Baking makes me feel good! I can’t fully put my finger on what that is. It just doesn’t feel rushed or tiring. I can make this dough ahead of time (you should too) and I can zone out while rolling, filling and cooking.
While it’s hard to make stew chicken look good, bakes are always so pretty. That feels really rewarding. Baking also really helps you with cooking overall. It helps you to nail down measuring and timing because you can’t really keep on editing throughout the cook.
Take your time to bake something this holiday season and try to enjoy the process.
Two crusts, so little time: Below are the recipes for two different crusts. One crust has more fat than the other and is a split of butter and shortening. The first dough, which is all butter, is a lot easier to handle. It tears less and is easier to roll out and pick up. It is delicious and flaky, but so is the first. You don’t need to add shortening to get a flaky pastry. The nice thing about the second recipe (which belongs to Ina Garten), is that the recipe is already doubled for you. I would recommend that for crust one, you make two separate doughs instead of doubling the mixture. Doubling can create extra issues that I don’t want you to have to deal with on the big day.
Apples: The only apples you need for apple pie are green Granny Smith apples. They do not break down as easily as other apples that will usually result in a runny center of applesauce instead of apples.
- No kneading: There is no need to knead this dough. Kneading will actually overwork the dough and affect how flaky the pastry ends up.
- Wrapping and refrigeration: Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Warm it up a little (with your hands!): Very cold dough is hard to roll out and will crack or tear. Before removing the dough from the plastic, sit it out for about 10 minutes before working with it. Warm it up with your hands if that is helpful.
- Start again if you need to: You don’t have to get it right the first time. Isn’t that comforting to know? If your dough isn’t fully circular, tears, or in general tries to defeat you, roll it up into a ball and start again! It’s so nice to know you have chances to get this right.
- Use your pin to help you: Use your rolling pin to help you transfer the dough to the pie pan as well as the second crust to the top of the pie. It is very difficult to pick up a crust of that size. The rolling pin is your friend.
- Fold the edges under: I learned this trick on instagram. Go figure! Tuck the edges of the crust under after trimming away the excess. This will seal the pie for a perfect crimp.
- Crimp the edges: Use your knuckles or the tips of your fingers to help you to crimp the edges of your pie crust.
- Egg wash + Sugar: Don’t forget to egg wash your crust to help create great color. Whisk one egg in a splash of milk to finish the top of the pie. Add sugar as well. It will caramelize for a beautiful look to your pie.
Cook Time: This pie is cooked at a very high temperature. Use a bit of foil paper to tent the edges so that they don’t burn before the pie is fully cooked. 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes should be a good enough time for this pie to fully cook.
- Crust #1: (double for 2 crusts)
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 stick very cold salted butter
- 6 tbsp iced water
- OR Crust #2: Ina Garten’s (makes two crusts)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 8 tbsp water
- 3lbs green apples
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Start by pulsing salt, sugar and flour in a food processor. (I skip salt if I use salted butter)
- Add cubed butter (and shortening for recipe 2). Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, stream in cold water using a tablespoon. Once the dough looks damp and comes together slightly, dump it onto a clean board and press together in a ball. Don’t knead. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
- Wash, peel, core and slice apples. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, spices, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Toss gently with a spatula.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out one dough ball. (It’s much harder to work with right from the fridge so let it sit at room temperature for about 10 mins) Roll it larger than your pie plate so you don’t need to stretch it. You can always trim it later. Stretched dough will shrink in the oven. Do your best to not stretch your dough.
- Fill the dough with the apples. Roll out the second dough and cover. Trim the excess dough from the edges. Fold the edges under and crimp. Decorate the pie if you wish with the excess dough.
- Egg wash the pie with one egg and a little milk whisked in a small bowl. Cut air vents for the steam to escape during cooking. If you don’t, the pie might make its own air vents and that might not be so pretty.
- Add sugar to the top of the pie and bake for 1 hr to 1hr 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Allow the pie to cool and set before cutting. It’s best to allow the pie to set overnight so make your pies on Wednesday and get them out of the way.
- Serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
I think Ina’s crust is super hard to handle with the shortening so go for the all butter crust