What’s a holiday celebration without a great dessert? Whenever we have family gatherings someone inevitably asks me to bring a homemade apple pie. I have to admit I do make a mean apple pie–it’s my most requested dessert recipe. So with Christmas only two weeks away (can you believe it?), I thought I’d share my apple pie recipe for folks who are looking for a really special holiday dessert.
There are Three Secrets to Making a Great Apple Pie:
- To make a balanced pie filling–one that’s not too sweet, too sour, too mushy, or too firm–use a variety of apples.
- To make a flaky pie crust avoid over-handling the dough.
- To make a super easy top crust, use crumb a topping.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons ice water (avoid adding additional water)
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter until the shortening pieces resemble small peas. Add ice water and stir to combine (use your hands if you prefer). Do not over mix, over work, or over stretch the dough when fitting it into the pan or it will shrink during baking and become tough. Form the dough into a ball and roll it between two sheets of waxed paper (this keeps your counters and roller clean and no additional flour is necessary). Fold the dough into quarters. Place on top of the baking dish; unfold. Turn raw edges under. Crimp edges between your thumb and fore fingers or use a fork. Bake the crust, unfilled, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until it is lightly browned. (This pre-baking step keeps the bottom crust from becoming soggy.) Cool slightly before filling.
- 8 apples peeled, cored, and sliced (2 Granny Smith, 2 Golden Delicious, 2 Braeburn, 2 Jonagold)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate several hours (or overnight). Using a slotted spoon (you only need a small amount of juice), spoon into prepared pie crust.
French Apple Pie Crumb Topping:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
Mix all ingredients into pea-sized crumbs. Sprinkle over top of pie. Make at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (or until the apples are soft and the crust and pie crumbs are golden brown.