This past weekend I made my first apple pie! Yes, I am an American and I love to cook and I just now baked my first apple pie. I had always been a little intimidated of the making of fruit pies. I think it was mostly the crust that scared me, so I always made these apple pie squares instead. But my parents were coming to town, and my dad and Caleb love apple pie. So an apple pie it was! And really, it was so much simpler than I anticipated. I had made the pie dough ahead of time, so while dinner was in the oven on Friday night, I peeled and sliced all the apples and my mom rolled out the dough. I had made homemade vanilla ice cream earlier in the week, and really - it doesn't get much better than a warm slice of apple pie with fresh vanilla ice cream.
double crust pie dough (recipe below)
5-6 medium/large Granny Smith apples (about 2.5 lbs), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough into approximately a 12-inch round. (Keep the other half of the pie dough chilled for now.) Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Position an oven rack in the upper-middle position. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Toss well to combine. When the bottom crust is finished chilling, pour the apple mixture and accumulated juices into the bottom pie crust and use a spatula to even the top out slightly. Dot the surface of the apples with the pieces of cold butter. Roll out the remaining pie dough on a floured work surface into approximately a 10-inch round. Place over the apple mixture, and then fold the excess pie crust from the bottom pie crust over the top pie crust, and crimp to seal.
Place a baking sheet on the lower oven rack. Place the pie on the upper rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 45-55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Basic Pie Dough
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp very cold water
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly to blend. Add in the butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest butter pieces are not much bigger than peas. Mix in the cold water on low speed just until the dough comes together (you may not use all the water).
Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (This dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.) Remove from refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Use as directed in your desired pie recipe.
*Yields one 9-inch pie crust, so double the recipe for a double crust pie