Friday, October 14, 2011

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

For a long time, I thought I didn't like apple pie. Then I married my husband who is a (apple) pie fanatic. So I had to learn to 1. make it 2. love it! And I did. But it took a lot of trials and errors: burnt top crust, soggy bottom crust, mushy apples, too much spices... I just couldn't understand how the expression “as easy as apple pie” came about (according to my husband, it's because it's easy to eat, not make!) and I almost gave up. But then, a miracle happened: I achieved the perfect balance of crispy, flaky crust and soft, flavorful filling.

For the pie crust, I use my shortcrust pastry (“pâte brisée”) recipe but I cut back a little on butter to keep the bottom and top crusts light and thin. You can keep it simple by cutting slits into the top crust, or make a lattice or even use a topper cutter for a real fancy design.

For the filling, I recommend using a combination of tart and sweet apples such as Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith and Pink Lady. This year, I got apples at the fall farmer's market but it's even better (and more fun) if you are able to go apple-picking with family and friends!

One important tip: make sure you let the pie cool almost completely before cutting into it to allow the filling to thicken and settle. You can always reheat each slice in the microwave if you like your apple pie warm (who doesn't?). Oh and why not top it with a scoop of ice cream (vanilla is always a good choice but try something new like pecan, maple or cinnamon ice cream) and/or a drizzle of caramel. Y-U-M-M-Y!

For the double pie crust:
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour = 375 g de farine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar = 1 cuillère à soupe de sucre
  • 1 teaspoon salt = 1 cuillère à café de sel
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ stick) butter, diced = 185 g de beurre, coupés en petits dés
  • ½ cup cold water = 120 ml d'eau froide

For the filling:
  • 6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 8 apples) = 8 pommes, épluchées et coupées en tranches fines
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice = 1 cuillère à soupe de jus de citron
  • ½ cup granulated sugar = 90 g de sucre
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour = 30 g de farine
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar = 50 g de cassonade
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon = ½ cuillère à café de cannelle en poudre
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg = ¼ cuillère à café de noix de muscade râpée ou en poudre
  • Dash ground cloves = une pincée de clou de girofle en poudre
  • 1 tablespoon butter = 15 g de beurre
  • Milk (optional) = Lait (facultatif)

First, make the crust. You get to skip that part if you bought pie crust at the grocery store!
Put the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times. Add water through the chute and continue pulsing until crumbly dough begins to stick together. Stop pulsing as soon as a ball begins to form. Divide dough in half and turn it onto a countertop. Flatten each portion into a round. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for about two hours, or overnight. When ready to use, remove the dough from fridge and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften.

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice. Combine granulated sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add to apples and combine well until apples are coated. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 ball of dough into a circle. Ease pastry into a deep dish pie plate.
Transfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim pastry even with pie plate. For top crust, roll out remaining dough. Cut slits in top crust. Place top crust on the filling. Seal the edge and brush with milk, if desired.

Cover the edges of the pie with foil (or a pie crust shield) and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, turn oven temperature down to 350°F/180°C and bake for another 25-30 minutes. The top should golden brown and the apples tender. Cool completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!


  1. Miam! :) Or a scoop of "creme fraiche" on top but that's just because I'm coming from Normandy! :)

  2. It was a huge success here :)

  3. Thanks, Emmy! Loved what you said about "as easy as apple pie!" :)