Apple pie isn’t something that I make often. When I do make it, I tend to change things up. I try different recipes, different varieties of apples, different crusts. I never seem to make it the same way twice. Part of the problem is that I am always unsure about what kinds of apples to use. In the past I have used a combination of two different varieties of apples, and I decided to do that again this time. I have had very good luck baking with Braeburn apples, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any this year. And when I was at the store I couldn’t remember what other varieties would work well for baking besides Granny Smith. I ended up playing it safe and picked up Granny Smith and Gala. After I got home and did a little research I wasn’t so sure how well the Gala’s would work. The results in pie seemed to be mixed. I wish I had done my research before going to the store! In any case, I did find two very good articles at Serious Eats that will be wonderful resources when choosing apples for future apple baking endeavors. These articles compare various apples for use in baking: The Food Lab's Apple Pie, Part 1: What Are the Best Apples for Pie? and Taste Test: Finding the Best Apples for Baking.
In the past I have always used shortening for the crust, but I decided to try using all butter this time. I found it is a little harder to work with, and I don’t think it looks quite as nice. It seems to have kind of a lumpy look to it. But the taste? Delicious. And nice and flaky too. Using the combination of Granny Smith and Gala apples ended up being a good choice as well. There was a nice balance of sweetness and tartness, and the apples held up well during baking.
If you bake with apples often you may want to consider investing in a good apple peeler/corer/slicer. I actually have two. Not only does this handy gadget save time, but because the slices are uniform, everything bakes evenly. This is one of the two that I have: Apple Master Apple Peeler, Corer, and Slicer. I really like this particular model because it has both a vacuum base and a clamp. This means it can be held securely in place on just about any surface. I hate peeling and cutting, so this gadget is a favorite of mine.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 9" pie
Apple Pie with Butter Crust
A simple apple pie recipe with a crust that uses butter instead of shortening.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, cold
- 6 - 8 tablespoons ice water
- 3/4 - 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 cups apples--peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
1. For crust, combine flour and salt in mixing bowl; cube butter and use a pastry blender to cut butter into flour.2. When particles are the size of peas, sprinkle with water a tablespoon at a time until flour is moistened and dough begins to come together. 3. Gather dough together with hands, divide in half, then press into two disk shapes. 4. Place disks of dough into plastic bags and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 5. Roll out each disk of dough on lightly floured surface; transfer one crust to 9" pie pan and gently press to fit pan; fold the other crust into quarters and refrigerate while you make the filling. 6. Prepare filling by mixing together the sugar and cinnamon; pour over apples and gently stir to coat. 7. Place apples in pastry-lined pie pan and dot with butter.8. Unfold top crust over filling and trim edges if necessary.9. Fold the extra edge of top crust under the edge of the lower crust and seal by pressing together; flute edges using thumbs and forefingers.10. Cut vents into top of crust and bake at 425°F for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 400°F and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes.11. Serve warm or cold; top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.