Perfect Apple Pie
I wish the weekends were longer. Two days doesn’t seem enough time to do all the fun things I want to do or even enough time to catch up on sleep. Although I did find the time to bake this weekend. These past few weekends I have been on a baking/cooking spree. What can I say? It’s just so much fun.
So I went apple picking nearly two weeks ago and I still have apples left over! I’m running close to the end of my apple haul, but they just take up so much of my already limited counter and storage space. Well, what do you do with a ridiculous quantity of apples? You bake an apple pie—duh!
It was last Sunday, and I woke up around 9 a.m. and decided right then, “I’m going to bake an apple pie.” Lucky for me, Saturday Nina was aware of Sunday Nina’s intentions and prepared a piecrust dough in advance so I didn’t have to spend much time waiting for everything to set. I have limited patience, especially around the start of Sunday football.
I rolled out of bed, tied my hair up (my best Cindy Lou from Whoville look), and started the bake-a-palooza.
I took out my prepared pie dough and struggled a bit with rolling it into that perfect circle shape I always see in photos. How do people roll the dough so perfectly? Please tell me your secrets. I probably should’ve let the dough come to room temp so it would be easier to roll, but again—impatient.
I also want to improve my dessert decorating skills, so this pie was the perfect experiment. I saw a video on Facebook or something of pretty pie designs and for the life of me couldn’t find it again. So I settled with some quick thinking and creativity.
I have a garnishing set I received as a gift years ago and I don’t use it as often as I should. I don’t know what to do with half of the tools and attachments in it. I don’t eat melons enough to need a melon baller. The one tool I do like using is the apple corer. I use it to make stuffed cupcakes. So why not add another skill to my apple corer’s resume and use it for decorating? The serrated ring of the corer made fun star-edged circles out of the extra dough. No dough was wasted.
This dough recipe is deliciously flaky and buttery. It is the perfect matchup of a sweet soft crust to the cinnamon-tinged tart apple pie filling. When you get that perfect bite of crust, sugary caramelized apples with distinct autumn flavors like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and the smooth creamy vanilla ice cream, what you have is a symphony in your mouth. Next thing you know, you look up and your pie slice is gone and you’re already in the kitchen for seconds. Or thirds. I won’t judge.
Plus, can you even say it’s autumn if you didn’t bake an apple pie?
Perfect Apple Pie
Servings: 1 double crust pie; 8 servings
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
6-8 tablespoons cold water
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I recommend Granny Smith for their tartness)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold water
Additional sugar for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to quickly blend. Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is broken down and the pieces are the size of large peas. Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Gather the dough into a large ball, flattening out some of the butter chunks to ensure ultimate flakiness.
Divide the dough into two evenly sized balls and use your hands to form a disc from each, roughly 6 inches in diameter. Lightly dust with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Remove the dough discs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature, 5-10 minutes. This will make them easier to roll out. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough disc to about 1/8-inch thickness. Press it into a 9-inch pie plate, gently pressing on the sides and bottom of the plate. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the dough, leaving about ½ inch of overhang.
Repeat step 4 to prepare the top layer and use any extra dough for decorations.
Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, combine both sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Gently stir and set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and spice mixture and gently toss to coat the apples.
Place the apple mixture in the prepared pie plate. Cover the apple filling with the second dough layer and trim to fit the top of the pie plate. Trim away the excess and fold over the overhang to seal the pie. Cut slits on the top of the pastry to help vent the steam while the pie bakes.*
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the water until foamy. Brush the egg wash onto the top crust using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the top layer with the additional sugar. Cover the pie edges loosely with foil.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Serve slightly warm with a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream and indulge.
*Note: If you are making a lattice pie or a top layer that exposes the filling, you do not need to vent the pastry.