Classic Apple Pie
In this very classic, cinnamon-scented pie, the apples are sautéed in butter before they’re piled in the crust, ensuring that they’re tender but not mushy. Use firm, crisp apples here, preferably all one kind so the slices cook evenly. Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Ginger Gold and Granny Smith apples are good options. (Honeycrisps will give you the sweetest pie, while Granny Smiths the most tart.) If using a glass or ceramic pie pan, consider parbaking the bottom crust. Glass doesn’t conduct heat as well as metal, so the crust may not cook through if you don’t parbake.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ½pounds firm, crisp apples (see Tip), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges (about 11 cups)
- ½cup/110 grams light brown sugar
- 2tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½teaspoon ground ginger
- ½teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- ¼teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or a little more if your apples are very sweet
- ½teaspoon grated lemon zest
- All-purpose flour, for rolling out the dough
- Dough for a 9-inch double crust pie
- Heavy cream, milk or a beaten egg, for glazing (optional)
- Demerara sugar, for glazing (optional)
Step 1Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and add apples to the pan. Stir to coat with butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is evenly distributed, about 1 minute.
Step 2In a small bowl, whisk together sugars, spices and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and toss to combine.
Step 3Lower heat to medium and cook until apples have softened completely but still hold their shape, about 17 to 25 minutes. (Some varieties cook more quickly than others.)
Step 4Sprinkle cornstarch evenly over the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the apple mixture comes to a simmer and thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and stir in lemon juice and zest. Allow apples to cool completely (spreading them onto a rimmed baking sheet speeds this up). Apples can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated.
Step 5On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9- or 10-inch metal pie plate, trimming it to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Place crust in the freezer for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Step 6When ready to bake, place a rimmed baking sheet on the middle oven rack and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Step 7Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10- to 11-inch circle. Remove pie crust from freezer and add the cooled filling in an even layer. Cover apples with remaining dough. Press the edges together, trim the excess dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers or a press down with the tines of a fork. (Using a fork might be easier if the bottom crust is too cold to crimp.) Brush the top of the pie with cream, milk or some beaten egg, then sprinkle lightly with sugar if you like. Using a sharp knife, cut some steam vents in the top of the crust.
Step 8Place pie on the hot sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling bubbles in the steam vents, and the crust is golden brown. Transfer pie to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. The pie can be baked up to 24 hours ahead of serving; do not refrigerate before serving.