Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

2019-01-23

Last fall’s apple-picking trip yielded as a lot of apples, but it didn’t yield us any apple pie. So this week, with a giant four-pound bag of Granny Smiths in my fridge, I decided to do something about it.

I have a secret crush on BraveTart and looked on Serious Eats to see if she had tackled this most American of desserts. I’ve made the Cook’s Illustrated deep-dish apple pie countless times, but was looking for something a bit different. Sure enough, Stella’s recipe promised an easy, delicious result, with no pre-cooking of the fruit.

To fit our busy schedule, I decided to weigh, peel, core, and quarter the apples on Tuesday evening. My thinking was to get the time-consuming steps out of the way, and leave the slicing of the apples until the next morning. To fruther discourage browning, I tossed the fruit with lemon juice while they were inside the plastic bag.

Granny Smith apples for pie

The next morning, I finished slicing the apples, and then added the sugar mixture to macerate them. This step serves the same purpose as gently pre-cooking the apples: breaking down the fruit, reducing its volume. In the evening, just after dinner, I made the crust and let it chill. BraveTart’s recipe is all-butter, and doesn’t require the fussiness of vodka and a food processor. Just smearing the cold cubes, and a quick blitz-puff-like folding of the dough.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Once the dough was cold, I followed the rest of the directions, dumping the fruit with its accumulated juices into the bottom shell, then topping it with the other piece of dough.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

After the pie had been in the oven for the minimum time, I took its temperature and saw that it had 5 or 10 degrees to reach 195℉. Oops! After 5 more minutes, the pie filling was bubbling and had almost reached the boiling point.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

While this pie was delicious, with a firm-tender filling, warm spicing, and flaky crust, I don’t think my execution was perfect. I had the dreaded empty space at the top of the pie, but I think that was due to my overcooking the pie for about 10 minutes.

This recipe is definitely less hands-on work than having to pre-cook and cool the filling, so I’m sure I’ll come back to it again.

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