I think pie is one of the most satisfying desserts to make. The finished product is just so rewarding- baked beautifully, golden, and bubbly. And then, to have that first piece slide perfectly out of the
pie plate…ahh, makes me happy!
This week was my husband’s birthday, and as is our custom, he got to choose a favorite meal and dessert as part of the celebration. So, for the second year in a row- he chose this apple pie. Now, that might not seem too amazing, but you see, Tim did not always like apple pie. In fact, it has only been since I have been making this apple pie that he has found that it is one of his favorite treats! And so, my once “chocolate-only-please” guy has been reformed and now asks for this once-disliked pastry, frequently! (WOO-HOO! I love it when I can change his opinion about certain foods!)
Ok, now I must admit- this recipe is very basic. It is simply apple pie with homemade crust- you are very likely to have a similar recipe that your grandma used to make. But, as I have said before, I like simple and classic dishes. And I think simple dishes are some of the best dishes when they are done well. (that’s how they became classics!) Also, you will not find pre-made crusts and canned apple pie filling in this recipe (because those are filled with icky chemicals and things!)- it’s completely from scratch!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 15 Tbs. (almost 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- 6 Tbs. cold water (+ more if needed)
- 7-8 medium apples ( use at least 3 Granny Smith + 2 or 3 of other varieties such as gala, rome, fuji, golden delicous, macintosh, etc)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 (additional) Tbs. butter
- 1 Tbs. water
- 1 Tbs. sugar
In a food processor, mix the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks crumbly…or lots of little pea-sized clumps. Add the cold water and mix until a dough is formed. You may need to add more water, 1 Tbs. at a time.
You know the dough is “right” when it no longer clings to the side of the bowl, and comes together in a rough “ball”. Don’t over-mix!
Take the dough out and lay it on a clean surface, and divide into two equal pieces. Wrap one of these sections in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
With the other piece, lay it on a piece of floured plastic wrap, and flatten slightly. Now, lay another piece of plastic wrap over the top of this.
You can now roll the dough into a rough circle, large enough to fit in the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. When you reach the desired size, gently fold the dough in half- and removing the bottom layer of plastic wrap. Place the crust in the pie plate. Unfold. The plastic wrap should be on top now, and you can peel the rest of it off. Now you can further press the crust gently into the pie plate, trim off any excess dough around the edges that you don’t need.
(I usually do not flute the edges of the bottom crust. I like to just build up the edge a little bit and give it a simple, smooth rounded look.)
Next you can move onto the filling.
Peel and slice the apples. I think one of the secrets to a great apple pie is to use more than one type of apple.
I always use some Granny Smith, but then I like to use one or two other varieties as well. (This time I used 4 Granny Smith and 2 Fuji.) I think this makes a big difference.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves over the apples. Mix this (I usually use my hands) until the dry ingredients thoroughly coat the apples. Pour all of this into your waiting pie crust.
Slice the 2 Tbs. butter into several pieces and dot over the top of the apples.
Now, remove that second piece of dough from the refrigerator.
Repeat the process that you did for the bottom crust layer.
Place the rolled-out dough on top of the apples, and allow it to just conform to the shape of the apples…don’t try to pull it tight or anything. You want a little bit of dough to overhang the sides. This is when i like to press it slightly into the edge of the bottom layer and flute the edges a little bit. But, you can make this part look however you like.
In a little bowl, add the Tbs. of water. Brush this gently over the top of the pie. Sprinkle generously with the 1 Tbs. sugar.
Cut some slits in the top of the dough with a sharp knife, to allow steam to escape when baking. I do three in a row.
Place a pie shield on top- or cut out a ring of foil to protect the edges from burning. (having a pie shield is so handy- I highly recommend having one on hand)
Bake at 425 for about 50 minutes.
If you feel the top is getting too brown as you approach the end of baking, you can cover the whole pie loosely with foil.
The pie is done when the crust is golden and the filling you can see through the slits on top, is bubbly.
Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack.
this recipe was adapted from bettycrocker.com