
For optimum flavor, use a variety of tart and sweet apples. For suggestions, check out the apple chart in this post.
Make sure your butter is very cold. Dice it up into 1/4″ cubes and then place it back in the refrigerator until your just ready to use it.