It’s apple season and the perfect time to make an apple pie!
Last week, I was invited to a virtual pie making class with the University of Toronto – University College Alumni and Chef Umie from Le Dolci bakery. What fun! Here’s their recipe for the Perfect Apple Pie, plus some tips and tricks to know before you get started.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep everything cold, including your hands.
- Use a cheese grater to cut the cold butter into pieces. (Remember tip #1 above. Your warm hands may accidentally soften the butter.)
- Avoid overworking the dough. Friction is your number one enemy. The less you touch the dough, the better. If you re-roll dough too many times, it becomes tough, and who wants a tough pie crust, right?
- Use a combination of shortening and butter for the flakiest crust ever.
- Bake your pie in simple aluminum pie plate since it conducts heat the best. Ceramic pie plates are the prettiest, but they’re thick and take a long time to heat as well as a long time to cool – this could dry out your pie.
- Choose tart apples such as Spy, Gala, Russet, Cortland or Macintosh.
- When baking, it’s most precise to measure out ingredients by weight. A simple kitchen scale will do the job! I’ve included the approximate equivalent cup measures.
375 g all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
160 g cold butter (about 2/3 cup), cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or grated with a cheese grater)
125 g vegetable shortening ( about 2/3 cup), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
100 g cold water(about 6-7 Tbsp), (keep it in the fridge until you need it so that it stays cold)
5 g salt (about 1 tsp)
15 g brown sugar (optional)
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the shortening and rub into flour.
- Grate the cold butter into the flour. Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like pea-sized crumbs.
- Sprinkle cold water over the flour mixture and gently stir until it just comes together and the dough colour is creamy, not white. Always use less water instead of more. Remember, friction is your number one enemy.
- Transfer dough to a floured counter, shape / squish the dough into a thick disc. Avoid kneading the dough. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap (in a “T”-shape, i.e. fold the plastic wrap one way around the dough, and then fold another piece of plastic wrap in the other direction around the dough). Allow dough to rest in fridge for at least 15-20 minutes before rolling. While the dough is resting, prepare the apple pie filling.
- Roll out the dough on floured counter. Flour your rolling pin. Roll any dough scraps under a piece of fresh dough to prevent overworking the dough. Roll dough to about 2-3 mm thickness. Cut out about half of the dough to form the bottom pie crust. Be sure to allow about 1/2 inch extra dough around circumference of the pie plate.
- Roll the crust onto the rolling pin and carefully unroll it onto the pie plate.
- Gently press the edges of the pie crust into the pie plate.
- Roll out the remaining dough into about 10 thin ribbons.
Apple Pie Filling
5-6 cups tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (about 4 apples)
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter (optional for dotting on top of the filling before clsoing the pie)
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp cold water (egg wash)
1 Tbsp sugar (for sprinkling)
- In a large bowl, mix together apples, sugar, cornstarch, lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pour into the crust, leaving room around the edges to seal. Add in butter in small chunks (optional).
- Create a lattice pattern with the ribbons of dough.
- Brush the lattice with egg wash just before baking and sprinkle with sugar (optional).
- Bake the pie or freeze to bake it another day.
- If baking immediately: Bake in a 375 F preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the centre of the pie is bubbling.
- If baking from frozen: Bake from frozen in a 375 F preheated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 60 minutes.
My favourite way to enjoy apple pie is warm with a scoop of ice cream! How about you?