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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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:
I always use whole wheat in my baked goods, but especially love them with fall flavors!