I’ve been working on perfecting this apple pie since I was maybe 10 or 11 years old when I started baking pies. I like a LOT of fruit and very little added sweetness. I’m not a big fan of pastry crusts, so I usually make some sort of crumble crust, and the ingredients vary depending on the fruit I use. I used to use an oil pastry, but recently decided to switch to butter. This one was pretty good, but I still think it should be flakier, so I may have to update this post later as I play with the pastry. I hate soggy crust, so I always pre-bake my crusts to a nice golden brown.
I have found that the key to a really really delicious pie is the fruit you put into it. The best types of apples to use are either MacIntoshes (available on the West Coast), or Maccoons (available on the East Coast). If either of these are not available, you can use 4 tart and juicy ones like Granny Smiths or Pippins, and 3 Rome Beauties, which are always very mealy, so they absorb the juice from the tart juicy ones. I have found that this is the very best ratio for the most mind blowing apple pie. NEVER, EVER use Fujis. Fujis will fool you because they are so delicious to snack on, but they do NOT soften when you cook them, regardless of how long you cook them. It’s a disaster, so just don’t even try it.
Good Old Apple Pie
10-inch glass pie pan
1.5 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
3 Tbsp cold water
- Heat oven to 425.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt.
- Cut in butter and mix with a fork or pastry cutter.
- Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing between each.
- Form dough into ball and roll out. (It helps to roll out between two sheets of wax paper.)
- Place dough in pie pan, with pie weights placed on top. If you don’t have pie weights (I’ve never actually used them, but they seem like a good idea), then you can place a layer of foil on top of the crust, and then either dry beans or rice on top of that.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 425.
7 cups apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 7 apples – either all MacIntosh/Maccoon or 4 Pippin/Granny Smith and 3 Rome Beauty)
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 Tbsp salted butter (dotted around the top of the filling, after you place it in the crust)
- Thinly slice apples, and place in large bowl.
- Sprinkle flour, sugar, and spices over apples, and mix to coat apples.
- Arrange apples in crust. It will look like you have WAY too many apples, but they will shrink later so don’t worry.
- Dot butter around the top of your stack of apples.
1/2 cup salted butter, cold
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup flour
- Mix butter and brown sugar with a fork.
- Add flour, and mix with a fork or pastry cutter. Do NOT overmix. Only mix until everything is combined, just long enough to make the mixture crumbly without melting the butter.
- Sprinkle crumb topping over apples. Since the apples will be stacked so high, you will have to place and guide the crumb topping with both hands so it stays on the apples and not your work surface.
- Place pie in oven, with rack on bottom 1/3 of oven. Lay a piece of foil over the top of the pie, and place a cookie sheet or large piece of foil below the pie (the way you know it’s done is when the juices start to boil over).
- Bake 50 minutes and then remove foil from top of pie.
- Bake 10 more minutes, or until the juices start to bubble and boil over.
- Best served warm with vanilla bean ice cream.