Also, is there a specific apple I should be using?
Hi Julie! Assuming you're making a double-crust apple pie (and therefore can't par-bake the crust in advance), properly thickening the apples is the best way to get ahead of over-juiciness and a soggy bottom crust. I personally find cornstarch the most reliable. Here's my go-to ratio: 5 cups fruit; 1/2 cup sugar; 1/4 cup cornstarch; big pinch salt. You can also bake the pie toward the bottom of the oven, which will help brown the bottom crust better. And make sure to cut steam vents in the upper crust to prevent any sogginess there. Yes, some apples definitely hold their shape better than others when baked; I like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pink Lady, and Winesap. Hope this helps and happy Thanksgiving!
Hi Julie, sprinkling some potato starch or other starch on the pie crust before adding the filling should help prevent a soggy crust.
Hello Julie! I would second Emma's notes regarding the pie- another thing I find helpful is to let a sheet pan pre heat inside the oven on the lower rack. When its time to bake placing the pie on this hot pan- helps get the bottom crust a running start to cooking and hopefully less sogginess
As with other fruit pies, starch to thicken the filling is essential- you could use cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca etc.- I use flour because my mother did (about aTb./ pound of apples). This should be thotoughly mixed with the sugar before adding it to the apples- it will distribute more evenly that way. I find with berry pies that it helps a lot to mix them with the sugar/starch mixture (I use cornstarch except with apples) in advance- a time to macerate will draw out much of the moisture, which can be more effectively mixed with the starch. I haven't found this necessary with apples, but it could help- add a bit of lemon juice to keep the apples from browning. There are also recipes that call for precooking the apples and thickening the juice separately, but you probably don't want to get into that. Traditionally, tart apples have been used for pies, and I think they make a much better pie- the acidity offsets the sweetness nicely. Granny Smiths, which are always available, are the most used, but Newton Pippins (which have a short window of availability) are preferred.
First, you should use a combination of apples, i.e. jonagold, granny smith or fuji, all of which hold up well during baking. To thicken the filling use Clearjel, or my favorite, Pie Filling Enhancer, both of which can be googled. Make sure that either are mixed with the sugar in your receipt first. Second, let your pie cool for at least 2 hours or more before cutting.
One option is to partially or completly cook the filling before you fill and top the pie, as well. Then there's no guesswork about how juicy the apples are and how much thickener you need. Just let the filling part cool before you add it to the crust and top it off. You will still want to cut vents to let out moisture, but overall it will bake a bit faster and soggy crust won't be a problem.