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  • Sheena Philipose

Classic Apple Pie

What is more comforting than warm apple pie with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream! With the temperatures dipping and the onset of winter to me, it's the perfect comfort food. After all a pie a day keeps the doctor away.. isn't that how the saying goes? There are numerous versions of apple pie across the world but I like to keep mine traditional with the classic deep dish and full top covering.

Warm apple pie with whipped cream

Tips for the perfect apple pie:

Choice of apples: I prefer using Granny Smith for pies because of their tartness and ability to hold shape, but adding another, sweeter variety will produce the best flavor. Here, I have used a mix of Granny Smith and Royal Gala apples.

apples for apple pie filling
Granny Smith and Royal Gala apples

Making your own short-crust pastry: Although getting the perfect flaky crust can be difficult, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Use cold butter, just out of the fridge, and ice-cold water mixed into the dough.

  • Make the dough quickly, using a food processor if you can, or working fast with your hands.

  • Be careful adding liquids to the dry ingredients, always pour a little at a time. You might not need all the liquid and can stop when the dough comes together.

  • Don't overwork the dough, mix just until the dough forms.

  • Chill the dough. Once it's ready, put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

  • Once the dough is rolled out, chill it again in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. The chilling time helps the dough hold its shape.

Bring out the flavors: Lemon juice and rind help to emphasize the natural sweetness of the apples. In terms of spices, apple and cinnamon is a flavor marriage made in heaven, and throwing in a pinch of nutmeg adds just a bit more warmth and complexity.

Here's a short tutorial on how I make it

Classic Apple Pie

Prep time: 30 minutes (plus an additional hour to chill the dough)

Baking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 8

picture of apple pie


For the short-crust pastry:

  • All-purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups

  • Butter: 1 cup (2 sticks or 200g)

  • Salt: 1 Tsp

  • Ice-cold water: 3-4 Tbsp

For the apple pie filling:

  • All-purpose flour: 3 Tbsp

  • Granulated sugar: 1/4 cup, plus extra for sprinkling

  • Cinnamon: 1 Tsp

  • Nutmeg: 1/4 Tsp, freshly grated

  • Salt: a pinch

  • Butter: 1 Tbsp (25 g), cut into small pieces

  • Rind and juice of a lemon

  • Apples: 10 apples approximately- 5 Granny Smith and 5 red Royal Gala apples, or a mix of your preference.

For the egg wash:

  • Egg: 1 large egg, or just the egg yolk

  • Water: 1 Tbsp

One 9-inch deep pie dish

ingredients for a classic apple pie


For the short-crust pastry:

  1. In a food processor, combine flour and salt and pulse to combine.

  2. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. If mixing by hand, combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender or grater.

  3. With the machine running, add the ice water in a steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky, not more than 30 seconds. If too crumbly, add a bit more water, a tablespoon at a time until it just comes together.

  4. Layout a cling film/plastic sheet on a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 2 balls and bring the dough together to form a ball, making sure not to knead too much. Flatten each one into flattened disks. Refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum or longer if using later.

For the apple pie:

  1. While the dough is chilling in the fridge, prepare the apples. Peel, core, and slice the apples into thin slices.

  2. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, lemon rind, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

  3. Take the dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough into a 12-inch round, careful to smooth any cracks. Sweep off excess flour and fit the disk into a 9-inch deep pie pan, using your fingers to gently press it into the edges.

  4. Roll out the second disk of dough in the same manner; transfer the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and place it onto a baking sheet. Chill the pie shell and top covering for another 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and place the rack in the lower third.

  6. While the oven is heating, spoon the pie filling into the chilled pie shell and dot with butter.

  7. Prepare the egg wash by beating the egg with one tablespoon of water well. Brush the rim of the pie shell with egg wash and place the second piece of dough on top, gently pressing over the apples.

  8. Lightly connect the top and bottom pieces of dough together and tuck the excess dough under. Crimp the edges as desired, with a fork or with your fingers.

  9. Brush the entire surface of the pie with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut three vents in the top to allow steam to escape.

  10. Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until the crust turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F and continue baking, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the crust turns a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling and have thickened, about 1 hour.

  11. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely and enjoy with whipped cream or ice cream!

Watch the video

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