Classic apple pie

237

PREP TIME

25 min

TOTAL TIME

1 h 30 min

Serves

8 to 10

* PLUS 2 hr chilling time
Classic apple pie

(Photo: Erik Putz; Food styling by Ashley Denton; Prop styling by Christine Hanlon)

Put that abundant fall apple harvest to use with this tasty classic.


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold lard , cubed
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter , cubed
  • 6 to 8 tbsp ice water

Filling

  • 6 cups Golden Delicious apples , peeled and cut into scant 1/2-in. slices (about 6 apples)
  • 4 cups Granny Smith apples , peeled and cut into scant 1/2-in. slices (about 3 apples)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Egg wash

  • 1 egg , mixed with 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp coarse sugar , (optional)

Instructions

  • DOUGH: Whirl flour, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until combined. Add lard and pulse 12 times until fine. Add 1/2 cup butter and pulse 7 or 8 times until pea-size. While pulsing, add ice water through the feed tube until dough just comes together. Divide dough in half and quickly press into balls. Wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten into discs. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hr.
  • POSITION rack in lowest level of oven. Place a baking sheet on rack. Preheat to 425F.
  • ROLL 1 dough portion into a 12-in. circle on a lightly floured surface. Press onto a 9-in. pie plate, then refrigerate. Roll remaining dough portion into a 13-in. circle. Place on a large plate and refrigerate.
  • FILLING: Toss apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. Melt 2 tbsp butter in an extra-large frying pan over medium. Add apples and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, 7 to 9 min. Transfer to a baking sheet and set on a rack, turning occasionally, until cooled, 25 min. Stir 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Sprinkle over apples and toss to combine. Pour apples and any juices into chilled pie shell, spreading evenly.
  • PLACE remaining dough over apples, pressing edges of dough together. Trim edges with scissors, if needed, leaving 1/2-in. overhang. Fold top edge under bottom edge, then crimp together using index finger and thumb. Cut 3 to 5 steam vents on top. Brush with egg wash without touching the edges. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • PLACE pie on hot baking sheet and bake for 20 min. Reduce heat to 375F, then rotate pie. Continue baking until crust is deep golden brown and a paring knife can be easily inserted into apples, 20 to 25 min. Cover with foil if browning too quickly. Cool on rack for at least 2 hr.

 

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Four essential factors for the best apple pie

Apple pie should have a tender and flaky golden brown crust, a filling with good structure and just the right amount of sweetness. Here’s what to look for.

  1. The crust Your crust should be flaky, golden and cooked all the way through. Our dough combines lard for flakiness and butter for flavour. Baking the pie on a preheated baking sheet at the oven’s lowest level ensures the bottom crust cooks through. Starting the pie at 425F for the first 20 minutes achieves a perfectly browned crust, and finishing off at 375F guarantees tender apples.
  2. The apples The right apples equal the right flavour. (Several types of apples bake up nicely in a pie, so this is truly a matter of preference.) Our favourites? Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. The former provide sweetness, but on their own, they break down and become mush. The latter are crisp and tart but maintain their shape when baked.
  3. The essential extra step You want to avoid a gap forming between the domed top crust and the apple filling. This can be prevented by partially cooking the apples first. While it may seem counterintuitive, sautéing makes the pectin in the apples more heat stable helping them keep their shape in the oven.
  4. The cool-down To prevent a runny mess, resist the temptation to cut into a still-warm pie. Letting it cool completely (all day or overnight at room temperature) will allow the filling to firm up, so when you cut it, the pie wedges will hold their shape. To serve the pie warm, reheat individual slices briefly in the microwave.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 368,
  • Protein
  • 3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 50 g,
  • Fat
  • 18 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2 g,
  • Sodium
  • 260 mg.

Want a little help with your pie pastry? Here are tips for making the perfect pie crust, plus everything you need to know to troubleshoot when something doesn’t turn out quite as expected.

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