Classic Apple Pie
It’s a classic for a reason. While there certainly are times to try a light lemon meringue or a decadent French silk, autumn is the time for apple pie to step into the spotlight and remind us why it’s the OG pastry for just about everyone.
As great as apple pie is, we’ve got a few brain waves from the geniuses in our test kitchen that will make it even better. First is the addition of ground ginger to the traditional spice blend of cinnamon and nutmeg. Ginger is such a warm spice that just a little bit significantly amps up the flavor, without calling attention to itself. (We’ll leave it up to you how to answer when people ask, “What’s your secret ingredient?”)
Second is to use two (or more!) kinds of apples to provide a balance of juiciness and firmness. Consider pairing Granny Smiths, which keep their shape well, with sweeter varieties like Honeycrisp or Haralson. Third? Mound your peeled and thinly sliced apples high above the crust because they’ll shrink as they bake — and layer them evenly, so they pack in tightly as they bake, and you don’t get any holes in the filling. And last but not least, don’t forget the salt! Even though it’s a small amount, just that quarter teaspoon helps elevate the sweetness of the finished dish.
Our tip: Say yes to ice cream. You can “a la mode” slices with the traditional vanilla, or expand your taste horizons with options like cinnamon, salted caramel, or even a scoop of pistachio.
Servings: 8 to 12
2 lb sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 lb tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp ground ginger
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 discs pie dough for 9” pie crusts
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°.
In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger, and cornstarch. Mix until the apples are fully coated in the sugars and spices, and set aside.
Roll out 1 disc of the pie dough into a ¼”-thick 12” circle. Using a rolling pin, transfer the dough to a pie plate and then gently press it into the plate. Trim the uneven extra dough, letting about 1” hang over the edges of the plate. Place the pie plate in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm the dough.
Remove the chilled dough from the freezer and transfer the apple filling into it, carefully fitting all of the apples in, and discarding the excess juices. The apples should fill up the pie tin completely and sit in a slight mound. They will shrink a little as they bake.
Roll out the remaining disc of pie dough into a ¼”-thick 12” circle. Then, cut 1”-wide strips, and weave them into a tight lattice top.
Press the ends of the dough strips into the bottom crust to create a seal, trimming off the ends of the dough strips. Fold the extra 1” of dough over the ends, and then flute the edges of the pie.
Transfer the pie to the freezer for 10 minutes, or until the dough is firm. Brush the top of the pie with the heavy cream, and sprinkle the raw sugar on top.
Bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the outer edges are golden brown.
Place aluminum foil around the edges to protect them from getting too brown, and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Wrap the pie in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.