Truly Scrumptious Apple Pie

By • September 14, 2010 • 101 Comments

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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. – drbabsThe Editors

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 cup 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.
Jump to Comments (101)

Tags: apple pie, Desserts, fall, Holidays, pie, Thanksgiving

Comments (101) Questions (3)

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about 1 month ago Vick

I've had the pleasure of eating mrs Larkins apple pie. We ordered one for Christmas dinner last year and it was a hit! This is THE quintessential apple pie.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 month ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone making this pie this week. Hope you all enjoy!

Stringio

about 1 month ago Ian

When making the pie crust should I use frozen butter that I always have stored in my freezer, or would it be to hard and won't work in when using the stand mixer.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 month ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Ian, take the butter out of the freezer for 5 minutes or so, or transfer to fridge the day before. Then it will be just right.

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about 1 month ago terrytj

How can I best make the crust if I don't own a food processor?

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 month ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

You can cut the butter in with a fork, or a pastry blender, or two knives. Or your fingers, even, then chill the flour/ butter mixture before adding water.

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about 1 month ago terrytj

Thanks mrslarkin. I have successfully made pie crusts using a fork. Just needed some reassurance.

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about 1 month ago terrytj

ps If water is added after chilling, could that cause the dough to be handled too much? or is a flakey crust the result of not over mixing fat & flour?

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 month ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi Terry, I don't think adding the water to the chilled flour mixture will cause the dough to be handled to much. I do think the best advice is be gentle with your mixing when adding the water, regardless of method used. The food processor is great because it cuts the butter in super fast. I sometimes use the stand mixer with great success - again, aiming not to overmix. You want to see bits and bobs of fat, so the general idea is to not fully incorporate the fat into the flour. This is what makes the dough flaky. As the bits of fat in the dough melt when the pie is baking, it creates pockets, or layers, sort of, of air, and that's what creates the flakiness. What I sometimes do is, after laying the crust into the pie pan, stick the pan with the bottom crust in the fridge to firm up the fat a little. Then, fill your pie, top it, and bake it. You can also chill the whole assembled pie. This will also help to keep the pretty shape of your crimping. I know some folks who successfully freeze whole unbaked pies, and bake them from frozen. I have never done this, however. I hope this was helpful. Good luck!!

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about 1 month ago terrytj

Thank you so much. My mother (& her mother) made perfect pie crusts & I am still somewhat of a novice pie baker but I am determined to learn to make good crusts. These tips will help. Thanks!!

Stringio

about 1 month ago Christine Olson

seriously, who eats pie after 11pm you are goin' to get chubby!

sounds soo good I'll let you get fat!

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2 months ago Javi

I pulled this pie out of the oven about an hour ago...and I just had a slice. SO GOOD! SOO SOO GOOD!!! and so easy! xo

Stringio

8 months ago Christine Olson

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

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9 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

9 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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9 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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10 months ago Leah Davis

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

Mrs._larkin_370

9 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

You can definitely make this the day before.

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about 1 year ago FischFood

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

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yes

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about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

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

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about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago Ayris

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

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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!

Stringio

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Glad it worked, Amanda!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago JJB

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

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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

about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago Genevieve

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