Apple Pie… To me, apple pie just screams fall. Apple pie is just the warmth of fall in a bowl. Apple pie is like the perfect dessert, the crispness of the apples, paired with a buttery, flaky pie crust, what could be better? Well, one thing!! A scoop of ice cream alongside it would definitely make it better.
Which Apples Should Be Used in an Apple Pie?
When making apple pie, it is essential to choose the right apples, not all apples are great for baking. Some apples are way to sweet, soft, mealy or just too tart. Some apples have a lot of water in them, so when baking a pie, you end up with mushy apples and mushy pie crust. When making apple pie, you want to choose an apple that has the right balance of firmness, sweetness, and a little tart. If you use a super sweet apple and add sugar to your pie, your pie will be really sweet.
In my apple pies, I like to use an equal amount of granny smith apples and gala apples. These two apples are firm, the granny smith are on the tarter side, and the gala are on the sweeter side, and I think they complement each other very well in a pie.
The first step to making this pie is to roll out your pie dough on a floured surface to a 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully place your dough in your pie dish, and trim the excess dough.
Is Blind Baking Necessary?
I think it is. Usually, pie dough is blind baked when you’re making a no-bake pie. You would normally blind bake the crust and then fill your pie with a custard filling. However, I think blind baking is also necessary when you’re making a pie that tends to have a lot of liquid. Blind baking will help the bottom crust crisp up nicely while the natural juices are extracted from the apples. For this recipe, I partially bake the crust, and it’s a pretty simple process. However, there are a few steps to take before you put the pie dough in the oven. The first step is to dock the dough. Docking the dough means prickling holes in the pie crust with a fork. Docking the dough is important because it allows air to escape, so the pie dough doesn’t rise up. The next step is weighing the pie dough down. Because of the butter in the dough, the pie dough will shrink in the oven if the pie dough is not weighed down. To blind bake the pie dough place a piece of parchment paper (some people like to use aluminum foil) on top of the pie dough and use pie weights to weigh it down (dry beans or uncooked rice could also be used if you don’t have pie weights). The final part of blind baking is baking the pie dough. I blind baked the pie dough for 12 minutes on 350 degrees and raise the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees.
Finally, the fun part. When the pie crust comes out of the oven its time to fill the pie to get it ready for baking. I prefer to slice my apples rather than dicing them for apple pie. Its easier to fit more apples in your pie dish when your apples are sliced thin. Once the apples are all sliced, I put all of the apples in a bowl with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, a little flour and mix it all together until the apples are completely coated in the seasoning. Next, I pour the pie filling into the pie dish, and pour a prepared caramel sauce on top of the apples. At this point, you can decide if you want to drape your pie crust over your pie, or if you want a lattice pie crust. I whisk an egg with some milk to make an egg wash and brush it on the top of the pie and sprinkle some turbinado sugar. I bake the pie for 20 minutes on 400 degrees and lower the temperature to 375 and allow the pie to continue to bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes.
While the pie is baking the flour and the corn starch will help the natural juices from the apple create a sauce. It will be challenging, but when your pie comes out of the oven, allow it to rest, and cool at least three hours. If you cut into your pie too soon, your pie will be very liquidly. As the pie cools the sauce in your pie thickens up.
Apple pie is one of those classic desserts that could be a lot of work to prepare, but its oh so worth it.
Caramel Apple Pie
- 3 lbs Apples (6-7 medium) Gala & Granny Smith Apples
- 2 tbsp Corn Starch
- 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Prepared Caramel
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- Coarse Sugar to sprinkle on the pie crust
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe
2. While the pie crust is chilling, make apple pie filling. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, all purpose flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently Toss.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Rollout 1 disk of chilled pie dough to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Carefully place dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Use your fingers to crimp the dough, and trim the excess dough with a knife.
5. Blind bake pie dough for 15 minutes. (Place parchment paper on the pie dough, and use pie weights, raw beans or raw rice to keep the pie dough weighed down)
6. After 15 minutes remove pie dough from the oven. Fill pie dough with apple mixture. Drizzle 1/2 cup prepared caramel over the apples.
7. Raise the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees
8. Roll out the other disk of chilled pie dough. At this point you can drape the pie crust over your pie, make a lattice pie crust. (If you drape the pie dough over the pie, use a knife to make some slits in the pie dough to allow air to escape) Crimp the edges of the pie, and use a knife to cut off the excess dough.
9. Lightly brush pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
10. Bake pie for 20 minutes on 400 degrees.
11. Lower oven temp to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20 – 25 mins
Allow the pie to cool for at least 3 hours before serving.