Perfect Apple Pie

Perfect Apple Pie

If there was only an app that let you smell the aroma in my house as I bake this pie! If and only if!! I would not have to say another word and you would immediately be convinced to make this pie right this second.

However, since there isn’t one, let me tell you about it.

The sweet caramel sauce gently spiced with cinnamon and buttery piecrust fill the whole house with a familiar aroma. Apple pie is an American dish, but almost every nation seems to have its own version. So almost with certainty, the smell of a baked apple pie would take you back to a familiar childhood memory. For me, it was a memory of baking with my grandma and Great Grandma, but also a MacDonald’s apple pie I used to enjoy as a kid. It’s not that I frequented MacDonald’s establishments often as a kid, rather, it was a reward or a celebratory-type occasion. To this day I think their apple pie is on point!

Whatever version of apple pie you enjoy, I am confident you will be pleased with this recipe. Tossing the apple slices in sugar to get the juices out and then reducing them, is a sure way to deepen the flavour and avoid a soggy crust. This recipe is a sure crowd pleaser and won’t let you down!

DifficultyIntermediate

Yields8 Servings

 3.54 lbs apples (that's around 6-9 medium apples,) peeled, quartered and cored SEE NOTE
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 1 tsp lemon zest
 ¼ tsp kosher salt, heaping
 1.50 tsp cinnamon
 optional pinch of each: ginger (heaping 1/4 tsp,) nutmeg (1/4 tsp) or cloves (1/8 tsp) - they add the depth of flavour, sometimes I add them, sometimes I don't
 ½ cup sugar
  cup light brown sugar
 ¼ cup flour
 2 tbsp butter for dotting
 1 egg white beaten with 1 TBSP water for egg wash
 1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
 2 pie shells (homemade or store bought)

1

Cut each apple quarter into 2-3 pieces. This will depend on the size of your apples. It should be just under 1/2 inches thick and all of the slices need to be as uniform as possible. Usually, I cut mine into 2 pieces (so each apple is cut into 8,) however, when the apples are exceptionally large, I may cut each quarter into 3 pieces.

Combine apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coves, allspice, sugars. Toss well. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour. I usually let it sit longer while I prepare my easy pie shell (up to two hours.) This process is called maceration and after just half an hour, the juices will be drawn out from the apples and collect on the bottom of your bowl. By doing this step, we help prevent soggy crust in the final apple pie product, as well as too much puffing of the upper crust.

2

Carefully strain these delicious fragrant juices into a small saucepan and simmer to thicken them up slightly. Perhaps 4-6 minutes over medium-low heat until reduced by about half. Be careful not to reduce too much - we are simply looking to thicken this "apple caramel" slightly.

3

Toss apples with flour. Add back the thickened juice. (That or you can pour the thickened juice over apples once they are inside the pie shell.)

4

See note on optional pre-baked bottom crust for superiour results. However, you can skip the pre-baking and proceed with recipe as is.

Fill the prepared pie crust with your filling. Make sure not to allow to many empty "air bubble" spots in between the apples as that will result in the top crust "doming." Dot with butter. Top with top crust and seal both well in a decorative manner using the thumb and the index finger of your right hand and the index finger of your left hand to make the indentations in the crust . Slice 5-6 1/2" long lines in the middle of the pie to allow the steam to escape.

Remember, your pie crust (whether homemade or store bought) will be cold as it would just be taken out of the fridge. Allow it to soften oh so slightly so that it becomes somewhat pliable, before crimping the edges.

5

Now, refrigerate your pie for 30 minutes, but not more than an hour. While the pie is refrigerating, preheat your oven to 425° and put your oven racks to the lower third of your oven.

6

Brush the crust of your refrigerated pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

7

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 375 and bake for another 45-60 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling out.

8

The absolute hardest part of the recipe is this. Allow the pie to cool completely on the wire racks for at least 4 hours. It will be tough, I know. But cutting into the warm pie will break the pie and not allow for nice clean slices. So wait!

Note:
9

Baking this pie in a glass pie plate will help ensure the bottom crust gets properly baked as glass conducts the heat better than other types of materials. The added bonus is that you can look through the glass and see that your pie crust is indeed baked and golden.

It's very important to weigh your apples. Depending on the size of the apples, you may need anywhere between 6 and even 10 apples... And if you don't get enough, you will end up with a pie that's too thin and too sweet. For better flavour, try to use combination of tart and sweet apples, such as Braeburn, Granny Smith and/or Golden Delicious; Gala also works.

Technical Note:
10

The recipe above works great and I often make it as is. However, the bottom crust is never perfectly crisp, in a way, it can't be, since the juicy apples are sitting right on top. So if you can, you can pre-bake your bottom crust which will require more time but yield superior results.

