Truly Scrumptious Apple Pie

By • September 14, 2010 • 89 Comments



Author Notes: This pie is inspired by the recipe Delicious Apple Pie from the Blue Ribbon Pies cookbook, published by Consumers Union, edited by Maria Polushkin Robbins - my all-time favorite pie recipe. I read about the apple layering technique in The Flavor Bible, so every bite of this pie has different textures and flavors of apples. My pie dough is adapted from the recipe for Flaky Pie Dough in the cookbook Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. You'll have enough dough for 2 pies. And one of my favorite movies is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, hence the title. - mrslarkinmrslarkin

Food52 Review: I had so much fun making this aptly named pie! While I was intimidated about making my own pie crust, it came together easily and was flaky, buttery and delicious. (Thanks to Merrill, Amanda and Dorie for the pie-rolling-out tutorials!) I loved layering the different apples, and you could really taste and the layers as you cut through the pie. I will definitely use that technique in the future. My husband and I both loved the pie. It is truly scrumptious and I'm pleased to recommend it as an Editors' Pick. – drbabsA&M

Serves 8

Pie dough (makes enough for two double-crust pies)

  • 630 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur; about 5 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 11 ounces very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 6 ounces very cold vegetable shortening, cut into chunks
  • About 1/2 cup ice water
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place flour and salt and blend on low speed.
  2. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the flour looks crumbly.
  3. Add the chunks of shortening and continue to mix on low speed. When clumps begin forming, and the dough holds together when you press some between your fingers, slowly pour the water in while the mixer is on low speed. Mix just until incorporated.
  4. Flour a work area and turn the dough out. Gather it into a ball. Cut it into 4 equal parts. Weigh them out to get even pieces, if you have a kitchen scale.
  5. Gently form each piece into a flat round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least two hours. Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days, or frozen for one month. Store in zipper freezer bags.

Pie (makes one 9” double-crust pie)

  • 2 chilled pie dough disks, or 1 unbaked 9" pie shell with top crust
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for decorating, if desired
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 cups Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 cups Macintosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 3 wedges of fresh lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Place Granny Smith apple slices in bowl, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over and toss. In another bowl, place Golden Delicious apples, lemon juice and toss. And in a third bowl, place Macintosh, lemon juice and toss. Evenly distribute sugar mixture over apples in three separate bowls. Mix.
  4. If making the dough yourself, roll out one round of dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 11 inches across. Place crust into a 9-inch pie pan with 1-inch high sides.
  5. Roll another round of dough into a circle about 10 inches across.
  6. With a knife or scissors, cut excess dough from bottom layer, keeping about a ½ inch overhang. Set aside scraps.
  7. Starting with the Granny Smith slices, place them in one layer into the bottom crust. Next, layer the Golden Delicious slices over. And lastly, layer the Macintosh slices over. Dot with butter.
  8. Cover with top crust. Tuck overhang of top crust under the bottom crust edge. Flute edges with fingers, or however you like. Vent top.
  9. Gather any leftover dough scraps, flatten out dough and cut out a few leaf shapes with a knife. With the point of a knife, gently make vein indentations like on a real leaf.
  10. Brush top crust with cream. Gently press on leaves and brush them with cream. Sprinkle sugar over the whole pie, if desired. Place pie on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  11. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until juices bubble through vents. Check the pie after 20 minutes, and if you see the edges burning, take two long strips of aluminum foil and wrap edges of pie loosely.
  12. Let the pie cool on a rack for about a half an hour before cutting into it.

Tags: pie, when come back bring pie!

Comments (89) Questions (3)

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Stringio

3 months ago Christine Olson

who doesn't like apple pie? I know that's a stupid question.

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4 months ago Marianna

I know, this might sound as a stupid question for an inexperienced person, but this is what I am. I would like to make all-butter dough. What is your suggestion Mrslarkin? Do I just replace shortening with butter and put 11+6 oz butter? Thank you
Marianna

Mrs._larkin_370

4 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Marianna, I've never tried this recipe with all butter, so I'm not sure. But here's a good recipe for all-butter crust from lapadia, a trusted cook on the site: http://food52.com/recipes...

