We’ve all had apple pie at some point in our lives, but this pie takes the cake! (Insert giggle for questionable baking joke?) The filling isn’t runny at all, and the pie crust is nice and flaky. Chef Marco also gave us some really helpful tips to judge how well the dough needs to be mixed before refrigerating it, which is probably one of the trickiest parts of making a pie from scratch.
“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”
– Jane Austen
FLAKY PIE DOUGH
- 320 g pastry flour
- 20 g granulated sugar
- 6 g salt
- 225 g unsalted butter (cold)
- 160 mL water (cold)
- Mix flour, sugar, and salt together
- Add cold butter to the flour mixture and work in using your hands (~1 minute).
- Add all of the water at once and tumble the dough together (~30 seconds – 1 minute).
- Saran wrap and refrigerate dough.
- The butter should form pea sized chunks in the dough.
- The larger the flakes of fat in the dough, the flakier the pastry will be.
- You can use other forms of fat (lard, shortening) which have a lower water content than butter, so they will end up flakier. That said, we’re a little biased towards butter.
- It’s critical to keep everything cold; if the dough becomes warm, the fat will absorb into the dough, and it won’t be layered and flaky. For this reason, it’s important to let the dough chill before rolling it out.
- Leaving the dough overnight helps to distribute moisture evenly through the dough.
“You don’t need a reason for butter.”
– Chef Marco
- 5 apples
- 170 g granulated sugar
- 14 g tapioca starch
- 28 g cornstarch
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 20 mL lemon juice
- 28 g melted butter
- pie dough
- Peel, core, and slice the apples so they are relatively thick.
- Combine the sugar, starches, spices, lemon juice, and butter, and tumble with the apples.
- Cut 2/3 of the pie dough and put the other third back in the fridge.
- Roll out the pie dough to a uniform thickness that’s big enough to cover the base of the pie pan.
- Press the rolled dough into the pie pan, and pour the apple filling on top. Brush the dough edges with water.
- Roll out the remaining dough (fairly thin) and cover the filling.
- Press down the edges, and cut off the excess with a paring knife. Crimp the edges with a fork, then cut the excess off again.
- Brush the top of the pie with water, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 380 F for about 1 hour, until the crust is golden brown.
- The starch and flour act as a gelling agent in the filling and help keep the pie from getting too liquidy. Tapioca starch doesn’t break down with heat, and helps retain the consistency more effectively than cornstarch. However, the texture of cornstarch is better than that of tapioca, so a mix of the two is ideal.
- Marco likes to use Gala/Ambrosia/Pink Lady apples as they hold their shape and are sweeter, allowing you to use less sugar in the baking. Granny Smith apples have a lot of juice.
- Sugar caramelizes around 155˚C, which it won’t reach inside the pie.
- An egg wash is not ideal for a 1 hour bake time; the crust will get too brown.