Set wire racks to lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Line the refrigerated and shaped pie crust with parchment or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights; I use and re-use beans, but keep in mind they are not suitable for cooking later. Place this on a large rimmed baking sheet (so you don't break the crust moving it in and out of the oven.)
Bake for 20 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Lift out the pie weights, parchment and foil carefully.
Place back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes or so until dry and a bit golden. We are baking this almost all the way, until light golden and firm, to prevent any chance of sogginess. Your crust won't cook much once you add the filling.
Cool the crust slightly before filling it and proceed with Step 4. Do your best to adhere the top crust to pre-baked bottom crust sealing as well and tight as possible.

Ingredients

 3.54 lbs apples (that's around 6-9 medium apples,) peeled, quartered and cored SEE NOTE
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 1 tsp lemon zest
 ¼ tsp kosher salt, heaping
 1.50 tsp cinnamon
 optional pinch of each: ginger (heaping 1/4 tsp,) nutmeg (1/4 tsp) or cloves (1/8 tsp) - they add the depth of flavour, sometimes I add them, sometimes I don't
 ½ cup sugar
  cup light brown sugar
 ¼ cup flour
 2 tbsp butter for dotting
 1 egg white beaten with 1 TBSP water for egg wash
 1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
 2 pie shells (homemade or store bought)

Directions

1

Cut each apple quarter into 2-3 pieces. This will depend on the size of your apples. It should be just under 1/2 inches thick and all of the slices need to be as uniform as possible. Usually, I cut mine into 2 pieces (so each apple is cut into 8,) however, when the apples are exceptionally large, I may cut each quarter into 3 pieces.

Combine apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coves, allspice, sugars. Toss well. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour. I usually let it sit longer while I prepare my easy pie shell (up to two hours.) This process is called maceration and after just half an hour, the juices will be drawn out from the apples and collect on the bottom of your bowl. By doing this step, we help prevent soggy crust in the final apple pie product, as well as too much puffing of the upper crust.

2

Carefully strain these delicious fragrant juices into a small saucepan and simmer to thicken them up slightly. Perhaps 4-6 minutes over medium-low heat until reduced by about half. Be careful not to reduce too much - we are simply looking to thicken this "apple caramel" slightly.

3

Toss apples with flour. Add back the thickened juice. (That or you can pour the thickened juice over apples once they are inside the pie shell.)

4

See note on optional pre-baked bottom crust for superiour results. However, you can skip the pre-baking and proceed with recipe as is.

Fill the prepared pie crust with your filling. Make sure not to allow to many empty "air bubble" spots in between the apples as that will result in the top crust "doming." Dot with butter. Top with top crust and seal both well in a decorative manner using the thumb and the index finger of your right hand and the index finger of your left hand to make the indentations in the crust . Slice 5-6 1/2" long lines in the middle of the pie to allow the steam to escape.

Remember, your pie crust (whether homemade or store bought) will be cold as it would just be taken out of the fridge. Allow it to soften oh so slightly so that it becomes somewhat pliable, before crimping the edges.

5

Now, refrigerate your pie for 30 minutes, but not more than an hour. While the pie is refrigerating, preheat your oven to 425° and put your oven racks to the lower third of your oven.

6

Brush the crust of your refrigerated pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

7

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 375 and bake for another 45-60 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling out.

8

The absolute hardest part of the recipe is this. Allow the pie to cool completely on the wire racks for at least 4 hours. It will be tough, I know. But cutting into the warm pie will break the pie and not allow for nice clean slices. So wait!

Note:
9

Baking this pie in a glass pie plate will help ensure the bottom crust gets properly baked as glass conducts the heat better than other types of materials. The added bonus is that you can look through the glass and see that your pie crust is indeed baked and golden.

It's very important to weigh your apples. Depending on the size of the apples, you may need anywhere between 6 and even 10 apples... And if you don't get enough, you will end up with a pie that's too thin and too sweet. For better flavour, try to use combination of tart and sweet apples, such as Braeburn, Granny Smith and/or Golden Delicious; Gala also works.

Technical Note:
10

The recipe above works great and I often make it as is. However, the bottom crust is never perfectly crisp, in a way, it can't be, since the juicy apples are sitting right on top. So if you can, you can pre-bake your bottom crust which will require more time but yield superior results.

Set wire racks to lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Line the refrigerated and shaped pie crust with parchment or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights; I use and re-use beans, but keep in mind they are not suitable for cooking later. Place this on a large rimmed baking sheet (so you don't break the crust moving it in and out of the oven.)
Bake for 20 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Lift out the pie weights, parchment and foil carefully.
Place back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes or so until dry and a bit golden. We are baking this almost all the way, until light golden and firm, to prevent any chance of sogginess. Your crust won't cook much once you add the filling.
Cool the crust slightly before filling it and proceed with Step 4. Do your best to adhere the top crust to pre-baked bottom crust sealing as well and tight as possible.

Apple Pie
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