I’ve been spending months perfecting a pie crust and apple pie recipe for you people. Well, and my family, but that’s beside the point. I discovered the most incredible tip from a bakery in Seattle: pre-roasting apples. It’s like someone reinvented the culinary game. How was this never a thing?! And if it was, how did I not hear about it?! The process of pre-roasting apples packs in their flavor and most importantly, their juice. Doing this step ensures you don’t have a soupy apple pie for your family on Thanksgiving. Everyone would still love you, but let’s be clear: they’re probably gonna remember the screw up. I’m sorry! It’s just that the anticipation of pie after the Thanksgiving meal is huge! You don’t want to be the one who ruins it for people.
Lucky for you I was crazy enough to spend the month of August cranking my air conditioning and testing apple pies. It’s nothing fancy. It’s exactly what you want in an apple pie. A little spice, a lot of apples, and a flaky crust. I’m telling you… people will think you’re the best baker in the world after you make it for Thanksgiving. The pie takes a little longer than most of my recipes, but it’s worth it. Most of it is inactive baking time, so you can totally handle it.
You can even bake the pie Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. It will keep perfectly if you just set it out on your counter, uncovered. Start-to-finish, this took me about 3.5 hours, but that was mostly baking time. So, you could totally make it the day of Thanksgiving as well. You can also make the pie crust a day or two in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, or if you need to do it earlier, you can make the pie crust and freeze it weeks in advance. Just transfer the dough to the fridge and let it defrost overnight. Another time saver: you can make the apple filling the day before you bake the pie, and just assemble the pie on the day you bake it. See… you have no excuse to not make this!
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So first we peel, core, and slice apples. This little gadget is $20 on Amazon, and it is so worth it if you make more than one apple pie in your lifetime. Do yourself a favor and order it before next week. Literally under 2 minutes to peel, core, and slice all of these apples!
Then we toss the sliced apples with a sugar-flour mixture, and roast them (so key!!). This avoids a soupy pie later on.
Once they’re out of the oven, we mix the roasted apples with some nice sugar and spices! Oh, and butter. Obviously butter.
After that we can start assembling the pie! We roll out the first pie crust… see how mine isn’t perfect at all? That’s okay. Just make sure you have an inch or so of overhang.
Then we roll out the other pie crust, and you can see here a trick for moving the crust from the counter to the pie dish! Just roll it up over your rolling pin. Genius, I tell you.
I promise it doesn’t get difficult! All you do is fold the top crust under the bottom crust.
Easy, right? Then we crimp. If you’re scared, you can just use a fork and press down all around the edge. Or, you can crimp! If you’re right handed, you take your left index finger, bend it, and from the inner edge of the crust, push the back of your knuckle into the edge of the crust (basically pointing it to the outside of the pie). You’ll be making a little indentation on the edge of the crust with that knuckle. At the same time, you take your right thumb and index finger, and basically anchor it on each side of your left index finger’s knuckle. Use those fingers from your right hand and kind of press in towards the center of the pie. You should have a little wave thing going.
Boom! We brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar, and we’re ready to bake!
Once the crust is really good and golden brown, the pie is done! So good.
My Perfect Apple Pie
Printable recipe here
- Chilled double pie crust, recipe found here (I made the crust right before I started on the pie, and refrigerated the crust while I was prepping and roasting the apples. By the time the apples were ready, my pie crust was chilled! You can also make the crust the day before and keep it in the fridge.)
- 4 pounds tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, sliced into ¼- to ½- to 1-inch wedges, really whatever is easiest for you!
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground allspice (if you don’t have this or the nutmeg, that’s okay)
- One grind fresh black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350°. Toss apples, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup flour in a large bowl. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets; bake, until apples are just tender, 25–30 minutes.
- Let apples cool on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer apples and accumulated juices to a large bowl. Add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper, and 1 heaping Tbsp. flour. Toss to combine. Chill at least 15 minutes (and up to overnight).
- While the apples are chilling, take your pie dough out of the fridge. Let it sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out 1 disk on a lightly floured surface to a 13″ round. Transfer to a 9″ pie dish. Lift up edges; let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving 1″ overhang. While you’re rolling out the other crust, put your pie dish in the fridge so that crust stays chilled.
- Roll out remaining disk. Scrape apples into dish and place dough over top; trim, leaving 1″ overhang. Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust, press together to seal, and crimp.
- Preheat oven to 400°. While the oven is preheating, chill the pie in your fridge or freezer.
- When the oven is preheated, take the pie out of the fridge, and brush it with the beaten egg. Then, sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 8 slits in the middle of the top pie crust to vent.
- Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes (crust should be slightly golden). Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue baking until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, about 40 minutes but keep an eye on it! Transfer to a wire rack.