In the Kitchen

Childhood Fave: Apple Pie

There’s something about apple pie. Not sure if it’s the crisp and flaky pie crust, or the softly baked cinnamon apples. But one way or another, you can count on this pie to bring back good childhood memories or just warm fuzzies on a cold day. It’s even better when you top it Γ  la mode! So let’s get started!

Pie Crust:

  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour (if you have cake flour on hand, use that but AP flour works just fine)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 4-8 tbsp ice cold water

Method:

  1. Combine flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
    DSC_0218
  2. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives. What the pastry blender does (as seen in pic if you don’t know what it is), is cut the butter up into smaller pieces. Do this by pushing the pastry blender into the butter cubes and turning it 90 degrees. If the butter gets stuck, just simply take it off the blender and keep pushing and turning away.

    We want to cut up the butter into pea sized pieces, but not have them completely mixed and incorporated with the flour because then it would start looking more like shortbread cookies. We want the butter to stay pretty much separate from the flour because when we get to rolling and baking the pie dough, the little nubs of butter will melt and create little air pockets that puff up the dough and give it its layers. You don’t see the puff as much in pie crusts, but you can taste the layers.
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  3. Add in water, one tbsp at a time until dough comes together. The original recipe I used called for 4-6 tbsp, but I found myself needing 8 tbsp to get the dough to come together. Use as much as you need but avoid going overboard.
    4 tbsp water
    4 tbsp water

    8 tbsp water
    8 tbsp water
  4. Split dough in half and saran wrap them as disks and refrigerate for 30 minutes for easier rolling.
    DSC_0240

While the dough is setting in the fridge, you can get started on the pie filling. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4-5 apples, I used 3 but would have preferred 4 to make a larger and fuller looking pie
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Cut up the apples into bite sized cubes. Note for apples, I prefer using granny smith apples because they’re a bit tart to begin with. Β For a guide on which apples to use, click here.
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  2. Throw everything into a pot and let it cook out for a few minutes. Cook until the apples are softened a bit but not mushy, and the sugar and butter is melted.
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  3. Set is aside to cool 10-15 minutes.

Pie Assembly

Here comes the best part! Have an egg handy for the egg wash, as well as some coarse/cane sugar.

  1. Take one of the dough rounds and roll it out, on a lightly floured surface, to fit your pie plate. Here’s a quick trick to make sure you roll the dough to the right size and not too small; Use your rolling pin as a guide. I measured and saw that my pie plate was just a bit shy of the length of my rolling pin so I knew I needed to roll my dough to at least the length of my rolling pin, adding on a few cm to account for the walls of the pie plate.To double check one side isn’t short, rotate your rolling pin, keeping it centered, to make sure all sides are long enough.
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  2. Either take the dough and place it onto the pie plate, or loosely roll it around your rolling pin and unroll it onto your pie plate. I choose the latter method because I’m worried about ripping the pie crust.
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  3. Trim the edges with a butter knife and fill the pie crust with the apple filling. If a lot of water cooked out of your apples, spoon just the apples and a few tbsp of the liquid into the pie.
  4. Roll out your upper pie crust and place it on top. Now here’s where you can get creative. I chose to crimp the edges with my fingers and punch out a heart in the centre of the pie. You can do whatever design you like but make sure you seal the top and bottom pie crusts together, as well as cut some slits into the top pie crust to allow the steam to escape.
    DSC_0269
  5. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash. This is simply one egg, with 1 tsp of water, whisked together with a fork. Then sprinkle the tops with some coarse sugar to give it a great crunch and texture. It almost resembles a McDonalds pie but trust me, this one will be better.
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  6. Bake for 425F for 25 minutes on the bottom oven rack to get a crispy (and not soggy) bottom crust. Then move your pie to the upper middle rack for another 25 minutes. If you see your pie browning too quickly, cover it with tinfoil and let it continue baking.
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  7. Top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go!

Thanks for stopping by and I’d like to wish you a happy holiday baking season!

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