To me nothing beats a fresh baked apple pie served warm with a dollop of creamy vanilla ice cream. But first we must do a little work.
There are three parts to making a double crust apple pie. We need a pie shell (an unbaked pie crust), the filling and finally assembling it all together.
The Pie Dough and Shell
Let’s start off with making the pie dough. Once the dough is in the refrigerator resting, we will proceed to make the apple filling.
Follow the recipe below to make the pie dough through step 5 which is where the dough gets divided into two pieces and wrapped in plastic wrap then refrigerated. You will make the pie shell a bit later when it is assembly time.
Pie Dough Recipe and Pie Shells
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This recipe can be used to make two 9-inch pie shells or one double crust 9-inch pie.
But the butter and shortening into small piece and make sure they are well chilled (refrigerated).
Place the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix well with a fork to combine. Add the cold butter and shortening pieces and work in with a fork (or 2 knives or a pastry cutter or your fingers) until you have pieces of shortening/butter the size of small peas. (You do want lumps of butter/shortening for best results.)
Sprinkle in 1/3 of a cup of ice water and mix with a fork. Continue to add ice water a tablespoon at a time until a dough forms (the mixture will start clumping together.)
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead five to ten time to form a disc. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
When it is time to make the pie shell, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough slightly (5 to 10 times) until it is workable and roll out larger than your pie pan. Sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking if necessary,
Brush off excess flour and transfer the dough to a pie pan. Gently place the dough in and form the decorative rim if you are not using a top crust.
Follow your recipe on filling the pie shell. If you are placing a top crust on the pie, roll out the remaining piece of dough and transfer to the pie. Trim the excess dough and fold the dough under the rim. Seal well and make a decorative edge as desired. Bake according to pie instructions.
Prepared dough will hold for several days in the refrigerator well wrapped.
It is possible to freeze unbaked prepared pie shells. Once you prepare the shell, freeze and stack with parchment paper in between layers and store in freezer bags (or wrap tightly in plastic wrap). Frozen crusts are very fragile and should be used within two months.
An apple pie can have several different types of filling. A dry filling can be made, but you will be using a filling similar to a purchased canned type. This is known as a cooked filling since the apples are cooked in a syrup. Once the filling is cooked, you will roll out your bottom pie dough and place it into a pie pan then fill the pie with the apple filling and finally roll out the top dough and cover the pie with it. The pie filling make be used while hot or once cooled. Filling may be made several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
Apple Pie Filling - Cooked in Sauce
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This apple pie filling is similar to bought fillings out of a can or a jar but tastes better. This can be made and stored for a few days in there frigerator before using.
Peel and core the apples. Slice into desired sizes. If you do not have an apple wedger, slice the apple along the core on opposite sides to make 2 long pieces. Slice the remaining 2 small apple section along the core to create 2 pieces. Lastly slide the 2 bigger pieces into 3 pieces each, you will now have 8 pieces for each apple.
Repeat until all apples have been sliced.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, cinnamon and ground cloves. Add the apples, sugars and water. Stir to mix. Cover and cook until slightly softened , about 4-8 minutes.
In a small bowl, make the cornstarch slurry by mixing 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch together until well mixed.
Add the cornstarch slurry to the cooking apple slices and stir to mix. Bring to a boil and allow the apple to cook until soft and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
For the apples - traditionally a tart apple like a granny smith is used but you can use any cooking type. I like using a mixture of Gala, McIntosh and Granny Smith apples which are available in my area.
For the spices - ground cinnamon is traditional, but I like the addition of ground cloves. Many people also make this without any spices.
For the Sugar - depending on my mood and taste of the day, I will use a mixture of white and brown sugars. Feel free to use all white (granulated) sugar. Also adjust the amount of sugar depending upon how tart your apples are - you can end up using more or less depending upon your taste.
This filling mixture can be placed in a prepared pie shell while hot and baked right away or the filling can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. The instructions here are not for long term storage or canning.
Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap the larger piece of dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough several times to make it workable. Roll out the dough large enough to fit the pie pan and place the dough into the pan.
Fill the pie shell with the apple filling mixture.
Roll out the remaining pie dough and place over the apple filling and seal the edges and form a decorative rim edge. Make a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Brush the top crust with an egg wash and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place pie in a preheated 375ºF/190ºC oven and bake for 15 minutes then turn the temperature down to 325ºF/163ºC and continue to bake for another 40 minutes or until a you notice bubbles in the steam vents you cut and steam coming out. The crust should be a golden brown. If the edges of the crust get too brown, cover the edges with aluminum foil. The total bake time will be 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
This apple pie can be stored at room temperature and is best used within 5 days. Stored covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and in a cake saver. It may also be stored in the refrigerator.