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Marianna, when I tested the recipe, I used all butter in place of shortening and it was great. Have fun! It's truly scrumptious.

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5 months ago Leah Davis

can you make the night before or do you think it is best made the day of?

Mrs._larkin_370

4 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

You can definitely make this the day before.

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7 months ago FischFood

can the dough recipe be cut in half to make just 1 double crust pie?

Mrs._larkin_370

7 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yes

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8 months ago stony

Great apple pie, almost like my Grandma use to make, I always make mine with spy's, just love them. This is a real winner, the crust #1. Now just get me a recipe for Banana cream like Grandma's. Doug

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Glad you liked it, stony. Try this Banana Cream Pie. It's pretty amazing: http://food52.com/recipes...

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8 months ago Ayris

Am I correct that there are 22 Tbsp. of butter and 12 tbsp. of vegetable shortening in just the pie dough?

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yes, you are correct. (makes enough for two double-crust pies).

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

8 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

No, please don't double the recipe (to use those amounts) unless you are making 4 double crust pies. The 11 and 6 respectively mentioned in the recipe will make enough crust dough for two pies that each have a top and bottom crust. I.e., you'll get 4 single crusts from this recipe. I know. I made it a few weeks ago! ;o)

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

AJ is right - it makes FOUR single crusts. You can also swap out the shortening for leaf lard, which I did today. Came out great.

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8 months ago Ayris

I'm not doubling the recipe. It says 11 ounces. I don't know how to measure butter in 11 ounces, though I know there are 2 Tbsp. in 1 ounce. So if there's 11 ounces that'd be 22 Tbsp.. Same with the vegetable shortening. That just sounds like a LOT and be very oily and greasy. That is what I'm asking is correct. And also, does it come out greasy or oily?

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8 months ago Ayris

Also, when you say two double crust, you two separate pies?

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yes. Put two disks in the freezer for another time. Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days, or frozen for one month. Or cut all the ingredients in half, if you only want to make one spple pie.

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

It's not greasy or oily. It's flaky and tender. When making the dough, make sure your butter and shortening are very very cold. And chill the dough a couple hours before you roll it out. Hope that helps!

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8 months ago rosemary

I never have trouble with over browing pies. My trick, I place the raw sliced apples in the microwave for 5 minutes or less. That tiny bit of cooking softens the apples just so that the filling is baked and soft just as the crust is browned and crispy.

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8 months ago Marlalala

This recipe inspired me to attempt my first made from scratch pie. Used 1/2 vodka &1/2 water, also froze my butter and grated it before incorporating with the flour. Had some difficulty rolling out the crust, so I had to patch it some places. My pie was not the prettiest but it was delicious. Crust was light and flaky. I will have to continue practicing rolling out dough.

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I'm so glad you tried it, Marlalala. Good luck with your rolling! Here are some more good tips for you: http://food52.com/blog...

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9 months ago AmandaO

Made today for a party. Subbed coconut oil for the butter to make it vegan, and it worked pretty well though I had to learn a little from the process. Didn't get to try a slice because it was all eaten.

Mrs._larkin_370

8 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Glad it worked, Amanda!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

9 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm going to amp up the decadence factor here by serving your pecan praline sauce over this pie on Thanksgiving. http://food52.com/recipes... What do you think? Butter pecan ice cream is my husband's all-time favorite ice cream. The best ones always include giant chunks of pecan pralines, so I'm quite certain he would really like this over the apple pie I'm making at my sons' request. Agree? ;o)

Mrs._larkin_370

9 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Oh that DOES sound decadent, AJ! I've been meaning to work on that ice cream recipe (it needs some improvement.) But I LOVE that praline sauce, and think it would be amazing with the pie. I think you could make it a day or two before, and reheat when serving. The sugars crystallize as the sauce chills, so it does need some heat to smooth out. Enjoy!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

9 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I found an over-the-top pumpkin butter recipe which I made with butternut squash (and put immediately in the freezer, lest it somehow disappear), and which I plan to swirl into vanilla ice cream on T-Day. I'm thinking this praline sauce would go very nicely over it, too. Oh, how I love the holidays . . . . ;o)

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10 months ago Richard Holden

you didn't say when to put the dry ingredents in or the othere thing all you said was about the fdough andputting the apples in

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9 months ago JJB

Not a well written recipe. Read 13 days ago...

