The Best Apple Pie
This apple pie is the best I’ve ever made in both crust and filling. It is inspired (and slightly modified) by Cooks Illustrated apple pie recipe which means they figured out all the trouble shooting. Cook the apples first to help the pie crust keep it’s shape (raw apples baked shrink away from the crust and form an air pocket). The addition of vodka to the pie crust makes it easier to roll and not as tough as using water alone (which makes the pie crust tougher when combined with the flour).
- Prep Time: 1 Hour
- Cook Time: 1 Hour
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 10
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Ingredients Pie Crust:
- 12 1/2 ounces (~2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided & cut into 1/4″ pieces and chilled
- 1/4 cup vodka, chilled
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, & sliced 1/4″ thick
- 2 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, & sliced 1/4″ thick
- 3 1/2 ounces (~1/2 cup) sugar
- 1 3/4 ounces (~1/4 cup) packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Make the pie crust: In a food processor combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, and salt together. Pulse until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter over the mixture (this will look like a lot of butter – trust!) and process until the mixture has no floury bits and begins to form uneven clumps (~ 20 seconds). Scrape down the bowl and add remaining 1 cup flour and pulse until mixture has broken up into clumped up “balls” (~ 10-15 pulses).
Transfer mixture to large bowl and add vodka and ice water. Gently mix dough until it sticks together (don’t overwork the dough). Divide dough into 2 even pieces (weighing them makes this easier).
Lie out two pieces of plastic wrap and make a 4″ disc with each piece and place each disc on it’s own plastic. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour but over night is even better. Before rolling out dough let it sit on counter ~ 10 minutes to soften.
For the Filling: Preheat oven to 425F and place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack (this will catch any overflow juices).
Bring a pan to medium heat and add apples, sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon. Cover and cook ~ 15-20 minutes or until apples are tender but still hold their shape. Transfer apple mixture to a large shallow bowl or platter to cool (at least 30 minutes).
Lightly flour a counter and roll 1 disk of dough into a 12″ circle. Roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll onto a 9″ pie plate and press lightly to make it fit. Leave any excess dough hanging over, you won’t cut it off. Add cooled apples on top of pie crust, slightly mounding them in the middle.
Roll out the second disc of dough the same way and lay it gently on top of the apples. Tuck overhang under itself and gently crimp or pinch the pie crusts together (see pic). Cut four 2″ slits in top of dough. Brush surface with egg white.
Bake pie ~ 25 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Reduce temperature to 375F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown. I loved the pie crust tucked into itself and did not need a pie crust shield with this method. Allow pie to cool an hour or two before eating. Happy Eating! Beckie
- Apples can be substituted but these apples have a nice balance between sweet, tart, and crisp.
- Dough can be kept refrigerated 2 days or frozen for 1 month (let dough defrost before rolling).
- Egg white makes the dough brown up. You can use the whole egg if you want it to also be shiny.
- If your pie crust is cooking uneven then rotate the baking sheet half way though.
Things In My Kitchen:
- Flour Sifter – this is a handy gadget but you could also use a fine mesh strainer if you don’t want another kitchen accessory.
- Rolling Pin – Nothing fancy but you can’t beat the price and simplicity.
- Kitchen Scale – takes the guessing out of baking and provides the most accuracy.
- Apple Corer – Makes coring apples easy and fast.
For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog & love of cooking.
Keywords: Pie, Apple Pie, Pie Crust, Dessert, Holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas