Introduction: Perfect Apple Pie Made Simple!
Finalist in the
Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest
Some people think making a pie seems intimidating. I don't even know where the phrase "easy as pie" came from because pie can be some what daunting. (Unless you're dumping something out of a can into a premade crust... maybe that's what that phrase has in mind... hmmmmm)
In any case, I've got your hook up on how to make a delicious, amazing pie from scratch! I usually make these in the fall, after my yearly family trip to the Ohio Apple Barn! Nothing better than delicious, ripe locally picked apples!
So come on, let's do this!
Step 1: What You Need to Get Started:
Here's what you're going to need!
Apples (I only used four apples for this pie)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
You'll want a large mixing bowl, a pie tin, a peeler, a apple cutter or a knife, and a pizza cutter will be a great tool later... and you'll need a pie crust. You can make your own or buy a pre-made crust. I will provide more information on crust later! I believe I used Johnathan apples for this pie. Truth be told, I've used all kinds of apples for pies and never been unhappy with the results!
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees!!!!
While I'm thinking about it, you may want an egg to do an egg wash on top of the pie at the end.
Step 2: Preparing the Apples
Peel your apples! I used 4 apples for this pie. After I peel them I core and slice them. I stash them in a bowl of cool water mixed with a few squirts of lemon juice. This keeps them from turning brown. I didn't like how thick the slices were from the cutter, so I split them in half one more time. Some people like them thicker and some people like to dice them. It's up to you!
Once they're all cut, I drain them, toss them in a bit more lemon juice and then start adding ingredients!
Add your sugar, brown sugar and flour.
Now get to mixing! Don't bother getting a spoon out. Your hands are your best tool here. Get in there and get messy. And please, wash your hands first.
They should look gooey and delicious when you're done mixing. Now toss your diced butter in there and set it aside for a moment. Feel free to stash the bowl in the fridge.
Step 3: Preparing the Crust
Personally, I made crust using this recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_pie_crust/
Actually, I cut that recipe in HALF and still had leftovers. These people must make monster pies. You can use a store bought roll out crust or I suppose even a crust that comes in a pie tin. (If you don't like things that taste awesome.)
If you opt for the in-tin crust you can skip to the next step.
Roll out a section of pie crust for your tin. I like a thin crust. Make sure your roll it out larger than your tin. Lay it over your tin, push it in with your fingers and trim the excess, using the tin's outter edge as a guide. Don't worry if it's a little rough or hanging over the edge, you'll be cleaning it up later. We're making a lattice pie. Don't worry, it's not that hard!
Step 4: Filling the Crust
Go ahead and dump in your pie filling. Don't leave goo in the bowl. That goo is magical, wondrous stuff. You want that stuff in the pie!
Try to fill it in as evenly as possible.
Step 5: Creating the Lattice Top
Lattice seems intimidating, but it's seriously not. Roll out another sheet of crust. Try to get it long and rectangular if you can. Now cut it into strips about an inch long. Lay strips across the pie going one direction. You'll want to peel back every other strip, place one running the opposite direction across the remaining strips and then replace the strips. Repeat this across the pie. See the photos! It's easier than it sounds.
Once you get them all on there, you'll want to crimp all the edges. Just sort of roll the edges in and pinch them together against the pie pan. I take a fork and sort of press it into the crust all the way around to give it a more uniform look.
Now, as an option, you can brush an egg white over top of your pie and then sprinkle some sugar on it. Just a little. The egg white will help keep the crust from burning and the sugar will just taste freaking awesome.
Step 6: Baking
Now, listen carefully, you're going to need to change the baking temp part way through this process. You pre-heated to 400, right?
Good. Pop that pie in your oven and wait for 15-20 minutes. After this time, you'll see that your crust is just barely starting to brown. Now, go ahead and turn the oven down to 350. Bake for another 35-45 minutes. You want to see golden brown crust and bubbling goo. If the crust begins to get too dark, drape a piece of aluminum foil over the top. (Drape! Don't secure it to the pan. You want steam to release!
Once it's done, carefully remove it from the oven. Let's face it, if you have a window sill available, you should totally plop the pie on the window sill. (On top of a hot pad maybe) Look how good that pie looks in my urban window sill lol. See that little drip of filling on the left side? Oh... gosh it looks so tasty. Also, I spent the next hour flailing my arms and yelling to keep my dog and cat away from this pie, so a cooling rack works just as well. For the record.
After it cools, dig in!! This pie goes so well with caramel and vanilla ice cream. It's a delicious treat any time of year. Summer, fall, winter... heck, I might even start making them in the spring... because this is making me hungry!
Step 7: Final Notes
Whenever I teach someone how to make this pie, I am always asked what apples work best. I know I said all apples are great, but here are the apples most commonly called upon as the best pie apples:
(Please note, these are in no particular order, I pulled these from a few websites)
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