My mom’s apple pie is a family favorite. My mom has made apple pies for my grandpa’s birthday for years. This is her recipe with a little tip that was passed down from my great-grandmother.
I usually use Granny-Smith apples or other cooking apples. I’ve been successful with other types of apples too though. Just don’t use Red Delicious! Even though they are cheap, they just don’t have enough flavor for my preference.
The first step is to add all of your dry ingredients (granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, and ground spices) into a small bowl. Mix it and set it aside. Then peel, core, and quarter your apples. Then, slice the apples to between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch.
Put eight cups of sliced apples into a large pot. Add two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of water. Cook the apples over a low heat until they just start softening. Remove from the heat. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Then set the apple pie filling aside.
It’s time to make the pastry! This pastry recipe is really basic and easy. The key is to keep the dough as cold as possible and to work it as little as possible. Make sure the butter you use is cold (that means leaving it in the fridge until the last possible moment). You should also use cold water in your pastry (ice water if you can!).
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar and mix to combine. Chop the cold butter into small squares and add it to the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or a fork until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork or your hand until the door starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out and knead 12-15 times or just until the dough forms a cohesive ball.
Split the dough into two equal parts. Wrap one part in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other piece of pastry dough until it is round and thin. If you place your pie tin in the middle of the rolled out dough it needs to be large enough that you have around 2″ of space on every side of the pie tin.
Carefully fold the rolled out pastry dough into fourths. This makes it much easier to transfer it to your pie tin. Unfold the dough. Take the second piece of dough out of the fridge and roll it out. This time when you fold it in fourths, cut small slits along the folds. Not only does this look pretty, but it lets steam vent from the pie and helps prevent your pie from getting soggy.
Add the pie filling to your pastry lined pie tin. Place the pastry pie top of your filled pie and unfold it. Cut-off any excess pastry leaving a 1″ overhang. Tuck the overhang under to create a neat edge. Then crimp the edges of your pie.
Brush the top of your pie with milk and then sprinkle it with granulated sugar. This is a trick passed down from my great-grandmother. The milk won’t give the pie as much color as a traditional egg wash but it is pretty and delicious! The milk caramelizes in the oven and the sugar crisps adding a little extra crunch to the pastry.
Bake in an oven preheated to 450° F for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 350° F and bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden and crispy. Let your pie cool for at least 20 minutes before you cut and serve the pie. This will give the juices time to cool and thicken so your pie filling doesn’t gush out when you cut your first piece.
Mom’s Apple Pie
For the Pie Filling
- 8 cups peeled and sliced apples
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Pie Crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 13 tablespoons cold butter
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the Pie Filling
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Mix the flour, sugar, and ground spices into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Peel, core and thinly slice 8 cups of apples. Place in a large pan. Add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat just until the apples are tender. Do not overcook! Remove from the heat and do not drain.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir. Set pie filling aside.
For the Pie Crust
- Add the salt, sugar, and flour to a medium bowl and toss to combine.
- Cut the cold butter into small squares. Then cut the butter into the flour with a fork or a pastry cutter until it resembles fine crumbs.
- Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time until the pastry comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the pastry out and knead 12-15 times until it forms a loose ball. Split the pastry into 2 balls (one for the top crust and one for the bottom crust). Wrap one in plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
- Roll out the other ball of pastry into a thin circle that is larger then your pie tin. Fold in fourths, place it in a 9" pie dish, and carefully unfold.
Assembling the Pie
- Scoop the pie filling into the pastry lined pie dish.
- Roll out the second ball of pastry until it is round, thin and larger than your pie tin. Fold it into fourths and make several slices along the seams (these will allow your pie to release steam and keep it from getting soggy).
- Place the top crust on the pie and unfold. Cut excess pastry, leaving around an inch of overhang.
- Fold under the edges of the pastry and crimp.
- Brush the top of the pie with a tablespoon of milk and sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of sugar. This gives your pie a glazed finish that is more subtle (and tastes better) than an egg wash.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. This pie pairs well with vanilla ice cream.