Have you always wanted to know how to make an apple pie from scratch? If so, this post is for you! Keep reading and let me teach you how to make The Perfect Apple Pie.
What Makes Up The Perfect Apple Pie?
There are 3 things to know about making an awesome apple pie.
- First, a good pie dough is essential. I know you can buy pie doughs, and there are some good ones out there, but a good homemade dough is really the best. I love to use a partial wheat dough for my pies, the earthy flavor of the whole wheat pairs really well with the apples. It tastes like fall!
- Second- an awesome filling. There are a few method for making this apple filling, I will share mine with you. This is one I have used on so many pies and just love it.
- Third- Pie Art- I know this isn't essential, and rustic pies are beautiful too, but I want to show you how to decorate a pie you will be proud to show of to family and friends.
How To Make A Whole Wheat Pie Dough
I wrote a post all about homemade pie dough last year. It has everything you will need to make light and flaky crust no one can resist. I will explain all details in that post, but let me share a few there.
For my whole wheat flour- I love to use whole wheat pastry flour. If you don't have that, or it isn't accessible, your favorite whole wheat will also work. I love to use a blend of whole wheat and all-purpose as that is what I and my family prefer.
In this particular recipe, I made the crust with a combo of butter and leaf lard, per Kate McDermott in her "Art Of Pie" book. She is a queen. If you have not tried leaf lard before, let me recommend it.
I ordered my from the Lardist as I couldn't find any local at the time I was making it. I was very happy with lard and purchasing.
It is best to keep all ingredients chilled until they hit the hot oven. You need the butter chunks to stay cold and chunky until they are in heat.
Make sure your dough is chilled after mixing and before rolling. You want to do this not only to chill but also to let the dough rest and relax. You can see the steps below.
The Apple Pie Filling From Scratch
Now, let's move on to the filling.
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, using about 5-6 granny smith apples and about 2 of another type.
My method also involves cooking my apples just a bit before baking. It is important not to overdo it here, you don't want the apples to be mushy, but you also don't want them to be crispy either.
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 a few 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 the pie plate you are using, plus an extra inch all the way around for overhang.
Fold the remaining overhang under 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
Decorating Your Pie Crust
Let me teach you a little secret I like to use when forming my top crusts in whatever design I have chosen- form it separately. I mean make it on it's own, apart from the pie.
It might sound like extra work, technically it is, but it is also the best way to do it!
I chose lattice work for this pie. So, I started by cutting strips out of pie dough. My strips were cut at ½ inch width with Omnigrid Rulers. They are so great for getting consistent measurements. I know... anal... :).
Remember it is important to work pretty quick with the pie dough, you don't want the butter to melt. Don't stress about it, but also don't walk away and work on something else.
Now, here comes the fun part. Once your strips are cut. Trace the bottom of the pie pan you are using on a sheet of parchment paper. You need that 9-inch circle. This circle will be your guide.
You will start weaving your latticework here. I am telling you, it is so much easier than trying to do this on top of filling!
Once you have woven it as you like, trim around the pie circle. This doesn't need to be perfect, so don't stress about that.
Carefully slip the parchment on top of a baking sheet turned upside down and move it to the freezer.
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! Here are the next and final steps.
- Brush your bottom crust with melted butter. This will keep it from getting soggy. The fat works as a barrier.
- Pour in your cooled apple pie filling, make sure it is cooled.
- Place your lattice circle on top of the filling. It should be good and frozen at this point. If you need to trim just a touch, do that now with a sharp knife.
- Brush the lattice top with egg wash.
- Place your decorations. You need the egg wash first as they will need something to stick to.
- Now, brush your decorations.
- Then sprinkle everything generously with granulated sugar.
- Move to the oven and let's get baking!
The Perfect Apple Pie
The pie is finished and your hard work has paid off.
More Pie Recipes
- Cherry Slab Pie
- Nectarine Blackberry Pie
- Simple Pie Pops
- Chocolate pecan pie
- Chocolate coconut pie
- Pumpkin praline pie
- Blueberry Hand Pies
- Pumpkin Maple Pie
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
- ½ cup granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling in top
- ½ cup brown sugar I prefer a dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons milk for egg wash
Apple Pie Filling
- In a small bowl, combine the ½ cup brown sugar, ½ 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 ½ 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
- ½ 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.
- ½ 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 ½ 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!