Now, there are a million dough recipes and even more ways to make the filling. This recipe is, theoretically, from the Joy of Cooking, except that when I went to find it, it wasn’t there. So, in actuality, the dough is courtesy of Courtney Lee, via an index card I keep in the pie section of my (very beaten-up second hand) copy of Joy of Cooking.
So, if you are in a place where apple season is ongoing, go out and pick some apples and make pie! Or just buy apples at the grocery store.
- 3 Cups flour
- 4 Tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 24 Tbs (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up and chilled
- 6 Tbs ice water mixed with 1 Tbs lemon juice
- Extra flour for rolling
- Extra white sugar for sprinkling
- 5-6 Cups apples (1 medium apple is about a cup), peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
To Make the Pie:
Keep in mind that your dough will need to chill at least 45 minutes and up to overnight, so time is needed.
You can do this in a food processor, scroll all the way to the bottom for directions. I prefer to use a pastry blender: it is a lot more elbow grease but the crust is flakier and I like being able to pull it together myself. I know a lot of people that think it is unnecessary and you can get a perfectly good crust out of the food processor, should you choose that way.
Now, for the actual making of the pie:
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Put the chilled cut butter all around and toss gently with the pastry blender (I keep the cut butter in the freezer until I am ready to add it).
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture with the pastry working it until the butter is incorporated into the flour, it wont be quite be at breadcrumbs level but it will sort of be clumpy flour.
- Sprinkle the water mixture over the flour (note, I added the lemon juice and water separately because my iced water was more than the 6 Tablespoons) and work in with the pastry blender. The water should make the dough start to form together. Once it starts to form little dough pieces, take the pastry blender out and either:
- Kneed with your hands directly into the bowl, or
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed
- Turn the dough into two flat, round disks, wrap them in plastic wrap, and move them into the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 450º.
- Combine the sliced apples, brown sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and stir gently.
- Roll out the pie disks on a lightly floured surface until big enough to lay into your pan. Take the slightly larger one and lay it in the pie pan as the bottom.
- Layer the apples into the pie bottom and cover with the top pie crust.
- Fold the bottom edges over the top and pinch together.
- Prick top with a fork or cut in slits. If desired, make hole in middle and cover loosely with a pie dough design. I have done pumpkins and poinsettia flours with success, but you could do anything really.
- Sprinkle the top with the extra sugar to ensure that it browns nicely.
Bake the pie at 450º for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350º and continue baking 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until done. When done, the pie needs to cool completely in order for the filling to set (otherwise the good stuff oozes out and everyone is sad). If you like your pie warm, as I do, zap it or put it into a warm oven just before serving. And, of course, enjoy!!
What are the pie tricks that you swear by?
Directions if you are using a food processor:
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
- Set pieces of the butter all over the dry ingredients and work the processor in on-off motions just until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle the water mixture over the flour and process again in on-off motions until the dough forms large clumps. Do note let it come together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it gently to form two flat, round disks.
- Continue as above.
- Note: You may need to make the dough in two batches depending on the size of your food processor bowl.