Now that we are in the heart of the Fall season, one question that I continue to be asked is "what apple pie recipe do I use?" While I have posted numerous photos of my pies to my Instagram page and even written a post on my apple pie baking tips, the one thing I have still haven't done is share my favorite apple pie recipe. My go-to apple pie recipe is actually a compilation of various recipes that I have pieced together to create what I think is a pretty exceptional apple pie. Let me just say that making an apple pie from scratch is no joke, and you can expect the process from start to finish to take a little over 3 hours. With that said, there really isn't anything better than a homemade apple pie. Especially when apples are in peak season! This will be my third year making this recipe for Thanksgiving and it thrills me beyond to still receive requests for this pie on such a special occasion. If you aren't afraid of a little kitchen time, this recipe is a must try!
Step 1: Apple Prep
- 4 1/2lbs Granny Smith or Jonagold Apples, Cored, Peeled and Sliced Thin (1/4in thick)
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 2 Tbs Granulated Sugar
Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl, removing any seeds. Dredge the prepped apple slices in the lemon juice. Sprinkle sugar on top of lemon dredged apples. Transfer apples to a colander placed over a bowl to soften slightly and release some of the juices 30min-2hrs. (*I realize that is a large time range. 2hrs is optimal but 30minutes works fine for those under tighter time constraints). Reference my apple pie baking tips post and/or this Alton Brown video to see the importance of draining your apples before baking.
Step 2: Pie Crust Instructions
- For homemade (my preference), I use Ina Garten's Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
- For store bought, you really can't go wrong with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust
**Note- Homemade dough needs to be chilled for at least 30 minutes once it has been made. While it doesn't require as much time as the apple draining, it is still wise to get this step taken care of earlier on in the baking process.
Step 3: For the Caramel Sauce...
This portion of the recipe comes from a very famous pie company in Brooklyn, Four & Twenty Blackbirds. They are famous for their Sea Salted Caramel Apple Pie. The concept for this recipe and the actual caramel sauce recipe are both credited to this fabulous company. Here is a link to the recipe for the caramel sauce. For added convenience, I have also listed the ingredients for the caramel sauce below:
- 1c Granulated Sugar
- 1/4c Water
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter (or 1/4 cup)
- 1/2c Heavy Whipping Cream
*Note- Once the caramel sauce is made, set aside until it is time to assemble the pie.
Step 4: Apple Filling Dry Mixture
Once your apples have drained, toss them in a large bowl with the following dry ingredient mixture:
- 2 Tbs All Purpose Flour
- 1/3 c Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Allspice
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
Step 5: Oven/Baking Prep
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and move oven rack to the bottom third level
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (baking sheet should have raised edges, like this one)
- Pull out an extra sheet of aluminum foil and place it to the side of your oven
- Make the egg wash
- Generously flour the surface you plan to use for rolling out your pie dough and flour your rolling pin as well.
Step 6: Pie Assembly
- Cut your chilled pie crust dough in half, roll out one half and place the other half back in the fridge
- Transfer your rolled out crust to the pie dish
- Add half of the apple mixture to the pie dish, making sure to pack your apples tightly.
- Pour half of the caramel mixture on top of the apples
- Lightly sprinkle about a 1/4tsp of Maldon or Flaked sea salt on top
- Layer the remaining apples on top, again remembering to pack them tightly
- Pour the remainder of the caramel sauce over the apples
- Sprinkle another 1/4tsp of flaked salt on top of the caramel
- Place small cubes of butter across the top of the pie (approximately 2Tbs total)
- Roll out the other half of the pie crust and then place on top of the pie to cover
- Crimp the pie edges and trim off any extra crust
- Using a pastry brush, gently brush the egg wash over the entire crust (including the crimped edges)
- Sprinkle about 1 Tbs of granulated sugar and 1/4tsp of sea salt on top of pie crust
- Use a pairing knife to cut approximate 5 vents in the top of the pie
- Place the pie dish on top of the lined baking sheet and then put everything into the oven
- Bake for 25-30min uncovered, then cover the pie loosely with foil, turn the heat down to 375 degrees fahrenheit and continue to bake for another 45-50 minutes
*Note- you will know your pie is done when you are able to stick a knife or bamboo skewer through a vent at the top of the pie all the way down to the base of the pie without feeling any resistance. In addition, pie juices will start to escape through the vents when the pie is done baking (not always but often).