A few weeks ago I drove out to an Apple orchard with my family on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon much like this one. My two year old niece had never been before and it’s actually been several years since I visited one myself. They’re really nice places to go to in the fall, especially if they’re the ones that let you pick your own apples for a small fee. This orchard was huge; it had varieties/flavors of apples that I had never even heard of before. And considering I once had an apple obsession (eating two a day, practically religiously) I found that pleasantly surprising.
The usual suspects that I personally love were present: Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Macintosh, Jonagold, Ida Red, Jazz, Cortlands. They also had varieties that I steadfastly avoid at all times, like Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. Then there were ones like Empire (GINORMOUS apples btw), Spy, and Mutsu that I wouldn’t know from Adam or Eve.
Pun kinda intended.
Long story short, we came outta there with a crap load of apples. Before we even got home, I knew what I wanted to do with them (I mean, besides just eat them raw. I’ve definitely been doing that too.)
I was definitely gonna make an apple pie. There was just no way around it.
You’d think that because this was my first time making an apple pie, I’d try to play it safe and go with something…normal.
But I didn’t want to make one that was ‘ordinary’. I had too many apples for that. Plus, I had just bought myself a deep dish pie plate on clearance that I really wanted a chance to break in.
So, this happened.
I’ll tell you guys. The smell of apple pie….a fresh, packed-to-the-brim, good, old fashioned deep dish, lattice crust apple pie really is one of the THE best aromas that could ever be in your house. Believe me when I say that.
The smell that filled not only my place, but the lobby and hallways of my apartment building are what I’m preeeeetty sure Heaven smells like.
Actually, I’m more than pretty sure. I’m positive. Heaven smells like a deep dish lattice crust apple pie.
Remember, you heard it first from here.
Do I honestly need to continue?
Is it really necessary for me to extol and sing the praises of this pie to convince you guys how friggin marvelous it tastes? Should I tell you how flaky and buttery the crust is and describe the slightly sweet crunch that the sprinkling of sugar on top just before baking gives to it? Should I describe the way the apples form a soft, tender, slightly gooey filling, and the small hint of cinnamon your taste buds get just after the tang of that initial tartness?
Or should I REALLY drop the bomb on you and try to give an accurate description of how this baby tastes piping hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle of caramel syrup on top?
I think not. That would just be cruel.
You’ve all got eyes. And kitchens. So, I suggest you get in em and crank this pie out for you and your loved ones. I guarantee it would make the top of someone’s list of Things to be Thankful for come Thanksgiving 😉
Deep Dish Apple Pie
Recipe Courtesy of The Complete America’ Test Kitchen Cookbook
For Pie Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable or butter flavored shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
special equipment (HIGHLY recommended): a box grater
- Unbleached, all purpose flour, for the work surface
- 2 1/2 pounds firm tart apples (about 5 large), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 1/2 pounds firm sweet apples (about 5 large), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 1 tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg white, beaten
For Pie Crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt with a fork and set aside. Rub the pieces of shortening into the flour mixture either with your hands or a fork, mixing just until it looks like coarse bread crumbs. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter directly into the flour mixture. Stir a few times with a fork , then make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour in the ice water, using a stiff rubber spatula/fork to make the dough come together. If it’s still too dry, you may add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until it holds together. Divide the dough in half, then wrap each half in plastic wrap. Allow it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour, but preferably overnight.
Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over the edge; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the other disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface, then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap ans refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Toss apples, 1/2 cup of granulates sugar, the brown sugar, zest, salt and cinnamon together in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until apples are tender when pierced with a fork but still hold their shape. Transfer apples and juices to a rimmed baking sheet and cool to room temp, about 30 minutes.
Adjust an oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain cooled apples thoroughly through colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Stir lemon juice into the reserved cup of apple juice.
Spread apples into the dough lined pie plate, and pour the lemon juice mixture over them. Loosely roll out 2nd piece of dough onto a floured surface, and cut into strips. Arrange the strips over the top of pie in a criss-cross lattice design. Trim, fold and crimp the edges. Brush the dough with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar.
Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, rotate baking sheet and continue to bake until the juices in pie are bubbling and crust is a deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes linger. Cool the pie on a wire rack until the filling has set, about two hours. (I let my pies sit overnight then serve them at room temp, or microwaved, just to make sure the filling isn’t runny, but that’s just my personal preference)