How to Make Apple Pie
Apple pie, that all-American dessert, features apple slices seasoned with cinnamon and butter, then baked in a flaky crust with a sprinkling of sugar on top. It's a cinch to make, as you can see in this traditional recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. There are many mouthwatering variations, and here you'll find links to some of the very best.
Meanwhile, here are some tips for baking the ultimate apple pie:
- When you bake an apple pie from scratch, choose an apple variety that will stand up to cooking. If you love tart varieties, choose Granny Smith. If you want a sweeter variety, choose among Cortland, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Newtown Pippin, Rome Beauty, Winesap, or York Imperial.
- It's fine to use a store-bought crust for your apple pie. If you want to make your own, try the Flaky Pie Pastry recipe at the bottom of the page.
- For best results, bake pie at least a few hours before you plan to cut into it. Otherwise, the filling will be soupy.
- To freeze a baked fruit pie, let it cool completely. Place it in a freezer bag, then seal, label, and freeze for up to four months. Thaw the pie completely at room temperature before serving.
Servings: 8 to 10
- 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds Cortland apples (about 4 medium)
- 1 pound Granny Smith apples (about 2-1/2 medium)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg white
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small (1/4-inch) cubes
- 4 to 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 refrigerated piecrusts (or make your own with the Flaky Pie Pastry recipe at the bottom of the page)
- Position two oven racks in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make the filling: Peel the apples, cut each in half from top to bottom, remove the cores with a melon baller, and trim the ends with a paring knife. Lay the apples, cut side down, on a cutting board. Cut the Cortland apples crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces, and then halve each piece diagonally. Cut the Granny Smith apples crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, leaving them whole. Put the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
- Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the cornstarch, cinnamon, kosher salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl. (Don't add this to the fruit yet.)
- In a small dish, lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Set aside.
- Assemble the pie: Butter a 9-inch ovenproof glass (Pyrex) pie plate, including the rim, with the 2 teaspoons of softened butter.
- Rub 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour into the surface of a pastry cloth, forming a circle about 15 inches across, and also into a rolling pin stocking. If you don't have a pastry cloth, rub the flour into a large, smooth-weave, cotton kitchen towel and use a floured rolling pin. Roll one of the disks of dough into a circle that's 1/8 inch thick and about 15 inches across.
- Lay the rolling pin across the upper third of the dough circle; lift the pastry cloth to gently drape the dough over the pin and then roll the pin toward you, wrapping the remaining dough loosely around it. Hold the rolling pin over the edge of the pie plate nearest to you. Allowing for about a 1-inch overhang, unroll the dough away from you, easing it into the contours of the pan. If the dough isn't centered in the pan, gently adjust it and then lightly press it into the pan. Take care not to stretch the dough. If it tears, simply press it back together -- the dough is quite forgiving.
- Brush the bottom and sides of the dough with a light coating of the egg-white wash (you won't need all of it). Leaving a 1/4-inch overhang, cut around the edge of the dough with kitchen shears.
- Combine the sugar mixture with the apples and toss to coat well. Mound the apples in the pie plate, rearranging the fruit as needed to make the pile compact. Dot the apples with the 1 tablespoon cold butter cubes.
- Rub 2 to 3 tablespoons flour into the surface of the pastry cloth and stocking. Roll the remaining dough into a circle that's 1/8 inch thick and about 15 inches across. Use the rolling pin to move the dough. As you unroll the dough, center it on top of the apples. Place your hands on either side of the top crust of the pie and ease the dough toward the center, giving the dough plenty of slack. Leaving a 3/4-inch overhang, trim the top layer of dough around the rim of the pie plate. Fold the top layer of dough under the bottom layer, tucking the two layers of dough together. Press a lightly floured fork around the edge of the dough to seal it or flute the edge of the dough with lightly floured fingers.
- Lightly brush the top with cold water and sprinkle the surface with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Make steam vents in the dough by poking the tip of a paring knife through it in a few places; it's important to vent well so that the steam from the cooking apples won't build up and crack the top of the crust.
- To bake the pie, cover the rim of the pie with aluminum foil bands. This will prevent the edge of the crust from overbrowning.
- Place a rimmed baking sheet or an aluminum foil drip pan on the oven rack below the pie to catch any juices that overflow during baking. Set the pie on the rack above.
- Bake the pie until the top and bottom crusts are golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 60 to 75 minutes (to thicken, the juices must boil, so look for the bubbles through the steam vents or through cracks near the edges of the pie and listen for the sound of bubbling juices). During the last 5 minutes of baking, remove the foil bands from the edges of the pie. Cool the pie at least 3 hours and up to overnight before serving.
Here are 20 of the Web's best apple pie recipes, along with a recipe for homemade piecrust.
Ultimate Apple Pie
Cooking the apples separately before adding them to the crust keeps it from getting soggy, making this classic dessert especially good.
Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
Go ahead, indulge. This apple pie features a crumb topping sprinkled with pecans and drizzled with caramel ice cream topping.
No-Peel Apple Pie
How easy can pie get and still be glorious? Skip peeling the apples and use refrigerated piecrusts in a clever, simple recipe for fresh-baked pie.
Autumn Apple Pie
Two seasonal fruits in one luscious dessert: This two-crust pie is filled to the brim with an apple-cinnamon filling dotted with dried cranberries.
Mile-High Apple Pie
Loaded with juicy apples, this luscious dessert recipe is drizzled with a gooey caramel topping.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
Caramel ice cream topping and toasted pecans add a touch of luxury to this luscious two-layer dessert.
Berry-Apple Fantasy Pie
Especially for fruit lovers: This golden, two-crust pie oozes with apples and fresh berries.
Easy Apple Pie Calzones
Serve this spiced apple-filled dessert calzone with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Triple-A Apple Pie
Apples, Anjou pears, and apricots are the A?s that make this apple pie a knockout.
Rum-Raisin Apple Pie
Take apple pie in a whole new direction by adding brandy and raisins to this perennial holiday favorite.
Upside-Down Apple Pie
This gooey-good apple pie is hard to pass up. Serve for dessert with rich whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Apple pie or cherry pie? No need to decide. This fruit pie recipe combines the best of both.
Saute the apples, spices, and cranberries in butter, and then put them in the pastry to make this delicious double-crust pie.
Apple-Maple Cream Pie
Fold in maple syrup and whipping cream with the apples to add a delicious twist to this dessert.
Dried Apple Cider Pie
The dried apples in this yummy dessert save you time because there's no peeling needed.
Apple Mincemeat Pie
Delicious fall flavors make this old-fashioned pie a holiday tradition in many families. At the grocery store, look for jars of mincemeat (no actual meat included, just fruit and spices) near the pie fillings during the holiday baking season.
Cheesy Apple Pie
There's rich cheddar cheese in both the pastry and topping of this tangy, out-of-the-ordinary apple pie recipe.
Perfect Ending Apple Praline Pie
After this traditional pie is golden brown, top it with an oh-so-sweet pecan glaze for a dessert that is simply irresistible.
Hazelnuts in the pastry and the crumb topping add elegance to this mouthwatering apple pie.
Oatmeal-Nut Crunch Apple Pie
This decadent pie is loaded with juicy apples and adorned with a streusel-lover's crunchy topping.
Flaky Pie Pastry
10-1/2 ounces (2-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1/2 cup) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces (1/2 cup) chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water; more as needed
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Chill for 20 to 30 minutes. Place the flour mixture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
- Pulse the dry ingredients together for a few seconds to blend. With the processor off, add half of the butter and half of the shortening. Pulse 5 times and then process for 5 seconds. Add the remaining butter and shortening and pulse again 5 times, then process for 5 seconds. You should have a mixture of both large and small crumbs. Empty the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the ice water around the edge of the bowl, letting it trickle into the crumbs. Flick the moistened crumbs toward the center with a table fork, rotating the bowl as you work. Repeat with the remaining 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. As you add the water, the crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. Once you've added 5 tablespoons water total, take a handful of crumbs and squeeze them gently; they should hold together. If they easily break apart, the mixture needs more water. Add the remaining tablespoon, 1 teaspoon at a time, checking the consistency after each addition. If the crumbs still fail to hold together, you can add additional water, but do so sparingly.
- Gather a handful of the crumbly dough and press it against the side of the bowl to form a small mass, flouring your hand as needed to prevent excessive sticking. Increase the size of this mass by pressing it into more of the crumbly mixture until you've used up about half of the total mixture in the bowl. Make a second mass of dough with the remaining crumbs. If some of the crumbs on the bottom of the bowl need more moistening, add a few drops of water.
- Form the two masses of dough into balls, dust them with flour, and flatten them into 4- to 5-inch disks. Pat the disks to release any excess flour. Score the tops lightly with the side of your hand to create a tic-tac-toe pattern. With cupped hands, rotate each disk on the work surface to smooth the edges of the disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap.
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