I have never made an apple pie that I didn’t enjoy. Apple pie is delicious! 😉 But, I am still seeking a pie that I absolutely love- a pie that will end the search for the perfect pie.
This pie was lovely, with notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I used a combination of apples and sliced them in a food processor. The pie crust incorporated vodka to ensure a flaky result; my Mother-in-law always utilizes this trick. The filling, thickened with tapioca and apple butter, held together perfectly. I baked it the day before Thanksgiving and it kept well at room temperature.
I served it at the end of our Thanksgiving feast along with my favorite Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and Pecan Pie Bars. Most of us eat small slices of whichever dessert strikes our fancy- topped with either whipped cream or served with vanilla ice cream. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.
Yield: One 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
- 2 ½ cups/300 grams all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon/2.5 grams coarse salt
- 2 ½ sticks/20 tablespoons/285 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons/60 ml vodka
- ¼ to ½ cup ice water
For the Filling:
- 3 pounds/1 1/3 kilograms apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (1/8-inch) (I used a combination of Sweet Tango, Envy, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples)
- ½ cup/99 grams granulated sugar, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons/30 grams dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons/30 grams quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 ½ teaspoons/3 grams ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 ½ tablespoons/22 ml lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons/45 grams apple butter
- heavy cream or milk, as needed
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, as needed
- vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
- In a food processor, pulse together flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Add butter and pulse until mixture forms 3/4-inch pieces.
- Mix vodka with 4 tablespoons ice water (or use 1/2 cup ice water).
- Add half the ice water mixture to dough, pulse a few times, then continue adding liquid a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together (you might not use all the liquid). Dough should be moist, but not wet, and hold together when pinched. If there are visible pieces of butter in the dough, all the better.
- Between layers of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, gather dough into a ball. Remove a third of the dough and form into a disk. Form remaining dough into a disk.
- Cover both tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.
To Complete the Pie:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger disk to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- While dough chills, heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Line chilled crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed. (You can bake the crust up to 24 hours in advance.)
- Toss apples with sugars, tapioca, spices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Fold in apple butter. Transfer apples to crust and press gently to make sure fruit is tightly packed.
- Roll out remaining dough disk to a 10-inch round. Use a knife to cut strips 1 3/4 inches wide (or desired width). Arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern.
- Brush top of crust with heavy cream or milk. Sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
- Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 1 hour 15 minutes more.
- Let pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche.
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