Everything you could ever want in an Apple Pie! Buttery, Flaky Crust, Tart and Juicy Apples, and Sweet, Warm Holiday Spice. It’s Simply Perfect!
Last time we hung out, I promised you guys a really great recipe for a basic apple pie.
This is it! THE Most Perfect-est Apple Pie in all the Land. Or, at the very least, my house. 😉
You’d think that my kids must be in sugar heaven every day, with all the sweet goodies that come out of our kitchen on a daily basis. You’d be wrong, ha! The truth is, there are very few things I bake that they will actually eat. I know! They are crazy. I’m blaming it on their ages (4 and 6), because I know that little little kids are notoriously picky, and I’m already starting to see the older one start to open his mind to new flavor possibilities.
This pie is his favorite dessert that I make. On the day it came out of our oven, he ate three thick slices of it in one sitting.
I can’t blame the kid for loving it. The apples are just barely soft, but still have a little bite to them, and they are a little tart yet slightly sweet, and the spice is just enough to give that unmistakably fall flavor, without masking the natural appleyness of it all. It’s uber-appley. It’s stuffed to maximum capacity with apples. It towers. You might even wonder how you will fit all these apples in!
It all starts with my Simply Perfect Pie Crust. If you are afraid of making your own pie crust, I urge you to read this post. I was so scared of pie crust for the longest time, until I discovered this method. It’s pretty much foolproof. Between the combination of fats, the thinly sliced butter, and the folding and chilling process, it yields the tenderest, butteriest, flakiest result every time. I am very picky about pie crust, and, IMHO, if it’s not flaky, it’s a fail. Simply Perfect Pie Crust is so flaky you could almost mistake it for puff pastry!
Once you’ve got your pie crust in the plate, pop it in the fridge to chill while you whip up the apple pie filling. I like to use Granny Smith apples. They have a nice firm texture that holds up well for long bake times, and the flavor is pleasingly tart. I peel them, quarter them, and cut out the core like this:
Then I slice them about 1/4 inch thick, and throw them into the bowl. You’re going to want to use your biggest bowl for this pie filling! It takes 12 apples to make this pie. That’s right, 12 apples!
Once your done peeling, coring and slicing, just sprinkle the apples with some sugar, spices, and a little flour. The flour will help to thicken the juices that the apples give off during baking. Nobody wants a watery pie, right?
Toss it all together so every apple slice is coated with sugar and spicy goodness, and then get it into that nice, cold, pie shell. You’re going to want to do this carefully. Use your hands to settle the apples in. They’ll stack on one another in layers and fit together like a puzzle. If there are a lot of empty spaces between your apple slices, then you might not be able to fit them all in. Work carefully to pile it all in an even mound, dot with butter, and then put the whole thing in the fridge to keep cold while you roll out the top crust.
The top crust forms a blanket over the mountain of juicy apples. Trim off any excess (you’ll want about an inch overhang), and then roll the bottom and top crusts under and crimp the edge. It looks pretty, and it helps to keep the juices in! Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to make some vents in the top so the steam can escape, brush with egg wash for shine and golden color, and chill again! You want the crust to be nice and cold when it hits the hot oven, so the butter creates steam and puffs up those flaky layers.
The pie will bake for an hour and 15 minutes. It seems like a long time but this pie is a monster. Remember, 12 apples! This baby’s got thermal mass.
PS- Your whole house is going to smell amazing! My hubby could smell it from the driveway when he came home from work.
- 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 disks [url href=”http://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-homemade-pie-crust/” target=”_blank”]Simply Perfect Pie Crust[/url] dough, cold
- egg wash (one egg beaten with a tablespoon of cold water)
- Roll out one of the disks of [url href=”http://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-homemade-pie-crust/” target=”_blank”]pie dough[/url] to about 14 inches in diameter. Place the dough in the bottom of an ungreased 10 inch pie plate, and refrigerate.
- Place the apples, sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly.
- Fill the chilled pie shell with the apple mixture, working carefully to mound the apples evenly and with as few empty spaces between apple slices as possible.
- Dot with butter and refrigerate.
- Roll out the second disk of [url href=”http://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-homemade-pie-crust/” target=”_blank”]pie dough[/url], large enough to overhang the sides of the pie by at least an inch. Drape the dough over the pie, pressing lightly to conform to the shape of the apples.
- Trim off any excess dough, leaving about a one inch margin all around the pie.
- Roll the top and bottom crusts under, around the perimeter of the pie, and crimp.
- Cut steam vents in the top crust with a sharp knife or kitchen shears, and brush with egg wash.
- Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake the pie for 1 hour + 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden, the juices are bubbling, and the apples are softened but still a little firm (not mushy).
- Cool the pie for at least an 1 1/2 hours before cutting.
It’s basic but it’s “good old fashioned.” And nothing says love like a homemade pie. You can make the crust ahead, and freeze it, then fill and bake it the morning of. It rewarms nicely in the oven. If you don’t end up baking it ahead, just be sure to give it lots of time to cool before you slice into it. That way the juices have a chance to thicken up and the pie will hold it’s shape when you cut into it.
Your family’s going to want you to bring this to every holiday feast from here on out.
It’s everything anyone could ever want from an apple pie. Flaky, buttery crust, tart, juicy apples, and a hint of warm holiday spice. With whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s iconic. Add a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, and it’s epic!
PS- If you are looking to stock your recipe box with some really stellar basic recipes, you came to the right place! I’ve been baking for, ahem, 20-some odd years, cough-cough, so I’ve played with lots of recipes. Check out these other recipes from my “Simply Perfect” series (just click the pic to view the recipe):