What makes an apple pie, the ultimate apple pie? A tender buttery flaky crust, with a filling that’s firm, syrupy and caramelly, and just the right mix of tart and sweet and spice — and this recipe has got all of that down pat, making it the ultimate apple pie recipe. It’s all you’ll need on your path to apple pie nirvana.
Having gone through The Cake Bible and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and having made great desserts from those books successfully, I must say I am in love with Rose Levy Beranbaum. It was a no-brainer that when I was in need of the ultimate apple pie recipe, I turned to her recipe. I’ve adapted this recipe from Rose’s All-Original All-American Pie Recipes Kindle Edition.
I love the oh-so-delicious combination of butter and sugar with apples and cinnamon: savoury, sweet, tart, spicy in the ultimate apple pie! The caramelly flavour elevates it a notch, and before you know it, your tongue is in rapture. Rose Levy Beranbaum insists we boil down the juices of the apples, and her reasons are twofold: to give the apples a slightly caramel flavour, and to use just a hunt of starch thickener — making the apples sing.
I used 5 Granny Smith apples and 2 Gala apples in the ultimate apple pie. As for the crust, the ultimate apple pie deserves the ultimate flaky and tender pie and tart crust, and nothing but. Adapted from Rose’s All-Original All-American Pie Recipes, this recipe is Rose’s favourite, and once you bite into this ultimate flaky and tender pie and tart crust, you’ll see why it’s her favourite (and mine too). If you have only butter and flour on hand, you can use this recipe for the perfect classic pastry crust.
After you’ve rolled out your crust, whether it’s lattice or a full one, try cutting out shapes with the remaining bits and pieces to put all over the edge. Secure them with a little water.
Try it out and let me know what you think! Use the hashtag #notjustspice and tag me with the pictures of the ultimate apple pie.
The Ultimate Apple Pie
- 6-7 medium cooking apples, that when peeled and cored weigh 910 g (2 lb)
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 cup (54 g) Muscovado sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon (13 g) cornflour (cornstarch)
- Follow this recipe and refrigerate the pie crust discs.
- Peel the apple, then cut them in half and dig out the core from each half. Cut each half in half and the resulting quarter of an apple into 3 slices (each half into 6 slices).
- Squeeze some lime juice over the apples so they do not brown.
- Next, macerate the apples: add the sugars and cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, toss them about to mix, and let them rest for a minimum of 45 minutes up to 2.5 hours at room temperature.
- Use a colander to strain the juices — let it sit in the colander for 30 minutes — you should get at least 1/2 a cup. Transfer the apples slices to a mixing bowl.
- Refer the instructions here, and roll out the bottom crust. Then, cover with plastic wrap and keep it back in the fridge.
- Spray a heatproof bowl with cooking spray, add the juices collected from the macerated apples along with the butter to it, and cook it in the microwave for 7 minutes. Alternatively, boil it all down in a non-stick pan to about 1/3 cup or until syrupy and lightly caramelised.
- Add the cornflour to the sliced apples and toss until all traces of the cornflour disappear.
- Now, pour the hot syrup over the apples and toss it about gently. Any portions of the syrup that harden will dissolve during baking.
- Transfer the apple mixture into the pie shell, and begin rolling out the top crust.
- Lightly brush the bottom crust with water and place the top crust over the apples. Tuck the top crust under the bottom crust and press down with a firm hand all around, with the border extending slightly past the edge to also for shrinkage. You could also decorate with a lattice or any other design of your choosing. If you are not cutting out a design on your top crust, remember to cut steam vents — about 5 evenly spaced 5 cm (2 inch) slashes starting about 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the centre and radiating towards the edge like a star.
- Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and let it relax in the fridge for an hour.
- Right after you place the pie in the fridge, place a large piece of aluminium foil over a baking sheet and place it in the oven. You do so to catch any juices during baking.
- Preheat your oven to 220ºC (425ºC) for at least 45 minutes before you bake the ultimate apple pie (and once you place the baking sheet in).
- Place the pie in the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Bake until the juices bubble through the slashes or lattice top. You could protect the decorative border by wrapping aluminium foil over it before you place the pie in the oven. Turn the pie around after 20 minutes. The apples must feel tender and not mushy when you insert a cake tester or a small sharp knife through a slash.
- Once baked, cool the ultimate apple pie on a rack for at least 4 hours before you cut it.
Serving: Serve at room temperature or warm, with a small slice cheddar cheese or whipped cream or ice cream.
Storage: You can keep it out at room temperature when stored in a box, for 2 days, then refrigerate. If you are in a hot a humid part of the world, refrigerate after half a day.
Cooking Apples (Wikipedia)
Muscovado sugar (Wikipedia)
The Ultimate Flaky and Tender Pie and Tart Crust (notjustspice)
Classic Pastry Crust (notjustspice)
Apple Ring Cake | Apple Ciambella (notjustspice)