The Best Darn Apple Pie in All The Lands
The October Apple Pie Massacre
About 4 years ago on a chilly October night, I came across an amazing recipe in my quest for the "Perfect" Apple Pie. The original recipe is here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandma-oples-apple-pie/. I figured with all of the high reviews and comments that this would be just the ticket I was looking for. So out came my ingredients and I got to work on this bad boy. And my goodness do I thank my lucky stars I did. Folks, this pie is the mother of all pie recipes, it is just awesome in every way. I remember eagerly staring at my husband as he took his first bite and "waiting patiently" for his reaction, though I am sure to him it may have been a tad more creepy than how I recall it. To this day I distinctly remember him slowly closing his eyes, saying "Oh, honey", closing his eyes again and devouring the rest of his allotted slice. When I woke up the following morning and returned to the scene of the crime there was less than half of the pie remaining, with a lifeless fork splayed across the remains, it wasn't pretty. Now my friends, he has eaten plenty of delicious food in his time but I have to honestly tell you that to this very day I have never heard those words spoken again...it is that good, try it. You will not be sorry you did, I promise.
It is just the perfect combination of spice, sweetness, tang, crunch and a buttery flaky crust. I pair this with a doubled version of my homemade flaky pastry crust, instead of using pre-made crust, though you could certainly use pre-made if that is all you have available. I have made some small adaptions of my own over the years and have reflected those changes in this recipe and method. I am ALWAYS asked to make this pie or to give out the recipe, so be prepared to share the goods!
- 4-6 Honey Crisp Apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, not imitation
- 1 teaspoon plus extra for shaking Cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons All purpose Flour
- pinch of Salt
- See pictures below for a step by step reference. Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
- While your oven is warming up. Peel, core and slice your apples thin (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in width), set aside.
- Take the dough you divided into two sections (directions below) and roll out one section into a circle and about a 1/4 inch in thickness. It needs to be large enough to cover your pie pan and come up the sides to the top of the dish. However if you are using store bought dough, it should be thin and large enough to just be placed in the pan, but roll if necessary. At this point you should take half of your apples and fill the pan. Stop.
- Move on to making the caramel sauce. You want to do this now so that it doesn't burn or cool down too much.
- Melt 1 stick of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. But watch carefully as it will burn quickly. Once the butter has melted add the 6 Tablespoons of flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Whisk until a loose roux has formed. I have on several occasions needed a bit of extra flour as well as less, so adjust the quantity if needed to achieve desired consistency. Cook for 1 minute. Then stir in the brown and granulated sugar. After you add the sugars, add 1/4 cup of water and stir until very smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook until you have a silky caramel sauce. About 5-10 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat after it is cooked so that you do not burn the sauce. And be mindful...hot sugar is crazy HOT!!!!
- Carefully pour about 1/4 of the caramel sauce over the half of apples in the prepared pie pan. Shake a bit of cinnamon over the apple and caramel mixture. Fill with remaining apples, shake more cinnamon over the new layer of apples.
- Roll out your second section of dough to 1/4 inch in thickness. Slice into thin strips, 1/4-1/2 inch in width. And then place on top of your pie to create a lattice top. If you are unfamiliar with making a lattice top I linked a great youtube tutorial on this page to help. Maybe I will make a tutorial in the near future and post it on the blog for future reference.
- Once your lattice top is assembled, you want to crimp the sides of the pie so that if looks uniform and creates a seal along the edges. It will also look really pretty too.
- After the pie is TOTALLY assembled, take the remaining caramel sauce and carefully pour it over the lattice top. Making sure you cover just about the entire top, excluding the edges. Careful not to get much on the edges because it can weigh them down while in the oven and you will end up with a goopy mess (true story kids).
- Take a few strips of foil and carefully cover just the edges with foil. This is to prevent the edges from burning too quickly while the rest of the pie cooks.
- Place on a large cookie sheet and pop in the over for 25 minutes at 385 degrees. After 25 minutes, remove foil edge covers, lower temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes until golden brown all over.
* My preference is Honey Crisp Apples. I have tried MANY kinds before and I think that these give the right result. They are sweet and tangy and bake well in this pie. However, another kind can be used if these are not available. I think my second choice would be Pink Lady Apples, then Gala, then Macintosh mixed with some Granny Smith or Delicious apples for tang. But definitely use what you like!
* If this order doesn't work for you, feel free to make appropriate changes. This is just the order I personally feel runs the smoothest.
* There are a few reasons why I place the pie pan on a cookie sheet to bake. 1) It prevents the bottom of the pie from burning, 2) it catches any caramel drippings, so that it doesn't burn the floor of your oven and 3) because it is easier to pull out of the oven, so that you don't smush your beautiful sides while impatiently yanking it out of the hot oven.
You Tube Tutorial for Lattice Top https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4809RKhzg
Flaky Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, cold and in small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3-4 Tablespoons of ice water
In a stand mixer or a bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Slowly add one to two pieces of butter at a time. You want to add the next few pieces of butter after the previous ones have been incorporated. By the end of your total addition of butter, your mixture should look like course crumbs, with some pieces the size of peas. Slowly add one Tablespoon of ice water until dough forms a ball. Remove from bowl and knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured surface. Divide into two even sections, as they will make the top and bottom of the crust.
If not using immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer or refrigerator.
* It is important to keep the butter super cold and to keep the dough cold if you will not be using it right away.
© 2014 Samantha Cole