We’ve all had apple pie many times throughout the years at church potlucks, birthday parties, and Thanksgiving dinner. What makes it such a country-wide favorite? I think it’s the comfort food appeal of the warm, tender apples with the signature cinnamon flavor. Many of us have fond memories of our Mom’s or Grandma’s apple pie, which makes this dessert a unique tie to family history. With a crisp, flaky pastry crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it is a truly mouthwatering dessert worthy to be savored by generations!
Since it is such a classic, I’ve changed up the traditional recipe a little. To get a more sophisticated blend of flavors, try using two or even three kinds of apples in the filling. Sweet apples, like Golden Delicious, add good flavor, while the traditional Granny Smith hold their shape well when cooked. Experiment and see what you like best.
As a twist on the traditional cinnamon flavor, I’ve flavored the filling predominately with mixed spice with only 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mixed spice is similar to pumpkin pie spice, but it has a different flavor and aroma that is delicious in pies, breads, and more. Be sure to check out my quick and easy recipe for mixed spice!Print
What can be more classic than apple pie? This easy apple pie is a delectable combination of flaky pastry and a sweet filling.
For the Pastry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2/3 cup lard, chilled
- Several tablespoons of ice-cold water
For the Filling
- 1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples
- 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp. mixed spice
- 1 beaten egg
Making the Pastry
- Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add the cold lard and rub it in to the flour with your fingertips. The mixture should look like breadcrumbs, but should still have some larger clumps of fat.
- Pour in 1 tablespoon of cold water and fluff the mixture to combine. Slowly add more water and stir with your hand until all the flour is picked up from the sides of the bowl.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
Preparing the Filling
- Peel and thinly slice the apples. Submerge the apples in a large bowl filled with cold water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
- In a large, deep saucepan, melt the unsalted butter.
- Dump in the apples and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the apples from the saucepan with a slotted spoon, leaving the juices in the pan.
- Let the juices boil for about 12 minutes in the saucepan, stirring frequently. They should be thick, but not caramelized.
- Immediately pour the sauce over the apples, add the flour and spices, and mix well.
- Spread the filling in a casserole dish and chill in the fridge until fully cooled.
Assembling the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 375 F, and place a sturdy cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out roughly 2/3 of the pastry to a large circle about 1/8″ thick.
- Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and lay it in a 9″ glass pie plate.
- Gather the scraps and roll the remaining pastry to a circle large enough to cover the pie. The pastry should be about 1/8″ thick.
- Spoon the chilled apple filling into the pie plate, spreading it evenly.
- Brush the edge of pastry with beaten egg.
- Roll the pastry lid over the rolling pin and place over the pie. Press down firmly to seal it to the bottom crust.
- Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife, saving them for decorations, then crimp the edges.
- Brush beaten egg over the whole pie.
- To decorate the pie, cut out leaves or some other shape with cookie cutters from the pastry scraps and place them on the pie. Brush beaten egg on them as well.
- Cut a few vent holes in the pie’s lid.
- Put the pie on the preheated cookie sheet and bake at 375 F for about 55 minutes, until the pastry is richly browned and the juices are thick and bubbling.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before serving.
If you are using store-bought pastry, reduce the prep time by 20 minutes.