Classic Homemade Apple Pie
This deep dish apple pie recipe is full of layers of sweet spiced apples packed in a buttery flaky pie crust. The words “apple pie” always conjure up warmth, aroma, and fall. This truly is the perfect pie for fall. Add some vanilla ice cream and it becomes the ultimate and classic homestyle dessert. There are a few steps to making this pie, but I promise that it’s not too difficult. The filling is incredibly easy to make and sweet, but not too sweet. I love to top this apple pie with a lattice design, but you could also cut out some pie crust to decorate the top or just cover it with a full piece of pie crust.
A lot of recipes out there call for precooking the apples for the filling. Apparently this reduces the chance of your filling slumping or shrinking and creating a large gap between the filling and the crust. It’s an added step and one I have always wanted to avoid so I did some research and according to Stella Parks - BraveTart book, macerating the apples for at least 1 hour to up to 4 hours helps. The apples soften, allowing you to put a lot more in the filling and leading to pie slices stacked to the brim with apples. You may think that 4.5 lbs of apples is too much but for this deep dish pie its the perfect amount. The recipe I came across with all this info is actually Smitten kitchens. She uses the same amount of apples in a regular 9 inch pie plate and piles the apple like 3 inched higher than the pie plate - sky high like a diner style apple pie. Feel free to try it out. I haven’t tried it in a regular pie plate cause I’m quiet happy with it in the deep dish.
I opted for a very simple pie crust recipe. It’s an all butter pie crust with super basic ingredients - no extras like vodka, vinegar, cornstarch. Just plain flour, butter, sugar a pinch of salt and ice cold water. It never fails me and always turned out great for all my fruit pies. The key thing to a successful pie crust is making sure your butter and water is cold. You can use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut in the butter but I’m quiet happy using the food processor. It’s quick and easy. I always recommend making your dough a day ahead or up to 3 days and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to bake it. I like the way the dough rolls out and behaves after its been sitting hydrating in the fridge overnight or longer. When you are placing your crust into the pie plate make sure to do so without stretching it, just lift and press it into place. This will help prevent and shrinkage or irregularities.
When it comes to what variety of apples to use in your apple pie try to stick to baking apples like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Cortland,Honeycrisp, Jazz, or Fuji. I really like to do a combination for added flavour as they do each have a distinct flavour difference, small but enough. Variety is nice in pie so feel free to mix it up. I didn’t add lemon juice or zest in this pie and I have to say I really didn’t miss it. If you love that extra bit of tartness in your apple pie feel free to add a tsp or so in the filling. I used a simple blend of spices but if you like more of any of them feel free to adjust the amounts and if you like adding extra spices definitely feel free to do so. If you wanted to add a hit of salted caramel to your filling feel free to stir in a few spoonfuls of it into the filling. I personally love a simple classic version.
So what are you waiting for? Put that abundant Fall apple harvest to use with this tasty classic. This delicious, easy to make from scratch apple pie recipe has a flakey butter crust and tender apple filling that’s bursting with flavor and perfectly sweet. It’s also a fantastic recipe to make the day before so that you have dessert ready the next day. Happy baking!
For the all butter crust (DOUBLE PIE CRUST)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, and chilled (2 sticks)
- ¾ cups very cold water, divided
For the filling
- ½ cup light or dark brown sugar plus a tbsp extra for base
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 ½ pounds baking apples of choice peeled cored and sliced thin (approx ¼ inch thick)
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour or starch
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour for base of pie crust
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 1 tbsp cream for egg wash
- Turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling over pie
For the pie crust
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add butter and pulse until butter is evenly distributed and resemble the size of small peas.
- Add half of the water and pulse. The mixture will be shaggy at this point. From here, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together.
- Flour your counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead a few times just until it comes together. Divide dough in half forming two discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
For the filling
- Combine sugars, salt, and spices in a very large bowl. (Do not add the starch)
- Add apples to bowl. Toss to coat the slices as much as possible. Set aside for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature.
Assembling the apple pie
- Remove the first disc of dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (5min). Dust your work surface and rolling pin with a little flour. Begin to roll the dough, being sure to rotate it every so often to avoid sticking, to a 13-inch round. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over the pie dish.
- Gently fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie tin without pulling or stretching it. Trim the dough around the pie tin, leaving about a ½-inch overhang. Sprinkle the base of the dough with remaining flour and brown sugar Transfer the pie shell to the refrigerator while you roll out the second disc.
- Stir tapioca starch into apple pie filling. Remove crust from fridge and pour filling into it use your hands to pack the softened apples. Pour any juices that have accumulated carefully over apples. Roll out your second pie dough disc into 13 inch round and cut 2-3 inch strips strips if making a lattice Or place over the filling if leaving whole. Trim the top crust or lattice strips to the edge of the pie dish. Fold the overhang from the lower crust over or under to form a thick rim, and crimp it together with your fingers or a fork to seal it. Whisk the eggs and cream together and brush top crust and edges with it, then sprinkle with sugar if desired. If your top crust is in one piece, cut a few vents in it with a sharp knife.
- Transfer to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Transfer the pie to a baking sheet and place in the oven and bake to for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are just lightly brown. Turn the heat down to 350°F and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges and top are deep golden brown. Be sure to check on it occasionally if at any time the pie crust begins to turn too dark, use foil to cover those areas to stop browning. Once done allow to cool for at least two hours so it can firm up before slicing the pie. Serve as is or with ice cream or whip cream. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead: Make 1 day in advance – after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Freezing Instructions: Baked pie also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared fillings can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Adapted from Cozy Kitchen and Smitten Kitchen