Apple Pie is easy and a classic people pleaser. With a $7 pound of butter and ~$2.50 per pound of apples, ~$2 of sugars and flour, the total cost of the pie should come to ~$15 in materials and 2-3h of partially used time. Money can be saved by getting your ingredients on sale or from your aunt’s apple tree.
This is a living recipe and it will be continually adjusted as I get feedback and make mistakes. Here’s what you’ll need:
Tools and Equipment:
- Rolling Pin
- Food Processor (can be had for cheap from a thrift shop)
- Measuring cups (cup, tablespoon, teaspoon measures)
- Pie plates (glass or aluminium)
- Cutting board
- Paring knife or apple cutting tool
- Peeler tool (splurge on this, the crap ones will cut you)
- Pizza cutter (to cut strips for the lattice)
From the Grocery Store:
- 1lb block of butter (unsalted)
- All purpose flour
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- 2.5lb of apples (~7 industrial apples, granny smith ideally)
Now that you’ve got a kitchen full of cleaned tools and wholesome ingredients, pick a 3h window (If I can provide tips on how to do this faster in the future, I will.) Here’s how the time will be divided:
- Hour 1: Make dough and refrigerate it for ~1h
- Hour 2: Prepare apples, roll out dough, cook sauce, assemble pie
- Hour 3: Bake (15m @ 450° F, 35-45m @350° F)
Hour 1: Make Pie Dough
Ingredients for Pie Dough
- ½ pound butter
- 2½ cups flour
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 7 tbsp ice water
- Pulse dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to your food processor and tap the pulse button until things seem reasonably well mixed.
- Pulse in butter. Cut the butter into ~1cm² chunks, throw them into the food processor, and tap the pulse button until coarse crumbs form. Not long. Check to make sure there is no tough disk stuck to the bottom of the food processing chamber.
- Pulse in water. Only pulse until clumps form. Pulsing longer will smooth out the dough and prevent it from having a flaky texture.
- Divide into two balls and refrigerate. After this step you can take 45m-1h to complete other tasks, or chop the apples and refrigerate them as well.
Hour 2: Assemble Apple Pies
Ingredients for Pie Sauce
- ¼ pound butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
…and you’ll need that pile of apples.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Peel and slice apples. You can do chunks or slices. Keep the chunks under 1.5cm² or slices below 1cm thick. Ideally the slices are large enough that they don’t impede the flow of sauce to the bottom of the pie.
- Roll out pastry. First roll out the ball for the bottom crust on a floured surface until roughly 9.5" in diameter. Press it into the pie plate and trim the edge off. Roll out the second ball and cut it into 1" strips with the pizza cutter. These strips will be used to make the lattice.
- Make the sauce.
- Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat.
- Add flour and cook until fragrant, ~2 minutes
- Add sugars and water and bring to a boil
- Simmer for 3-5m, assemble the pie during this time.
- Arrange the Apples. On top of the crust in the pie plate, heap the apple chunks in the center of the dish or arrange the slices in a vaguely floral pattern. The apples will cook down so don’t worry if it seems like a bit of a mountain (up to 1 inch above the rim of the pie plate.)
- Lay down the lattice. Everyone has their favourite technique, and visual learners will want to look this step up online. It is critical that you leave enough space between strips in the lattice for pie sauce to flow through. Here’s what I do:
- Take one of the longer strips and two of the shorter strips and lay them vertically on the pie, the long one in the center, the two shorter ones spaced by a 2" wide gap between the outer edge of the large strip and the inner edges of the short strips.
- Fold the large strip back and add a short strip horizontally “under” the long strip and over the shorter strips. Fold the large strip back up.
- Fold the shorter strips back over the newly added horizontal strip and place the remaining long strip over the center of the pie, over the vertical long strip. Fold the other vertical strips back over this new horizontal strip.
- Repeat until your lattice is done. You can do this with n strips by folding back every second strip while completing these instructions.
- Pour the pie sauce over the lattice. Ideally it hasn’t completely cooled yet. The sauce should flow through the gaps in the lattice and down into the apples, while also coating the lattice. You can use a spatula to coat the rest of the lattice with the sauce.
Your pie is now ready to bake. Depending on how long you took to slice your apples, this stage can take anywhere from 20m to 1h.
Final Step: Bake the Pie
Place your pie in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes at 425° F, then turn down the heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes. If your pie starts leaking sauce from the edges, put a baking tray on a rack below the pie, but try to remove it at some point so the bottom of the pie crust cooks through.
Alternatively, you can freeze the pie at this stage and bake it in the future.
You should now have a beautiful apple pie from scratch. Congrats!