Our farmer’s market has been filled with wall to wall apples the last couple of weeks, so I decided to make a pie over the weekend. It was a dreary last couple of days so it was nice to fill the house with the nice warm smell of cinnamon and apples. I make these pies a lot of different ways but this is my favorite recipe, just a very simple and classic old-fashioned apple pie. The only down-fall of this recipe is that you really do have to wait for it to completely cool and set before you can cut into it… it’s the longest 3 hours of your life! I like to serve it with my homemade cinnamon ice cream, and it’s also a great dessert idea for Thanksgiving.
Start off by making the crust, which is just a simple pâte brisée (this is french for “short dough”because there is such a high ratio of fat cut into the flour). Pulse 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp salt in a food processor. Add 2 sticks cold unsalted butter that’s been cut into small pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add in ice water, starting with 1/4 cup until dough starts to come together. Dump onto piece of plastic wrap, knead together, divide into two even pieces & wrap disks in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 1 day).
Next make the pie by turning out 1 piece of dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 13-inch round. Fit into 9-inch pie plate, without trimming excess and then refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the filling by combining 3 lbs assorted apples (that have been cored, peeled and cut in to even slices), 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp salt in a large bowl. Fill pie shell with apple mixture (I like to do it one slice at a time making overlapping circles so I make sure they’re evenly dispersed) and dot with 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter that’s been cut in to small pieces. Lightly brush edge of bottom dough with a wet pastry brush. Roll out second disk of dough exactly like the first and place on top of pie. Line up the top and bottom edges and trim to about 1 inch bigger than the rim. Roll the bottom dough over the top piece and crimp edges as desired. Make four 3-inch slits in center of pie. Brush top with light layer of heavy cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, take one oven rack out and place the remaining one at the lowest spot in the oven. Preheat to 425F. Bake the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet at this temperature for 25 minutes just to brown the crust, then set the temperature to 375F and bake the pie for 60-75 minutes more until the inside is bubbling and the pie is a golden brown. If the pie or the crust starts browning too quickly, just tent it with foil. Let the pie cool for at least 3 hours before cutting into it!