My First American Apple Pie

Warm and sweet homemade apple pie made with love for my love to celebrate love. An apple pie with layers of sweet cinnamon-spiced apples nestled in a buttery pie crust is best served with vanilla ice cream for an ultimate home-style dessert. But I skipped the ice cream part because it dawned on me late. :-D

I never thought I would include this apple pie in the blog but since the time I shared on Instagram I get recipe request even today. Even though I mentioned that it is my first attempt and totally recreated from my favourite sources I get told that they want to know how I did it as it makes it easier for them to understand and follow. Well, here I am sharing the details I remember, the recipe I noted and some tips that will make it easier for you.

My First American Apple Pie

Is apple pie American or British?

Is apple pie American or British? :-) I really want to say there is nothing all American when it comes to food and definitely not an Apple Pie because they never had apples and still don't have the Bramley apples which the British use to make their apple pies. America is a land of immigrants from around the globe and their favourites all got Americanized so much to have the saying "as American as apple pie" :-D We are not far behind either, India has made their own "Chinese" food which I am sure no one approves to be Chinese :-D But did you know India does not have a "National Dish"!

What differentiates American apple pie from the British? 

I too wanted to know about this so I read up a lot over the internet and books. The two major difference is the apples and the spice. The Americans use Granny Smith or any baking apples and a good dash of Cinnamon powder. The British use Bramley apples that are exclusive and they don't use any spice, not even cinnamon.

My First American Apple Pie

How to make an apple pie at the comfort of your home?

The ingredients are very simple but the technique and timing are crucial. You have to use all chilled ingredient because we don't want the butter to melt and make a mess. Chill before and after making the dough, chill before baking and serve warm or cold! 
  1. Start with making the shortcrust pastry aka pie dough (pâte brisée as the french calls it). I chose to make the one without the vegetable shortening so this is all-butter pie dough.
  2. Make two portions of the dough and roll one for the bottom crust.
  3. Prep the bottom crust in the pie dish and chill.
  4. Prepare the apple filling - this is the easiest part of the recipe.
  5. Fill the pie with the apple filling.
  6. Top the pie with the remaining rolled out dough.
  7. Seal the edges and make your own decor on it.
  8. Egg wash and BAKE! 
  9. Wait for it to cool COMPLETELY before you can dig in.
  10. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream - which I failed to do.
When I made this I first, watched my go-to person Laura Vitale but she used shortening. I never buy vegetable shortening so I looked out for a recipe without it and landed at Everyday Food where Thomas Joseph shared how to make an all American apple pie! As he did not include the making of pie dough, I referred Iron Whisk to read up on how to make a perfect pie dough with pics. 

My First American Apple Pie
Can you see the braid? I made with the excess dough got after trimming the edges :-P

Avoid these mistakes:

  • Don't use Gala apples! :-D I did and it reduced a lot leaving too much gap between the top crust and the filling. Use granny smith, honey crisp, golden delicious etc. 
  • Wait for it to cool completely else you will have a runny filling like I did. I read it takes a minimum of 3 hours to cool! 
  • Serve with some vanilla ice cream 

My First American Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS 

For the Pie Crust: (makes enough for 1 double-crust 7-inch pie)
1 cup and 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, chilled*
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
128gms butter (cold and solid), cut into chunky cubes 
1/4 cup very cold ice water

For the Apple Pie Filling:
2 to 3 apples (approx 500gms) (preferably the cooking apples like granny smith or golden delicious)
1 to 2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
14gms butter
a pinch salt

For the Egg Wash:
1 egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon cream

For Garnish:
Large granulated sugar or sanding sugar

*To ensure a flaky crust, chill the flour and the butter before using. 

METHOD

Prepare the dough:
  1. Add the flour, sugar and salt into a mixie or a food processor
  2. Pulse it for a few seconds 
  3. Add the very cold and solid butter cubes and pulse again only for a few seconds until coarse crumbs form
  4. Add the ice water little at a time between pulses just until dough holds together and is not wet or sticky
  5. Remove the dough and divide into two portions 
  6. Shape each portion into a flat thick disk 
  7. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate them for at least 1 hour or overnight 
Prepare the Pie Crust:
  1. Dust the counter with flour and roll one portion of the chilled dough to less than a quarter-inch thick (large enough cover the depth and sides of the pie dish)
  2. Carefully place the rolled out dough into a 7-inch deep-dish pie plate
  3. Lightly press it to the bottom and sides of the pie dish (ensure the dough overlaps the edge)
  4. Refrigerate for about an hour
  5. Roll remaining disk of dough to the same thickness and refrigerate until needed or at least 30 mins
Prepare the Apple Pie Filling:
  1. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4 inch wedges 
  2. Toss together apples, lemon zest and juice, sugars, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl until all of the apple wedges are coated
  3. Stir in chilled cubed butter into the apple bowl
Assemble the Apple Pie:
  1. Take out the pie dish from the fridge
  2. Carefully arrange the apple filling into the piecrust ensuring to reduce any air pockets
  3. Scrape all of the stuff from the bowl into the pie crust dish
  4. Take the top crust from the fridge and place to cover the pie dish
  5. Trim any excess dough from the sides making sure you have enough to pinch both the bottom and top crust together to seal the crust
  6. Crimp (curl) the crust by pushing the sealed edge to the pie dish so it makes a wave or fluted design 
  7. Use a knife and make a few vents on the top crust which will allow the steam to escape while baking and make the pie flaky and crispy
  8. Refrigerate to chill the pie dish for about 20 to 30 minutes before egg washing and baking

Preheat the oven at 200c with the wire rack on level 2 or level 3


Egg wash and Bake the Apple Pie: 
  1. Whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream in a small bowl
  2. Lightly brush the all of the piecrust with egg wash
  3. Sprinkle the sanding sugar or any regular sugar
  4. Bake for 25 mins at 200c until the crust starts to brown
  5. Lower the temperature to 190c and bake for another hour and 10 mins or until the bottom crust is brown (a glass dish makes this easy to identify)
  6. Tent with foil if crust browns too quickly - (something like this)
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack for more than 3 hours before cutting and serving 
  8. Serve warm or cold with or without ice cream!
  9. Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (won't last that long :-))
My First American Apple Pie

More than a recipe post, I am happy to have this on the blog as a memory of what I did for our 6th wedding anniversary and the first one in Abu Dhabi. I consider anniversaries and birthdays as opportunities to tick off any recipes that I have been longing to try! The pie was at the top of the list and finally, I got to it with some beginner's luck maybe. :-P

I hope this post inspires you to try making your first Pie! 

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