My Mom Didn’t Make Apple Pie


Up until yesterday, I pretty much didn’t either.  I’ve tried.  And failed miserably.  But, the planets aligned, I had a couple of new recipes to try.  And it worked!  Beautifully.  Now, this pie may not LOOK flawless, but let me tell you!  The taste and texture are perfect.   Just look at that flaky crust!


I’m going to include the recipes I used, but I have to say that the technique is the most important part of the whole thing – especially for the crust.  It was the second time I have used this crust technique.  The first time resulted in a dough that was extremely difficult to handle.  Tasted great…but the effort wasn’t worth the outcome.  So, I tweaked it, kept the same basic technique, and boy am I happy with the result.  I didn’t take pictures during the pie crust mixing.  I wish I had.  You’ll just have to use your imagination.  I got the basic recipe somewhere on the internet (can’t recall where) but it was so far from where I wanted to be that it doesn’t really matter anyway.  Here’s where I ended up:


All-Purpose Flour – 333 grams
Crisco – 88 grams
Butter – 88 grams
1 tsp salt
1/3 Cup Ice Water, plus maybe a little more…just depends on the flour and weather

Pull out about 1/3 of the flour and set it aside.  Place the fats, 2/3 of the flour and the salt in a food processor and whirl it around until you’ve got a paste that makes a ball.  You really want this mixed well.  I know…I know.  This flies in the face of every piecrust making guru out there.  But, trust me.  It works.  Now…take the 1/3 remaining flour, dump that on top of the paste.  Pulse…don’t whirl…for four or five pulses…until the mixture is broken up and in chunks approximately pea-size and smaller.  It’s not rocket science.  You’re just trying to get the dry flour to break up the glob of paste.  Dump the chunky mixture out on a big sheet of parchment paper, aluminum foil or the like.  I guess this could be done in a large bowl, but paper on the countertop always works best for me.  Sprinkle all but a couple of tablespoons of the water over the top.  Start bringing the mixture together, molding it softly with your hands.  You may need to sprinkle in a little (or a lot) more water.  Just go slowly.  Once you get a cohesive blend, you’ve gone far enough.  Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours.

When the crust dough is sufficiently chilled, mix up the pie ingredients:

Peel and slice THINLY – enough Granny Smith Apples to measure 6 cups

Sprinkle with approximately 1 TBS lemon juice.

Toss the apples and lemon juice so that the apples are well coated.  This helps prevent ugly oxidation of the apples and adds a bright taste.

In another bowl mix together:

3/4 Cup brown sugar
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Have ready 2 TBS Butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Divide the dough into two portions.  Roll out into a rough circle and line a glass pie pan with one of the dough circles.  Mix the apples and the sugar mixture together and pile it in the pie pan, mounding gently in the center.  Break the butter into small chunks and dot it all over the top of the apples.  Use more if you wish.  The more the merrier!  Top the apples with the second dough circle and use your favorite crimping method to finish the edge.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned.    You’ll have the best apple pie you ever tasted.  Promise!

Just a note or two…I pretty much gave up measuring by volume years ago.  For accuracy and repeatability, there’s no other way to go than measuring in grams.  Kitchen scales are really affordable and make a huge difference in the outcome, once you convert.  The biggest secret to the flaky pie crust, I believe, is the technique.  So, if you don’t have a scale and don’t want to get one, just use your favorite crust recipe and mix it according the the directions here.  It’s revolutionary.  And makes a world of difference.

I feel that I have never cut my apples thin enough in the past.  These were sliced between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick, leaning toward thinner rather than thicker.  I haven’t run into a too-crispy apple yet.  And, speaking of apples, I’m convinced Granny Smith is the only way to go for apple pie.  So tart, firm and tasty, they’re inexpensive and available everywhere.  What’s not to love?

Try this pie.  I’ll bet you’ll love it, too!


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