Mrs._larkin_370

9 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi Richard, dry ingredients = sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Step 3 says "Evenly distribute sugar mixture over apples in three separate bowls. Mix." Hope that helps!

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10 months ago stony

My grandma always used lard, very healthy, and ONLY spy apples, I also use spy's and lard when I can find it. I just love apple pie with spy's or Granny Smiths, just like grams. Her crusts were always soft, flaky, and so gentle. D

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10 months ago glutwin

THIS LOOKS LIKE FALL!...Could one use fresh clarified lard (white...sold next to the butter) for shortening? I have heard this makes for a very flaky crust...and in France, shortening is simply not used or available...thoughts...suggestions? I love your apple mélange....a stunning pie I cannot wait to attempt to replicate!..Thank you.

Mrs._larkin_370

10 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi glutwin! Yes! I sometimes use leaf lard when I can get it. It's amazing! Let us know how the pie turns out for you.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

10 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mrs. Larkin, what's a good substitute for the Macintosh apple in this pie? We can get about 6 different local apples at my favorite farmers market, but Macintosh is not one of them. Thank you. ;o)

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10 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

AJ, I can't speak for Liz, but I've made this pie with Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, Macoun--really whatever apples I like, I like in this pie. XO

Mrs._larkin_370

10 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi guys! drbabs is right, use anything you'd like. But I usually sub cortland and/or empire for macintosh. These are my favorite tart apples.

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8 months ago Genevieve

i use Northern Spy, if you can find them in your area, they are amazing.

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10 months ago styletrend

This was amazing, prepared as noted. The crust was to perfection and the filling not runny. Wish I could share a photo as it looked great!

Mrs._larkin_370

10 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

So glad you enjoyed it, styletrend!

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10 months ago Kate

I have read this 3 times and am missing the detail. The recipe says

1/4
cup flour
1/2
teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4
teaspoon ground cinnamon

-But where is it added to the apples?

Mrs._larkin_370

10 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi Kate, you're mixing the sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon, in step 2: "Mix together the dry ingredients."
and then step 3: "Evenly distribute sugar mixture over apples in three separate bowls. Mix."

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over 1 year ago mosteff

I just made this last night with all butter crust - was absolutely delicious. Left out the extra butter in the pie itself and did 1/2 rather than 3/4 cup sugar. So, a little tweaking to my personal taste, but nothing major. It will really be the only apple pie I'll make forever. Thanks mrslarkin!!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I'm so glad you liked it, mosteff! I love this pie so much. I've been playing around with the recipe and added a new version to the site just yesterday, in case you want to mosey over and check it out.

Dsc_0031

over 2 years ago craftaddiction

I made the other night and it was a hit. I did not do it with 3 diff. apples, but my guests still love it. Thank you for the recipe.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks for letting me know, ca. I'm so glad you enjoyed the pie!

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almost 3 years ago enbe

I hate to be cheesy but this is why I love food52! I needed an apple pie recipe but everyone and their mother (literally) has their own recipe so I couldn't decide. Lo and behold my first try from food52 is an absolute hit and now I'm sticking with it. I, unfortunately (or fortunately) have a jumble of apples from apple picking so I didn't try the layering, although I would like to next time. And I added ginger, because I can't help myself and add ginger to everything. Thanks!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Just saw this note now, enbe. Glad you enjoyed this apple pie!

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Love the idea of layering the apples.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks, lorigoldsby!