Apple pie tips are here! Apple pie happens to be my specialty. I think my husband actually married me for my apple pie! I learned pie-making from my Grandma Howard, and worked to perfect some of her techniques. Here are my 10 tips for better apple pies, just in time for Thanksgiving and holiday baking! My grandma’s Apple Pie recipe is at the bottom of this post!
Apple Pie Tips for a Flaky Crust
People think apple pie is difficult. Far from true. Apple pies are very easy to make if you practice a little and know some tricks for working with the pie crust. My apple pie tips start with creating a delicious crust.
Make more – if you’re going to make one apple pie, make two. Make three! I just made three apple pies in two hours before writing this post. Honestly, you have all the ingredients out anyway, and the steps are so simple, you might as well make the most of it!
Butter is BEST – Crisco works. A blend of butter and Crisco is better.
Don’t Overwork the Dough – First of all, it’s not dough anyway, it’s pastry crust. So you don’t want to knead it. I stir mine with a fork while adding the water slowly in little dribbles. Stir and fluff as I add water until everything starts to lump together.
Flour Your Rolling Pin – The worst part of rolling out the crust is that if you have some sticky spots, it will stick to the rolling pin, and your crust will tear. Leading you to have to patch it together, or ball it up and re-roll. Leading you to… well, see tip #3 again.
Fold It – instead of trying to lift the entire crust up off the counter and into the pie shell, fold it in half and then into quarters. Then you can lift the crust without it stretching and breaking. Put the folded crust into the pie pan and then unfold. This will save you a lot of grief!
Store It – Did you know pie crust can be stored in the fridge for a few days? or that you can assemble the entire apple pie and put it in the fridge to bake the next day. Or even wrap it well and put it uncooked into the freezer for a later date? Remember when I told you to make more pies – this is why! (You can freeze a cooked apple pie, but I don’t recommend it.)
Apple Pie Tips for Better Filling
Granny Knows Best – Granny Smith apples are the best choice for apple pie in my opinion. Although…
Variety is the Spice – how many times can I use THAT phrase! Try using a variety of apples in your pie. Or add some other fruit along with the apples. Try tossing in some cranberries. Or blueberries. Pears might work too.
Even Steven – cut your apples all about the same size to ensure even cooking throughout
Toss Up – instead of dumping your apples into the pie crust and then pouring the sugar on top, toss the cut-up apples with your spice/sugar mixture for an evenly spiced pie.
Grandma Howard’s Apple Pie Recipe
- 2 Cups Flour
- Pinch Salt
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 5-6 tart, firm apples (I prefer Granny Smith), peeled and sliced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 T Flour
- 1 T Cinnamon
- 1 T butter
- 1 T milk or scrambled egg
- For the crust:
- Blend flour and salt.
- Cut in chilled butter pieces with a form or pastry blender until crumbs form.
- Slowly dribble in ice water while stirring crumbly crust mixture. You'll see the crush start to clump together and get a little stretchy. Don't overstir.
- When it starts to form big chunks, press together with hands.
- Divide into 2 balls and press into flat disk about 1" thick.
- Roll out on a little flour to the size of your pie dish.
- For the Filling:
- Toss apple slices with the sugar/flour/cinnamon mixture.
- Layer into pie dish lined with crust.
- Dab the 1 T of butter over the apples.
- Cover with 2nd crust. Trim and crimp edges.
- Brush with milk.
- Bake at 475 F for 15 minutes.
- Lower temperature to 350 F and bake for 45 minutes.
- **Place foil under pie pans to catch sticky apple juice which may bubble out during cooking.
More Pie Recipes & Ideas
We can all use a little more pie right!? How about these:
- No-Roll Oil Pie Crust – for when you don’t want to fuss
- Lattice Top Cherry Pie – for when you want to be fancy (but not actually do a lot of work! ha!)
- Create Your Own Pie – use a store bought pie, but make it your own!
- Pecan Pie Chia Pudding – taking pie flavor to new places!
Get ready for baking season!
Shop for all the accessories to make baking pies a breeze! Some of these accessories are more for the beauty of decorating the crust, so I’ve put these in order of importance. All you really need is a pie dish and wooden rolling pin! But, it’s fun to have nice tools to get creative with too, or to put together a gift set!
(These links are Commissions Earned Amazon Affiliate links)
Pyrex Easy Grab Glass 9.5 Inch Pie Plate (2-Pack)Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Wooden Rolling Pin, German Beechwood with Steel Ball Bearings, 10-Inch by 2-InchSpring Chef Dough Blender, Top Professional Pastry Cutter with Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Blades, Medium SizeWalfos Pie Server, Stainless SteelElegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works of ArtArt of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and LifeJoinor Cake Leaves Baking Pie Crust Cutters Set of 4Mini Cookie Cutter Shapes Set – 24Non-slip Silicone Pastry Mat Extra Large with MeasurementsEmile Henry Made In France HR Modern Classics Pie Dish, 9Cast Iron Pie PanMrs. Anderson’s Baking Ceramic Pie Crust Weights, Natural Ceramic Stoneware
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