There’s nothing quite as comforting and nostalgic as the aroma of a freshly baked classic apple pie wafting through the kitchen. A staple dessert loved by many, mastering the art of creating a delectable apple pie from scratch is a skill that’s worth cultivating. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explore the process of making a classic apple pie that delights both the palate and the soul. So, preheat your ovens, dust off your rolling pins, and let’s get baking!
Gather Your Ingredients
To begin your apple pie journey, gather all the essential ingredients. You’ll need
For the crust
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ to ½ cup ice-cold water
For the filling
- 6-7 medium-sized apples (a mix of sweet and tart varieties like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Prepare the Pie Crust
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt for the crust. Add the chilled and cubed butter. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into two portions, shape each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Make the Apple Filling
Peel, core, and slice the apples evenly. In a separate bowl, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt. Toss the sliced apples in this mixture, ensuring they are evenly coated. Let the filling sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Roll Out the Pie Crust
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the chilled pie crust disks to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Gently transfer the rolled-out crust to the pan, pressing it down into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough hanging over the edges.
Assemble the Pie
Fill the prepared crust with the apple filling, making sure to arrange the apples in an even layer. For an extra indulgent touch, you can add small cubes of butter on top of the filling. Roll out the second pie crust disk and cover the apples. You can either make a full crust, or use cookie cutters to create decorative cut-outs for a lattice design. Press the edges of the crusts together, crimping them to seal the pie.
Bake to Perfection
Place the assembled pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and prevent a messy oven. Brush the top crust with a beaten egg or milk for a golden, glossy finish. Cut a few slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking. Bake the pie for about 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
Let it Cool and Serve
Once baked, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving. This resting time allows the filling to set properly. Serve the classic apple pie warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream for the ultimate indulgence.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Should I cook apples before making pie?
Pre Cooking the apples gets you one step ahead of that process; it releases the fruit’s liquid, causing them to cook down and lose volume before baking. So it discourages the gap between the top of the apple filling and the top crust, leaving you with a pie that has a thick layer of apples from bottom to top.
Should I pre bake my apple pie crust?
There are a number of reasons your pie can end up with a soft, pale, underbaked crust — and steps you can take to help prevent that unfortunate result. But the one surefire way to make absolutely certain your pie’s crust will be golden brown, crisp, and delicious — just as appealing as its filling — is to prebake it.
Baking a classic apple pie from scratch is an incredibly rewarding experience that results in a delightful treat that’s cherished by all. The combination of flaky crust and flavorful apple filling creates a dessert that captures the essence of comfort and tradition. So, the next time you want to impress your friends and family, remember this step-by-step guide and venture into the world of homemade apple pie baking. Happy baking!