Fall is Apple Season!
Of course we are going to make Pies. Why not Apple Pie – Two Ways!
I am going to try to write this post in a way that leads you through our pie baking adventures. One of the things about having a food blog is that we spend a lot of time cooking. But just like filming for a movie, things don’t always go as planned. We have a fair amount of out-takes. Sometimes we’re just off our game. Sometimes the light doesn’t want to cooperate for the photo…or we just can’t get that perfect photo for whatever reason. Or, we get to laughing too hard and screw something up simply by not paying attention to the details.
We had basically all of these thing happen with this post. After some consideration – and much contemplation of a re-do – we finally decided that we were just going to roll with it and post the real stuff. Ugly pies deserve love, too!
First Things First…Traditional Two-Crust Apple Pie
You already know that Kit does most of the baking here at Foodology Geek. I (Laura) also get my hands dirty from time to time. Kit made the first pie, a traditional apple pie with a buttermilk-based crust. While it tasted good, we weren’t super happy with the photos. So, we decided to try again. This time I whipped up a Dutch Crunch Apple Pie.
Again, we weren’t super happy with the photos. We chatted about it and decided to just give you both of the recipes as they are. Both pies WERE really tasty…just not supermodels for the camera. We used the buttermilk crust (below) for both of them. The Dutch Crunch pie simply had a crumble on the top instead of a top crust.
In hindsight both of these pies are beautiful in their own right. I think Kit’s is way prettier than mine. Lucky for you, our perfectionism leaves you with two apple pie recipes to choose from! Take your pick and let us know which one you like the best.
Pie #2…Dutch Crunch Apple
The key to good pie is good crust.
The story behind this pie crust…
A few years ago before I started the blog, some of my friends talked me into to doing a cooking school party at my house. They knew that I love to cook. They also knew that I have a fantastic herb garden; and in addition, I had just had my kitchen remodeled. It sounded like fun. So we did it!
The theme was Pumpkin Cooking School. We make Pumpkin Ravioli with a Walnut Cream Sauce for dinner. We also whipped up a batch of my Pumpkin Spice Soup and then finished the evening with some Pumpkin Pie.
Because it was ‘school’…and I’m a scientist that used to be a teacher that can tend towards being a complete overachiever...I decided to run an experiment with pie crust as part of this event! I made the two different crust recipes that I had in my arsenal.
I made my Butter Crust, and my Basic Buttermilk Crust.
I made one batch of each the night before the cooking school to allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Then on the day of the cooking school, we made a fresh batch of each. Sometimes baking recipes call for resting a dough overnight. I wanted to see if this step really mattered.
We discovered that letting the dough rest overnight in the fridge really did yield a flakier crust. In addition, we all felt that the Basic Buttermilk Pie Crust had the best flavor and flakiness.
Pro Tip: The trick to making perfect pie crust is to have the butter as cold as possible. I find that using the blade attachment on my food processor makes it super easy to incorporate the butter without warming it too much in the process. I put the flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor then add the butter. I let it spin until I get a sand-like texture. For the last step, with the machine running, add cold buttermilk. Let the food processor run just until the mixture comes together into a ball. Then just dump it out. Knead it slightly – if needed. Wrap the ball in plastic and store in the refrigerator overnight.
Let us know about your adventures with pie! Sign up so that you never miss a recipe. Check out some of the others, too: pumpkin, pecan, and vegan pumpkin pie!
Basic Buttermilk Pie Crust
Flaky, tender, flavorful crust. This recipe makes two - 9 inch pie crusts. Or enough for a double crust pie.
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter diced and very cold
- ½ cup buttermilk
Add flour, salt and sugar to a food processor bowl with the metal blade. Pulse a few times to blend dry ingredients.
Add cold, diced butter to bowl. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add milk via the liquid cup dispenser. Pulse until the mixture just starts to come together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and smooth any stray pieces together. Knead a few times.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (At least 4 hours)
I always make this in my food processor. It is super fast and super easy. If you don't have a food processor then you can use a pastry cutter.
Dutch Crunch Apple Pie
- 1 Basic Buttermilk Pie Crust See Our Recipe
Apple Pie Filling
- 8 cups apples peeled, cored, sliced (I used Pippin apples.)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- ¾ cup sugar organic cane sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Dutch Crunch Topping
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup demura sugar or brown sugar
- ⅓ cup butter cold, diced
Preheat oven to 450℉
Roll out pie crust and put into pie pan. Set aside.
Pro Tip: Use leftover dough to make cut outs of leaves if desired. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Peel and core apples. Slice and add to bowl. [Pro tip: I squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl that I will be adding the apples to. That way I can toss them with the juice as I go. ]
Add the remainder of the ingredients.
Toss until apples are evenly coated.
Dutch Crunch Topping
Mix flour and sugar together.
Add cold diced butter and cut into the mixture until crumbly.
Sprinkle on the top of the pie.
Add leaf decorations if you have them.
Bake pie for 10 minutes @ 450℉
Reduce oven temperature to 350℉
Bake for another hour.
Let rest for at least an hour before serving.
Classic Apple Pie
This recipe is pretty similar to any two-crust fruit pie (although with berries you'll want to add a thickener, like roughly 4 tbsp tapioca). The fruit pie formula: approx 6 cups fruit, 1/2-1 cup sugar (depending on tartness of fruit), seasoning to complement the fruit (cinnamon, lemon, allspice, orange zest, etc.).
Pie Crust (Traditional, non-Buttermilk)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter very cold, cut into cubes
- 6 tbsp ice water may need up to 8 tbsp
Apple Pie Filling
- 6 cups apples peeled and sliced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor with a steel blade. Add the cold cubed butter. Pulse in short 3-5 second intervals until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal sand. [If you do not have a food processor you can also cut the ingredients together in a bowl using two knives or a dough cutter.)
Transfer mixture into a medium bowl. Sprinkle 4 tbsp of ice water over the mixture. Fold in the water until the dough begins to come together. Add more water if needed.
Form the dough into two balls. Flatten each into a 4-6" wide disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days).
Let the dough sit at room temp for 30-40 minutes before rolling it out.
OPTIONAL: Pre-bake bottom half of the pie shell. Cover the top of the dough with foil, press the foil to fit tightly. Fill the pie shell (over the foil) with dry beans, pasta or ceramic weights. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake for an additional 9 minutes.
Apple Pie Filling
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Peel, core and cut apples into 1/2" slices.
Toss apples with sugar, lemon juice and zest, salt and spices.
Turn fruit mixture into prepared pie shell.
Roll out dough for the top. Place on top of fruit. Crimp edges. Prick the top or cut in a few slices to vent.
Bake until crust is golden brown - about 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees continue baking for another 30-35 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crust a deep brown.
If possible, cool to room temperature before serving.
I use a combination of apple varieties. Green apples have a great structure, but can be very tart. A sweeter apple has good flavor, but can get mushy when cooked. If you use 1/2 of each type, you can get a balanced result.