How to Make the Perfect Apple Pie
It’s fall! Which means apples are everywhere. Every grocery store you go to has about 316 different kinds of apples to buy, not to mention all the apple cider. You will even see kits to make candy or caramel apples right next to the apples in the produce section.
It’s also almost Thanksgiving and our favorite thing to do with apples is to make an apple pie. There are so many recipes out there, how do you know which one to make? We’ve been through the ringer, and we have it narrowed down to a couple recipes we love and make for different occasions.
However, If you want to make an easy apple pie at home that everyone will like, check out this recipe. It’s sweet, but the tart apples balance it out. It doesn’t turn out very liquidy on the inside, and, most importantly, it is hard to mess up.
The key to this pie (and any pie, really) is the crust. You really want the flaky layers throughout your crust. This happens when you keep gluten from forming. This is the opposite from bread. The less gluten formation in your pie crust, the flakier and more tender it will be.
The secret to a great pie crust is in the method. You will want to combine about HALF the flour with ALL the butter first. This allows some of the flour to be completely coated with butter, which will keep the gluten from being activated. Then, you add in the rest of the flour, and then the water. Simple, right? We use a processor, but you could do it by hand. This method creates perfectly flaky crusts that are durable and hold up to the filling, but still tender and flaky.
So, how do you make this perfect apple pie that everyone will love? Here is the recipe.
The Perfect Apple Pie
For the Pie Crust (enough for a 9-inch double crust)
2.5 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 cup (230 grams) VERY cold butter, unsalted
.5 cup ice water, more or less
For the Filling
.5 cup butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
.25 cup water
.5 cup white sugar
.5 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (we use a combination of granny smith, empire, and jonagold, though any kinds will work as long as some are tart and all are firm)
1 egg for egg wash
Turbinado sugar or other large crystal sugar for topping
To make the Crust
Combine 1.5 cups flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor and pulse a couple times to combine.
Cut butter into cubes and drop into flour mixture and process for 10-15 seconds until crumbly and all flour is coated. You will probably need to scrape the sides.
Add remaining cup of flour and pulse several times. The dough will be very crumbly.
Transfer flour mixture to another bowl then add 5-6 tablespoons of ice cold water. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself while scraping from the bottom. If the dough is staying together, it is ready. If it is still dry and crumbly, add another tablespoon or 2. Continue this mixing and adding until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough, and do not add too much water.
Divide the dough in half, form each half into a disc or hockey puck shape, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days. Or you can freeze it if you aren’t making the pie right away.
To Make the Filling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add in flour and stir to form a crumbly paste.
Add water, white sugar, and brown sugar and bring to boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
Roll out one of your pie crust discs on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. When it is large enough to cover the whole pan, lay it across making sure all sides are covered.
After all the apples are thinly and uniformly sliced, dump into a pile in the middle of the pie crust, then evenly distribute the apples around the pan.
Pour butter and sugar mixture over the apples.
Roll out the other half of your pie crust. Here is where you can get creative. You can either create a lattice top, or simply roll out the crust, lay over apples, pinch the edges, and cut 3 to 4 slits on top.
Beat egg to combine, then brush onto top of pie crust. Sprinkle with large sugar crystals.
Bake for 15 minutes in preheated 425 degree oven. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.
Monitor crust and if it is getting too brown cover with foil for rest of baking time.