Perfect Apple Pie – Once Upon a Chef

Apple pie recipe cook apples first

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With a crunchy, flaky rind and a thick, cider-flavored apple filling, this is my idea of the perfect apple pie.

apple pie

Even with years of professional and home cooking experience, I still approach homemade cake with a bit of trepidation. I’ve said it before: the person who coined the term “easy as cake” had obviously never made a homemade cake! But making a delicious apple pie is totally doable as long as you have a tried and true recipe like this. The key is to avoid the typical apple pie traps, a soaked crust and a waterlogged filling, by blindly baking the crust and boiling the juices before filling the cake. These steps add a little extra time, but ensure a crunchy, flaky crust and a cider-flavored filling that isn’t in the slightest watery. The perfect apple pie!

What you’ll need

to make apple pie


How to make apple pie

Start by making the crust. It’s easier to use a food processor, but you can also do it by hand if needed. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the container of a food processor equipped with the metal blade. (Baking powder is added to prevent the crust from shrinking during cooking; it helps the crust expand in the pan instead of sliding down the sides.) Press repeatedly to merge.

crust-1 Add the butter pieces and shortening. crust-2

Press until you have thick crumbs with lots of pea- and chickpea-sized butter clumps and butter inside


<img src="" alt="crust-3"


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Add the water and pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened and very crumbly.


Pour the crumbly dough onto a clean work surface and divide into two piles, with one stack approximately 15% larger than the other



Make two dumplings and pat each on a 5-inch disc. Wrap discs in plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.


Remove the largest disc of dough from the refrigerator. Lightly sprinkle your work surface with flour and place the dough on top; Sprinkle a little more flour on the dough. Use your hands to quickly knead the dough into a soft, malleable disc (don’t overwork it; you want it flexible enough to roll).

apple-pie-crust-7 Roll the dough,

adding more flour as needed under and on top of the dough so it doesn’t stick, in a 13-inch circle.


Carefully place the dough on the rolling pin and transfer it to a 9-inch cake pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep). Gently fit the dough into the pan, relaxing it inward instead of stretching it outward. Trim the edges 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the cake pan. Rotate the edges down to create a border on the crust. Press the edge against the edge of the pan, forming an even edge as you go. Use any scratches to patch on any tears or thin areas. Place the crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while heating the oven to 375°F.


Remove the cake crust from the refrigerator and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust with dried beans or cake weights.

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Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and beans/cake weights and place the edges with strips of aluminum foil. (The foil will protect the edges from getting too dark.) Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and golden. Let the bark cool to room temperature. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

<img src="" alt="


” /> Meanwhile, combine apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar,

salt, and cinnamon



Stir until the sugar dissolves and the apples are evenly covered. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.


Drain the apples, collecting the syrupy juice in another bowl

. apples-3

Pour the juice into a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup


<img src="" alt="apples-4"


Heat on high power in the microwave until the juice is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. (Alternatively, you can boil the juices in a small pan on the stove.) The syrup should be slightly thick.

apples-5 Add the

syrup back to the apples, along with the flour and cornstarch; Mix to combine

. apples-6 Add the apple

filling to the peel of the baked cake


<img src="" alt="filled-apple-pie"


Take the other piece of dough out of the refrigerator and roll up in an 11-inch circle, using the same process described above. Place the dough on the apples and set the edges with a fork or flute with your fingers, sealing the upper and lower crust. Work quickly as the heat from the pan will soften the dough. Brush the top crust with egg washing and sprinkle a little sugar on top. Cut a few grooves in the upper crust to allow steam to escape.

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ready to bake

Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let the cake cool completely on a rack before cutting, about 4 hours. Enjoy!


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