Homemade apple pie is always a treat and a great winter cooking project. Apples, a storage crop, are abundant right now. Baking warms up the kitchen and filled your home with delicious cozy aromas.
This is our go-to recipe for pie crust. The key is to make the crust ahead of time and let it "rest" in the refrigerator for at least four hours before rolling it out. For the filling, use your favorite market apple, or a mix (we like Gold Rush and Honey Crisp).
A lattice crust is easier than it looks - check out this Fine Cooking step-by-step illustration on how to do it!
Makes one double -crusted pie
For the flaky crust:
1 lb (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2/3 cup very cold water
For apple filling:
6 to 7 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup white sugar, plus more for dusting crust
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold butter
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
For the crust:
Place water in the freezer. Meanwhile combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to break the butter down into small pieces. The finished product should be irregular, with some pieces flat and thin, some larger and chunkier, and some extremely fine. Sprinkle about half of the water onto flour/butter mixture, combine with a fork, and see if the dough starts to come together easily (do not overwork). Add remaining water if needed and form the mixture into a ball. Divide in half and place each half onto a piece of tin foil. Form into a ball and flatten into a disc, wrap in foil and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours (a day is good) before rolling out. You can keep the disc in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
About 1 hour before rolling out the crust, take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up a little on the counter. Put some flour on the counter and on your rolling pin and place disc (with foil removed) on the floured surface. Starting from the center of the disc, roll out the dough, rotating the disc a few times. If it starts to crack, it is too cold, so give it a rest on the counter and let it warm up a little more. You are done when the crust is 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with second crust. Reserve the rolled out crusts in the refrigerator while you assemble the filling.
For the filling and baking the pie:
Pre-heat oven to 375 and place a baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven. Place the cut apples, sugar, maple syrup, salt, and spices in a large bowl and combine. Add the flour and lemon juice and combine. Place one of the rolled out crusts in a nine inch metal pie tin. Add filling, distributing it evenly in the tin, dot top with cubed butter, and top with the second crust (as a lattice or as a single crust; if single crust, don't forget to cut a few vents for steam to escape). Crimp along the edges, brush top crust with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar.
We strongly advise that you let the pie rest in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. This will help the butter firm up and will result in a flakier, prettier pie. However, you must use a metal pie tin, since a glass one might crack when placed in a hot oven. If you only have a glass pie plate, let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes instead.
To bake, place in oven on hot baking sheet for 55 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow to cool for a few hours before serving.
Apple pie is good on its own or with a piece of cheddar, scoop of ice cream, or dollop of whipped cream.