I love apple pie (and so does the rest of my family). I have been on the hunt for a pie crust and filling that I am happy with and I think this is it.
I found the pie crust recipe in this cookbook by Teeny Lamothe. It has the best of both worlds – a buttery yet tender crust. I find that an all-butter crust is usually “tasty” but lacks the tenderness and flakiness I desire in a pie crust. On the other hand, an all-shortening crust tends to lack flavor. Teeny’s butter pie crust is just right. However, I did find it a little too salty so I cut down on the salt and it resulted in my perfect pie crust.
I also started baking my pies in a pie tin. Previously, I baked my pies in a glass pie plate. As such, I now have a less soggy crust.
For the apple pie filling, it took a little more experimenting before coming up with a filling that isn’t too watery or cloying. I’ve found most apple pie fillings to have too little thickener (flour/starch) resulting in a watery apple soup and soggy bottom crust. I adapted a filling recipe from Annie’s Eats and am now a happy camper. My pie filling is no longer watery and holds up well. It is also yummy!
The Apple Pie
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out crust
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks butter) (~171g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) (~52g) cold vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cold vodka
- 6 tablespoons cold water, plus more if needed
For the filling:
- 5-6 medium/large apples (about 2½ lbs.), peeled, cored and sliced (I like to use a combination of different apples)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water/milk (for egg wash)
To make the pie crust:
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar.
- Using either a pastry cutter or food processor, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until mixture resembles small pea-sized crumbs.
- Add in the vodka, mix.
- Add in the water slowly. You might not need all of it or might need more. Add enough until dough just comes together. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Dough will be slightly sticky.
- Remove from food processor/bowl and knead dough a little. Form 2 balls and press them down to form 1-inch thick round disks. Wrap and chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to 2 days before rolling out.
To make the filling:
- Combine all the ingredients except the egg wash.
To assemble the pie:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Butter a pie tin.
- Remove one pie disc from the refrigerator. Lightly flour the surface and working quickly, roll out the pie dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle. To prevent the dough from sticking, flip it each time you roll it out.
- Line the pie tin with the crust. Fill the pie with the filling.
- Repeat step 3 for the top pie crust. Top the pie with the crust.
- Trim excess dough from the sides and crimp the edges of the pie using a fork or your fingers.
- Don’t throw away the excess dough. You can roll out the excess dough, cut them into strips, brush with egg wash and bake them for 15 minutes. Sometimes I also add a little grated cheese to make cheese straws.
- Cut slits on the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Brush pie with egg wash and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until top of pie is nice and golden brown. If pie is getting too brown, you can cover it with some foil. Most pies take at least 50 minutes to bake. You might want to place a pan underneath the pie in case any juices overflow and drip onto the oven.
- Once pie is baked, remove from oven and let it cool for about an hour before serving.
- Serve warm with ice cream, or on its own.