While I am not sure I could EVER choose a favorite pie, The Perfect Apple Pie is certainly makes the top 10. It a classic apple pie, and it is delicious. If you have been scared to try making an apple pie from scratch, don’t be! It is a little time consuming, but totally doable! You have got this!
How to Make Whole Wheat Pie Dough
One of the most intimidating things about baking a pie, is making the pie dough. I know you could buy the crust, but in a few steps you can also easily make your own! I wrote up a whole post on it here. Hopefully the post will help, but I will give you a brief explanation here.
Per a recommendation from Kate McDermott on her “Art of Pie” book I made a dough with both butter and leaf lard this time. Can I just say, after years of making all butter crusts, I am sold on the leaf lard. It worked perfectly and created an amazing crust! I bought mine from the Lardist, and loved the quality! Start with your blend of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. You can use 100% wheat, but I made the blend as I was doing some decorations on the crust and they don’t hold their shape as well with the 100% whole wheat dough. So, blend your chilled fat and dry ingredients together. I used a pastry blender for this process.
Then gently blend in your ice water.
Divine the dough in half for chilling. I divided it with more for the top than the bottom. The top was getting lattice work and decorations, so it needed more dough. Chill for at least 2 hours.
The Apple Pie Filling From Scratch
You can always buy the pie filling, but it is also a pretty simple to make on your own. Now, just a note, I like to cook my filling and thicken it a bit before using it. I know not everyone agrees with this. but I like the texture of the apples so much better after cooking then baking. Plus, if you want to have things ready in advance, this apple pie filling can hold in the fridge for 3-5 days! When you are ready, pull it out, fill and bake.
There are some pretty heated debates about which the best apples are for pies. Entire blog posts have been used to give options. I stick generally stick with what has always worked for me, granny smith apples. This time I threw in a honeycrisp just to try it out. Let me tell you, that was not a good choice. The honeycrisp did not hold up well, so don’t believe those recipes. I love 100% granny smith in mine. Start by peeling, coring, and cutting them to size.
In a saucepan add your apples, butter and a little water. Bring to a boil. Remember we are not cooking them completely, we want that to happen in the baking process.
Then add in a mix of brown sugar, white sugar, salt, and cornstarch.
Mix carefully with a rubber spatula, you don’t want to break up the apples. Cook another 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Turn it off and cool to room temp.
Rolling The Pie Dough
Now, let’s get rolling! Start with your bottom crust. Roll it to the size of your pie plate you are using, plus an extra inch all the way around for overhang.
Fold the remaining overhang under on the pie dough. The crimp the edges as desired. I use the index finger on my left hand and my thumb and index finger on my right hand to do this
The Latticework On The Top Crust
If you have always wanted to know how to make latticework on a pie, let me show you how. start by rolling your pie dough pretty thin. Make sure your surface is well floured, and the top as well. Lifting as needed to re-flour the surface. Latticework on pies can cause a bit of a build-up of dough, so make sure it is thin, to begin with, then you will have just the right amount of dough, to begin with. My strips were cut at 1/2 inch width with Omnigrid Rulers. They are so great for getting consistent measurements. I know… anal… :).
I prefer to make my latticework separate from the pie, it is so much easier this way! With a circle traced on a parchment sheet the size of your pie plate, start your latticework. Lay down all your strips in one direction. If you want your strips to be further apart, space them further than I did. Lay them on the diagonal.
Now start weaving in the other direction, lifting every other strip to place the strip as shown on the right hand side.
Trim the latticework all the way around your circle. Place on the back of a baking sheet and move to the freezer to chill while you are working on the rest of the pie.
If you are adding leaves and decorations like I did, cut them now. These are the Cookie Cutters I used. Place on a parchment lined plate or cookie sheet and move to the fridge.
Putting Together The Perfect Apple Pie
Now, everything is ready to go, let’s assemble! Pour your cooled apple pie filling into the prepared bottom.
Place your prepared latticework circle on top, and brush with egg wash.
