5 Things I Learned From Making My First Apple Pie

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Dutch Apple Pie by PinchMeTwice.com

Since re-starting my baking journey late last year, one of the things that I hadn’t gotten around to was making a pie completely from scratch. Like many people, I had been accustomed to using pre-made pie crust. Awhile back I came across a recipe for Dutch Apple Pie; and now that Fall is here, it was only right that I gave it a shot.

Making this pie was a great experience, and there were several things that I learned in the process:

  • I Should Have Used a Food Processor

In most of the pie dough recipes that you come across, they instruct you to use a food processor in order to blend your ingredients. I do not currently own a food processor, and although my pie dough didn’t come out terribly, I do think that a food processor would improve the dough greatly. I have read that using a food processor is the most reliable way to blend the ingredients in pie crust.

  • I Should Have Taken My Time Cutting The Apples

So when I started making this pie, I didn’t take my time when prepping the apples. My slices were uneven and chunky. Though this did not effect the taste of my pie, I did have a bit of difficulty fitting all of the slices onto the crust.

 

Dutch Apple Pie by PinchMeTwice.com

  • I Shouldn’t Have Docked My Pie Crust

Before pre-baking my pie crust, I made the silly mistake of docking it with a fork. Yes, for some pie crusts this step is acceptable, however with this particular recipe I could have potentially ruined my pie. The juice mixture that I slathered on top of the pie began to seep out, and when I went to cut slices of pie, the crust was soggy.

  • Don’t Roll the Pie Dough Too Thin

Self-explanatory. After making the pie dough I realized that this recipe did not yield very much dough. The next time I make a pie I will use a different crust recipe, so when I roll it out I won’t run into this problem.

  • Making A Pie From Scratch Takes Longer Than I Thought

I totally underestimated how long this would take me to do. It took me longer than the listed time probably because I was doing other things in between. In the future I will make the pie crust ahead of time instead of trying to do everything in one day.

Even though I had some mishaps with this Dutch Apple Pie, it was totally worth it. It’s actually one of the best pies I’ve ever had!  

I recorded most of the process, so make sure you check out the video below:

 

Dutch Apple Pie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 slices
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, chilled
  • 4-5 tablespoons of cold water
  • Filling:
  • 9 Granny Smith apples
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • Topping:
  • 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the shortening and butter over the dry ingredients and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, work them into the flour mixture until it looks like sand. Sprinkle the water over the mixture and use a fork to incorporate until it is evenly moistened. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it onto a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Ease the dough into the pan corners. Trim the dough edges to extend about ½ inch beyond the rim of the pan. Fold the overhang under itself; flute the dough to flatten it against the rim of the pie plate. Refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate until firm, about 40 minutes, then freeze until very cold, about 20 minutes.
  3. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375F. Remove the dough-lined pie plate from the freezer, press a doubled 12-inch piece of heavy-duty foil inside the pie shell, and fold the edges of the foil to shield the fluted edge; distribute 2 cups of ceramic or metal pie weights over the foil. Bake, leaving the foil and weights in place until the dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue baking until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and increase the oven temperature to 425F.
  4. To make the filling: Peel, quarter, and core the apples; slice each quarter crosswise into pieces ¼ inch thick. Toss the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Heat the butter in a large pot over high heat until foaming subsides; add the apples and toss to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the apple slices are tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Set a large colander over a large bowl; transfer the cooked apples to the colander. Shake the colander and toss the apples to drain off as much juice as possible. Bring the drained juice and the cream to a boil in a pot over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the apples to the pre-baked pie shell; pour the reduced juice mixture over and smooth.
  6. To make the topping: Combine the flour and sugars in a medium bowl; drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened and the mixture forms large chunks. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the pie filling. Set the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until the streusel topping is deep golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated & Brown Eyed Baker