How to Make the Ultimate Apple Pie

How to Make the Ultimate Apple Pie

Want to know the secrets to baking the perfect apple pie? Our intensive step-by-step guide with tried-and-true tips will show you how — and give you two toppings to end all toppings.


The Crust

1

Spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level off top. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Hold cheese grater over bowl and grate in frozen shortening and butter in 3 additions, tossing the flour mixture with a fork between each.

2

Gently toss with fingers to evenly combine. The pieces of fat should look like dry, large-flake oats. TIP Roughness causes toughness. For the flakiest baked texture use gentle pressure when stirring, handling and rolling pastry and avoid mashing or letting your hands warm it.

3

Drizzle in ice water while stirring with fork until evenly moistened. Don’t mash or overwork it! If necessary, add more water a bit at a time just until dough clumps.

4

Gently gather the ragged dough into a ball with hands, then break in half and form 2 balls (weigh dough or eyeball it).

5

Flatten each into a thick disc (ragged edges are okay). Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate until chilled. Preheat the oven before rolling out the bottom crust.

6

Place 1 disc on a lightly floured surface. Flour rolling pin. Starting at centre of disc for each stroke, with light pressure on rolling pin, roll toward edge, lifting pin as you get to edge to avoid pressing edge too thin. Lift dough and lightly flour underneath occasionally to prevent sticking.

7

Roll out in each direction like the points of a compass to form a neat circle the desired size. Roll up circle around pin, then drape into pie plate, gently lifting dough to fit snugly into sides.

8

Trim edge, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of pastry overhang beyond the inner edge of pie plate. Refrigerate while making the filling.


The Filling

The Best Apples

*A combination of tart and sweet varieties adds depth of flavour to pie filling. Use just one variety if you prefer. Apple texture varies by growing season and upon storing, so you may find they bake up firmer or softer at times. Choose apples that feel heavy for their size to ensure juiciness and good flavour.

*Tart, firm cooking apples that hold their shape include Northern Spy, Cortland, Crispin, Ida Red, Spartan and Granny Smith. McIntosh is a tart apple that softens dramatically when baked. 

*Sweet apples that hold their flavour when baked include Fuji, Ambrosia, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and Honey Crisp.


The Filling

STEP 1

Slice peeled apples thinly. Thin slices of similar size compact better and cook more evenly. Sweet apples soften more so you can cut them a little thicker than firm apples if you’re combining varieties. Combine in a very large bowl with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl.

 

STEP 2

Sprinkle in sugar mixture while gently tossing apples with a spatula to coat apple slices evenly. Avoid breaking up the apples.

 

STEP 3

Pour about one-third of apples into chilled (unbaked) bottom crust. Using your hands, gently arrange and press apples to fit them snugly with as few gaps as possible. Repeat in two more additions. They should be compact and slightly mounded. Set aside while rolling top crust.


Final Assembly

1

Roll out top pastry to desired-size circle, ensuring you have plenty of overhang to seal bottom crust. Brush edge of bottom crust with water.

2

Cut a decorative shape from centre of circle. Roll up circle around pin, then unroll to drape over filled pie, centring it.

3

Trim edge of top crust so it extends about 1/4 inch (5 mm) beyond edge of bottom crust.

4

Fold top crust over edge of bottom crust, pinching the two together to seal and thin the edge out slightly, lifting to make a raised rim. You want a tight seal here.

5

Use the forefinger and thumb on one hand to gently press the raised rim of pastry from the inside toward the outside, while bracing the rim with the other thumb (on the other side of the pastry) to create a fluted edge. Keep the fluted edge angled up and just inside the edge of the plate to reduce spillover during baking.


How to Bake

STEP 1

Brush top crust with cream, leaving the fluted edge bare. Arrange decorative pastry pieces on top, as desired, and brush with cream as well.

 

STEP 2

Cut several vents around top crust. Sprinkle top with sugar and cinnamon, if desired.

 

STEP 3

Bake the pie on lowest rack of oven on preheated baking sheet. Starting at a higher temperature then reducing the temperature creates a flaky crispy crust and allows the filling to cook evenly. Let the pie cool on a rack for at least 4 hours to set (this may be the most difficult step!).


Toppings

Go beyond the classic scoop of ice cream (though we’re not knocking that!) to take your Ultimate Apple Pie to the next level of fabulous!

Lacy Cheddar Crisps

These zesty, salty, lacy crisps will please those who feel their apple pie needs a savoury touch to be complete. Serve with Calvados Boulard Pays D’Auge.

GET THE RECIPE

 Maple Toffee Drizzle

In case your slice of pie isn’t quite decadent enough, add a drizzle of this candy-like, warm maple syrup to put it right over the top. Serve with Murphy’s Law Apple Pie Moonshine.

GET THE RECIPE