Fall means apples, from cider to sauce, from apple-scented candles to trips to the orchard. We love sipping warm spiced cider to start our day, and nothing beats the smell of a slow cooker simmering with homemade apple sauce – nothing but an apple pie baking in the oven, that is. We make apple pie every year. It’s a certified classic, as the saying “as American as apple pie” can tell you. We’re always looking to improve upon our recipe, but honestly, who has time to test and re-test and test their recipe again? Not us, but the folks at Martha Stewart Living sure do, and they’ve apparently come up with the best apple pie recipe of all time, based on years of research and testing.
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Martha Stewart Living‘s editorial director, Sarah Carey, has apparently been working on the perfect apple pie recipe for years. It might seem like a simple dessert, but there are actually a lot of variables in play that can make or break your pie. Different apples have different levels of sweetness, acid, and moisture, and some stay firm while baking, while others dissolve.
You need to decide how much sugar to use, and what kind, and then there are the spices. We won’t even get into the pie crust – we always aspire to an all-butter crust, but more often than not we resort to store bought.
This recipe answers all of our burning apple pie questions, and then some.
For the apples, you want three pounds, and a mixed variety. They offer two suggestions for the best combo of flavor and texture: Braeburn, Granny Smith, and McIntosh; or Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Macoun.
Our tip for finding the best apples? Skip the grocery store and head to a farmer’s market, farm stand, or orchard, where the apples are always better.
The apples are left to macerate in white granulated sugar, spices, a splash of vinegar and some salt. The liquid from the mixture is then reduced in a saucepan, concentrating the flavor, and stirred back into the apples. This will give you a filling that’s never dry, but also won’t make your crust soggy with excess moisture.
For the crust, they recommend their pate brisee recipe.
Finally, when your pie is assembled in your favorite 9-inch pie dish (we love this OXO pie plate with lid!), it goes in the oven. It will bake at two different temperatures in order to get the perfect crisp, flaky, tender crust, and then is left to cool completely, so when you cut into it, the filling doesn’t ooze out.
The result? Martha Stewart’s ultimate apple pie, bound to be the best thing on your Thanksgiving table this season.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
Watch: Ina Garten’s Spiced Apple Cider Recipe Is the Only Drink You’ll Need This Winter