Even though Thanksgiving has already passed, it is never too late to learn how to bake an apple pie from scratch and create something delicious for your friends and family. Apple pies are a timeless classic and my personal favorite dessert. As someone who enjoys eating extra sour green apples on the daily, baking apple pie is my love letter to my favorite fruit.
My story with apple pie isn’t as traditional as the typical family recipe that’s been passed down several generations — this recipe is of my own making backed by deep internet research and various trial and error. The first time I embarked on this recipe was last year while I was procrastinating for an accounting exam. I felt stressed and overwhelmed by my classes and sought for a creative — and delicious — outlet. I found inspiration in the fall season and took it upon myself to bake an apple pie from scratch.
I researched countless recipes and food blogs to find recipes that were feasible given the limited ingredients and kitchen utensils I had in my apartment. After a year of experience, I have been able to craft the perfect recipe for a pie crust and filling that the average college student could tackle.
Prep time: 1.5 hours
Bake time: 45 minutes
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ pound cold unsalted butter (2 sticks) diced into ¼" pieces
- 7 tablespoons ice water
- 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 egg
- Place flour, sugar and salt into the bowl and mix.
- Dice the butter into small cubes and add to the mixture.
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly until small spheres begin to form.
- Add 7 tbsp ice water and mix until moist clumps begin to form. I recommend adding 4 tbsp first, mixing for two minutes and then adding the three remaining tbsp to balance out the moisture.
- The dough should still be relatively powdery but the mixture should be ready if some dough can stick between your fingertips. If this isn’t the case, feel free to slowly add a little more water until this is true.
- Once the dough is ready, place it onto a tray or cutting board. It should still feel a little powdery and sticky as you collect it into a large ball.
- Divide the dough into two separate spheres and flatten into disks.
- Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for one hour.
Filling and baking directions
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Carefully slice apples into thin to medium slices. Thinner slices bake more easily but don’t worry about making them paper-thin. Place slices into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
- Evenly pour the lemon juice onto the apple slices and then pour the spice mixture onto the slices. Mix thoroughly.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator once an hour has passed. Spread flour onto a flat work surface to massage one disk to place and spread evenly onto a 9’’ pie pan. Use a fork to poke small holes in the dough to ensure it bakes evenly.
- Spoon apple slices into the crust-lined pie plate. I recommend being methodical about placement to maximize slice distribution.
- Knead and lay out the second disk of dough using flour on your hands and the surface. Flatten out into a large disk.
- Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut thin strips of dough out of the disk.
- Place strips across the filling vertically and then braid them horizontally by interchanging the strips above and below.
- Crack one egg and pour egg white into a small bowl without the yolk. Mix thoroughly using a whisk until the liquid is slightly bubbly. Using the whisk or a brush, gently spread egg white mixture onto the pie and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for about twenty minutes.
Creating this apple pie recipe is one of my proudest accomplishments from my time at the University. Good grades and leadership positions are nothing compared to the joy of sharing something I made myself with the people I love. To optimize the pie-eating experience, I also recommend trying it à la mode — with vanilla ice cream on the side.
If you do happen to try the pie recipe this holiday season, I hope you also share it with loved ones. In my short time as an apple pie enthusiast, I’ve found baking to be a love language of its own.