With everything you could ever want in an apple pie—Buttery, flaky crust, tart and juicy apples, and sweet, warm holiday spice—this pie is simply perfect.
You'd think my kids would be in sugar heaven every day, with all the sweet goodies that come out of our kitchen on a daily basis. The truth is, they will actually eat only a very few things I bake. I know! They're crazy. I'm blaming it on their ages (4 and 6), because I know that little-little kids are notoriously picky.
But I'm already starting to see the older one start to open his mind to new flavor possibilities. This pie is his favorite dessert. On the day it came out of our oven, he ate three thick slices of it in one sitting.
I can't blame the kid for loving it. The apples are just barely soft, but still have a little bite to them. They're a little tart yet slightly sweet, and the spice is just enough to give that unmistakably fall flavor, without masking the natural appleyness of it all. It's uber-appley. It's stuffed to maximum capacity with apples. It towers. You might even wonder how you will fit all these apples in …
It all starts with my Simply Perfect Pie crust. It's pretty much foolproof. Between the fats, the thinly sliced butter, and the folding and chilling process, it yields the tenderest, butteriest, flakiest result every time.
I am very picky about pie crust, and, IMHO, if it's not flaky, it's a fail. Simply Perfect Piecrust is so flaky you could almost mistake it for puff pastry.
Once you've got your pie crust in the plate, pop it in the fridge to chill while you whip up the apple pie filling. I like to use Granny Smith apples: They have a nice, firm texture that holds up well for long bake times, and the flavor is pleasingly tart. I peel them, quarter them, and cut out the core like this:
Then I slice them about a quarter inch thick and throw them into the bowl. You're going to want to use your biggest bowl for this pie filling, because it takes 12 apples to make this pie.
After you're done peeling, coring, and slicing, sprinkle the apples with some sugar, spices, and a little flour. The flour will thicken the juices that the apples give off during baking. Nobody wants a watery pie, right?
Toss it together so that every slice gets coated with sugar and spicy goodness, then transfer them to that nice, cold pie shell. Use your hands to settle the apples in. They'll stack on one another in layers, and fit together like a puzzle.
If there are a lot of empty spaces between your apple slices, then you might not be able to fit them all in. Work carefully to pile it all in an even mound; then, dot with butter and then put the whole thing in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.
The top crust forms a blanket over the mountain of juicy apples. Trim off any excess (you'll want about an inch of overhang), then roll the bottom and top crusts under and crimp the edge. It looks pretty, and it helps keep the juices in.
Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to make vents in the top so the steam can escape, brush with egg wash for shine and golden color, and chill again. You want the crust nice and cold when it hits the hot oven, so that the butter creates steam and puffs up those flaky layers.
The pie will bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It seems like a long time, but this pie is a monster. Remember, 12 apples! This baby's got thermal mass.
PS: Your whole house is going to smell amazing. My hubby could smell it from the driveway when he came home from work.
Please visit Baking a Moment to view the recipe.
It's basic, but it's "good old-fashioned." And nothing says love like a homemade pie.
You can make the crust ahead, and freeze it, then fill and bake it the morning of. It rewarms nicely in the oven.
If you don't end up baking it ahead, just make sure to give it lots of time to cool before you slice into it. That way, the juices get a chance to thicken up and the pie will hold its shape when you cut into it.
Your family's going to insist you bring this to every holiday feast from here on out.
It's everything anyone could ever want from an apple pie: Flaky, buttery crust, tart, juicy apples, and a hint of warm holiday spice. With whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's iconic. Add a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, and it's epic!
PS: If you're looking to stock your recipe box with some really stellar basic recipes, you came to the right place. I've been baking for (ahem) 20-some odd years (cough, cough), so I've played with lots of recipes.
Check out these other recipes from my "Simply Perfect" series (just click the pic to view the recipe):
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