Perfect Apple Pie
Many cooks are intimidated by pastries and pies, thinking they'll make a mistake with the dough and ruin the recipe. The fact is, most of the errors that cause problems are easily preventable, and achieving perfection is simply a matter of mastering some basic techniques. This recipe will help ensure great results.
- Handmade Pastry
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3 pounds apples such as Rome, Cortland, or Granny Smith, or a combination, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges (about 8 cups)
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground spices (combination of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and clove)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or orange juice)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or orange zest), optional
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of dough into a 12-inch round that's 1/8-inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, spices, lemon juice, zest, and salt; toss to combine. Pour into lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Roll second disc of dough into a 12-inch round that's 1/8 inch thick. Lay dough over fruit. Cut vents into top crust. Trim edges to 1 inch over pie pan, and seal, crimping edges with thumb and forefinger. Chill for 30 minutes.
Remove pie from refrigerator. Brush crust with heavy cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Place on a baking sheet; this will catch any juices that may overflow during baking. Bake until pastry is golden and juices in center of pie are bubbling, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool for 1 hour before serving.