How to make an apple pie

Short version of this recipe

Make the crust

At this point, think about whether you want a streusel-topped pie (my favorite) or a lattice topped pie. (Or a solid top-crust pie which I don't show here, but should be easy to figure out on your own.) You do not double a one-crust recipe to make a pie with a top crust, or you'll have too much crust. But you can double a one-crust recipe for two pie shells.

1 crust pie (pie shell)

2 crust pie

Gather your ingredients together. It's easier to find them now, rather than when you are figuring out the recipe.
While you're at it, consider using this apple peeler/corer/slicer. These just rock, and make cooking with apples so much easier.
Measure out your flour carefully. The exact amount does matter.
Measure your salt into your flour, then mix them together well.
Measure your shortening and dump it into your flour/salt mixture.
Cut the shortening into the flour with two table knives (or a pastry cutter). Just keep slashing until it is mealy.
This is what your dough looks like when you've cut it enough. See how there are small bits of shortening covered up in flour? It's not all the same size, but that's fine.
Dump in your ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix it together gently. Really cold water helps keep the dough cooler when you are working it.
Mix the pie dough together until it just holds together, then stop. Overworking your dough will make it tough. You will have bits and pieces that don't fully hold together, and that is okay. If you really need to add a little bit more ice water, that's okay, but add it very slowly, to avoid adding too much and making your dough too sticky.
Put your dough onto a piece of wax paper, and mush it into a circle. Cover with another piece of wax paper, which will keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin and your counter.
Roll out the dough with your rolling pin until it is a bit bigger than your pie crust. Peel off the top layer of wax paper.
Put your upside down pie plate on the crust, then slip your hand under the crust and paper.
Flip everything right side up, and carefully peel of the wax paper.
Squeeze the crust nicely together, if you're making a streusel topping, so it looks nice.
Go all the way around.
This was my first crust. Look at the gaping holes. It's okay if this happens to you.
Take the extra pieces of dough and patch it up. Don't worry that it looks messy, because no one will see most of the crust since it will be filled up with apples.

Make the filling

Peel, core, and slice your apples. This goes quickly if you use the right device, as I recommended above. Otherwise, use a peeler and a knife. It's not too hard to do.
Take the long strips of apple peel and eat them.
As you dump the apple into your mixing bowl, cut the slices in half.
Mix your sugar, salt, cinnamon, and tapioca in a bowl.
Measure out your lemon juice and vanilla. While I normally prefer fresh lemon juice, bottled is just fine in this recipe.
Mix it all together.
Add your apples and mix well.
Dump your apples into the pie shell.
This is how full you want your pie: it's definitely taller than the side of the pan. That's good because the apples will cook down. We'll trim the edges of the pie crust later when we add the lattice topping.

Now the directions split in two: you can make a lattice topping if you made enough crust, or you can make a streusel topping.

Make a lattice topping

Roll out a crust, like you did above, then cut it into strips. There is still a sheet of wax paper underneath the crust, to keep it from sticking.
Choose some medium-length pieces and begin laying them around the pie.
Here we have made a square, and the pieces overlap.
Alternate adding stips in one direction, then the other, overlapping each time.
Trim the edges, to make it look neat.
This is what the lattice pie looks like before it bakes. It's not a perfect lattice, but I don't know how to do that. It looks awfully good though.

Make a streusel topping

Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, then add the butter, which you've cut into pieces.
Cut the butter into the flour and sugar, like you did for the pie crust. You can do this all in a food processor, if you prefer.
Dump the streusel onto the top.
This is what the pie looks like with streusel before it is baked.

Bake the Pie

Put the pie in a preheated, 350F oven for about an hour.
Rotate the pie from front to back halfway through baking, to ensure even cooking.
Relax while the pie cooks--you deserve it!
The pies are done when lightly browned and bubbly, about an hour after you put them in.
This is what the pies look like when done.

Eat the pie

Now comes the fun part. Cut up the pie and serve it to loved ones.
Intense looks of concentration are a good sign.
They indicate that people enjoy the pie.
Taking a picture of someone with their mouth full is mean.
But it sure is fun.
Here is my wonderful mother, without whom there would have been no pie web page, and my father. Apple pie is his favorite dessert.

This web page is copyright © 2003 by Alain Roy. Please do not copy this page without his permission.