Apple pie has become a seasonal tradition and staple at holiday meals.
The perfect apple pie starts with a tender, flaky, golden brown crust. We combine cake flour, all-purpose flour and ground walnuts with butter and shortening to create a rich, buttery crust that is perfect for creating an irresistible dessert.
Filling your perfect pie crust with pie filling prepared from fresh, in-season locally grown fruit is the best choice when possible. Shopping at your local farmer’s market or specialty produce store for perfect apple specimens will greatly enhance your chance of creating a memorable dessert pie.
The best apples for baking are those varieties with a balance of sweet and tart flavor, and flesh that holds its shape well, and does not break down when baked.
Often a sweeter apple variety is paired with a tart variety to bring out the best of both worlds and increase the depth of flavor. A few sweet apple varieties that bake well include Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp and McIntosh. Granny Smith, Jonathan and Rome Beauties are examples of apples that are sharp and tart tasting.
WALNUT PIE CRUST
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 16 small pieces and frozen
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, frozen
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Add all-purpose flour, cake flour, ground walnuts, granulated sugar, baking powder and fine sea salt to large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Cut frozen butter with fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In separate small bowl, add whole milk and cider vinegar.
- Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture until dough ball forms.
- Divide dough into two balls, one larger than the other.
- Lightly flour a flat surface. Roll the dough out on the floured surface into a circle about 13 inches in diameter.
- Roll the dough onto rolling pin and unroll over 9-inch pie plate.
- Roll out smaller ball for covering pie filling.
CLASSIC APPLE PIE FILLING
- 1 (2 crust) walnut pie crust (recipe above)
- 3 large sweet apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 3 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cold butter cut in tiny pieces
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Add apple slices to large bowl. Toss apple slices with fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest.
- In small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, and all-purpose flour.
- Toss apple slices with spice mixture.
- Fill walnut pie crust with pie filling.
- Dot pie filling with butter pieces.
- Place top dough carefully over pie filling and crimp pie crust edges to secure.
- Make small slits in top crust with sharp knife for steam to vent.
- In small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon.
- Brush top of pie crust with milk and sprinkle sugar mixture over milk.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and bake an additional 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is cooked through.