Perfect Apple Pie

by Joseph Erdos
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perfectapplepieFall is here and what better way to celebrate it than by baking an apple pie from scratch. Making your own crust is so much more rewarding than using frozen pie shells from the grocery store.

This recipe for hearty apple pie can be put together in minutes once the dough is prepared ahead of time.

And to make the process even easier, roll out the dough between two layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper.

By not using bench flour you will have an even flakier, more delicate crust, plus cleanup is as easy as throwing away the wrap.

Apple Pie

Tip: Use firm, tart apples for the best results. Exceptional pie-baking apples include Cortland, Crispin, Fuji, and Granny Smith.

6 to 8 apples (about 3 pounds), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pie crust, recipe follows
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out pie dough to fit a 9- or 10-inch pie plate with a 1/2-inch overhang. Repeat for the top layer.

In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, lemon zest and juice, sugar, flour, salt, and spices.

Pour apple mixture into dough-lined pie plate. Spread out apples evenly. Cover with top layer of dough, tucking and pressing the edges together securely. Decorate the edge using your thumb and forefingers or a fork. Brush the top with egg wash. Cut slits for steam ventilation.

Bake pie on a sheet pan for 1 to 1-1/4 hours. The crust should be golden brown and the filling bubbling. Cool completely before slicing and serving. Yield: 8 slices.

Pie Crust

Note: For the perfect pie crust, the dough should clump when squeezed together. In humid weather 1/4 cup ice water should do, but in normal conditions, a 1/2 cup is needed. Still if it is too dry, add water, or if too moist, add flour.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to aerate instead of sifting.

Add butter and pulse for ten seconds or until mixture resembles course meal.

With the food processor running, stream in water. Process until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough into two parts and wrap in plastic wrap, forming discs. Chill for at least one hour before rolling.

Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, butabove all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for foodon his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.

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