I've never really understood the saying "easy as pie." Does it refer to the making of pie? If it's talking about eating pie. . . that's something I can agree with. For me a warm slice of apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is happiness on a plate.
This pie is packed full of tart apples, warm spices, butter and brown sugar; all that goodness stuffed inside a flaky, buttery, crispy crust. You can choose whichever apple variety you like. I personally prefer the tartness of the Granny Smith apples, but also thoroughly enjoy Honeycrisps and Braeburns.
Confession here: this pie did not turn out quite as beautifully as I would have hoped. I used a new pie dish that is larger than what I typically use. As a result there was not quite enough filling and the pie collapsed a little, I hid this fact by cutting into it almost immediately and serving it to my very happy visitors. This recipe will work perfectly for a 9 inch pie pan, if you use a 10 inch pan you will need about two more apples to make up for the extra space.
Buttery Flaky Pie Crust
(makes enough for top and bottom crust in a 9 inch pan)
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all purpose flour
(you can substitute in up to a cup of whole wheat pastry flour, any more and it is just too dense)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams) unsalted butter, chilled
up to 1/2 cup ice cold water
I have fallen in love with using the food processor, but if you don't have one, a hand pastry blender will work just fine, maybe better. Check out SmittenKitchen for pie crust 101, Deb has a really good handle on it. . .
1. Put flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your food processor, pulse to mix.
2. Cut the butter into cubes and drop the cubes into the flour mixture. Pulse once or twice to break butter up into small bits. Don't pulse too much, because you will also pulse to combine with water and you want to keep some little butter chunks intact for ultimate flakiness.
3. Slowly add about half of the water, pulse, add more water, a couple ounces at a time, pulse. Stop when the mixture starts to come together. Do not use more than 1/2 cup water, you will end up with paste rather than pastry dough. There's no saving it once it is paste, you'll have to start over.
4. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half, squish together into two flattened round disks of dough.
5. wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
about 4 large apples, peeled and sliced (650 grams)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (100 grams)
2 tablespoons flour (15 grams)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (5 grams)
pinch ground clove
pinch ground nutmeg
(you will be tempted to add more spice, please resist this temptation; it is easy to over do it on nutmeg and clove, too much of either makes your pie start to taste like antiseptic)
1. Get out your trusty vegetable peeler and peel those apples.
2. Cut the fruit off of the core, as close as you can so you have as little waste as possible.
3. Slice thinly, about 2mm thick
4. In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar and spices.
5. Add your apple slices to the bowl and mix to coat with flour/sugar/spice mixture
6. Now you should preheat the oven to 375˚F
Assembling your pie
1. Take pastry dough out of the fridge, lightly flour your counter, roll out one of the disks of dough so it's about 2mm thick.
2. Carefully drape the rolled out dough over the rolling pin and use the pin to move the dough to your pie pan. Drape the dough over the pie pan and press into the pan. Using a sharp knife, trip excess dough from around the rim of the pan.
3. Dump filling into the prepared crust. Cut the butter into small chunks and place on top of filling.
4. Roll out your second crust and carefully place on top of the filling and bottom crust.
5. Gently press the edges down and then trim around the edge of the pan again.
6. Using the first finger and thumb of one hand and the first finger of the other hand, gently crimp the edge of the pie dough. (see pictures)
7. Cut a few small vents in the top crust, I always like to cut a shape in the middle such as a heart or a something resembling whatever kind of fruit is in the filling.
8. If you like you can paint the crust with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water) and then sprinkle with sugar. This will make the crust shiny, but it will also brown faster.
9. Put the pie in the oven on the center rack, bake for 1 hour
10. Take the pie out and put it on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before cutting. The filling is pretty liquid when hot and will thicken as it cools.