Place your cut out leaves or whatever decoration you are using on the top. Brush them with egg wash as well.
Sprinkle the top generously with granulated sugar. This step isn’t necessary, but I like the crispy sugary crust! Place it in the oven and bake until it is a perfect golden brown!
The Perfect Apple Pie
That is it. The perfect apple pie is finished. It is beautiful, flaky, and a classic iconic dessert!
If you are as obsessed about pie as I am, you may want to check out these other options as well:
- Cherry Slab Pie. This one is great for serving a crowd.
- Simple Pie Pops. I love these for a smaller, individual-sized pie.
- Chocolate pecan pie. The hubby’s favorite!
- Maybe you are looking for a no-bake pie? What about this chocolate coconut pie? It’s a favorite in our house!
- Maybe you want a little twist on a classic pumpkin pie? How about a pumpkin praline pie?
I always use whole wheat in my baked goods, but especially love them with fall flavors!
The Perfect Apple Pie
- sauce pan, 9-inch pie pan
- 1 recipe pie dough chilled and ready to go
- 8-10 granny smith apples
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling in top
- 1/2 cup brown sugar I prefer a dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons milk for egg wash
Apple Pie Filling
- In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch. Set aside. Place apples, water, and butter into heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, but being careful not to break up the apples. Now, add in the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well. Continue to cook, stirring constantly for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp. Once it is cool, let's start on the pie crusts. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Roll the bottom crust. Make sure the circle you roll is large enough to fit the pie pan with an inch all the way around of overhang. Press gently into the pie pan. Trim the edges as needed, or tuck them under like I prefer. Now, crimp your edges. Place the bottom in the fridge, letting it chill while you are prepping the rest of the pie. Now, decide how you want the top of the pie done. If you want to do latticework like I did, follow the instructions in the post. If you are doing the latticework, place the finished top in the freezer while you keep working on the rest of the pie. If you are just doing a regular crust, add it directly on top and crimp closed. If you are using cut out decorations, cut them out now.Mix your egg and 2 tablespoons of milk together in a small bowl and mix well. This is the egg wash. Brush the entire top with the egg wash. This isn't essential, but makes the prettiest golden crust!Sprinkle with a tablespoon of granulate sugar. Again, not necessary, but really good! Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking another 30-45 minutes. I check with the color of the crust. You want a golden brown. A good way to check is by inserting a skewer into the apples. You want them to be tender, but still hold their shape. It will keep cooking once the pie is removed, so you don't want them too soft when you remove them from the oven. That is it. Your perfect apple pie is done! You can serve it immediately, or you can wait until it cools slightly. Chilling it overnight is also a good option. If I am being totally honest, I love apple pie for breakfast! We love to serve our pie with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It is good wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
The Best Partial Wheat Pie Dough
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour You can also easily use 100% whole wheat, no all-purpose if you prefer
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons butter, cut in 1 inch pieces Butter should be chilled. After you cut it into chunks and are waiting to add it in, I like to pue it in the freezer to keep it really cold.
- 1/2 cup ice water- plus 1-3 tablespoons as needed.
- Add salt and flours to medium-sixed bowl. Mix to combine. Next add in chilled butter. Blend in with your hands or pastry cutter. If you are using a food processor, I like to pulse it about 10 times. You will want the butter to look like cracker crumbs. Now, it is time for the water. Add in 1/2 cup, and mix. If you are using a food processor, pulse about 10 times again. Pinch the dough between your thumb and index finger. If it stays together and holds well, it is good to go. If it is still crumbly, add in another tablespoon or 2. Repeat the process and check again. Once it is ready to go, turn out onto a surface and knead quickly until it holds together. Divide dough in half and form into 2 disks. Wrap each one seperatly with saran wrap and place in the fridge. It is best chilled at least 2 hours. The dough can be held in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or, if you prefer, you can make it ahead and store it in the freezer, wrapped well, for up to once month. Just place in the fridge overnight before using. Now, it is ready to go! choose your favorite recipe and get to it!