The Perfect Apple Pie

Some of you may be completely pied-out after Thanksgiving, but for others (like me), Thanksgiving may have re-awoken your love for it. For those of you who are luckily the latter, I have the perfect apple pie recipe to share.

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I tested it out this weekend – not only once, but twice. The crust is soft and flakey and maintained its shape to make those picture perfect pie slices you always imagine.

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The apples were soft but crunchy. Slathered in an addicting syrup-like spice and sugar mixture.

And the aroma. Nothing beats the smell of nutmeg and cinnamon bubbling in the oven.

Topped with vanilla ice cream, you can’t get much better. And luckily, if you eat leftover pie in the morning, like me, you can throw a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds and it will taste as though its fresh from the oven.

The entire process takes about 1.5 hours for a 9 inch pie.

Ingredients:

Crust (this will make the top and bottom)

– 2 ½ cups flour

– ½ teaspoon salt

– 1 cup unsalted butter (cold, cut into small pieces)

– ¾ cup ice water

Filling

– 5 extra large apples (I used 3 Honeycrisp and 2 Ambrosia – and then threw in a peach to add a little extra flavour)

– 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

– ¾ cup white sugar

– ¼ cup brown sugar

– ¼ cup flour

– 1 ¼ teaspoon apple pie spice (or, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg)

Glaze

– 1 egg yolk

– 1 Tablespoon milk

Steps:                   

  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Then, squish each cube of butter into the mixture (it will break off in flakes). Gently mix everything together. Sprinkle the water (1/4 cup at a time) over the flour mixture and lightly toss it with a spatula until the dough forms. Gently squish everything into a ball, wrap in saran wrap, and place in the fridge to cool. The flakiest crust is made using cold ingredients (ice, butter, dough).
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  2. Chop and peel the apples (either diced or in thin slices) and boil a pot of hot water. Once the water has reached a boil, pour it into the bowl of apples, and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. This will cook the apples in a controlled setting, so they are already pre-shrunk before you bake the pie. This will prevent your pie filling from shrinking during baking and creating that space between the filling and the top crust. After 10 minutes, drain the apples and place in a large bowl.
  3. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Wrap one half back up and refrigerate. On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the first half of dough. You may need to put some flour on top of the dough to keep it from sticking. Gently roll it into a somewhat-circle shape. It should be about 12-14 inches – or wide enough to layer the bottom of the dish with a 1 inch overhang.
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  4. Placing the dough in the dish: gently fold in half, then place in the dish, unfolding as you position it.
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  5. This is when you would add your pie vent (see below).
  6. Make the filling: coat the apples with the sugar, spice, and everything nice (meaning, the flour and lemon juice). Spoon the filling into the bottom crust.

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  7. Remove the rest of the dough from the fridge, and roll it out until it is large enough to cover the dish with a 1 inch overhang.
  8. Carefully place the crust over the apple filling (see below for tips on using a pie vent) and seal the edges by hand or with a fork. If you are not using a pie vent, cut a few slits in the top crust to act as vents.
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  9. Make the glaze by beating the egg yolk and adding milk, then brush over any exposed dough.
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  10. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then 350F for 40 minutes.
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One of my best tips for a crunchy crust that doesn’t sink down in the middle is to use a pie vent. It’s a ceramic-like tube (or bird) which allows the steam to escape. Place the pie vent in the middle of the dish, sitting on the bottom crust. Then, heap the filling around it.

To place the top crust over the vent, fold it in half and then in half again (so into quarters), then cut a small slit at the top corner where all the dough joins. Unfold the dough, so it is just folded in half, then place it over the pie filling. As you unfold the second half, slide the slit over the pie vent, and then seal the dough against the vent’s edges.
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