It’s my favourite time of year. The leaves are just beginning to turn a little golden, there is a hint of chill in the air and the slightest scent of woodsmoke in the air at night.
Autumn or fall is on the way, which means it’s time to dust off the aprons and start baking one of the tastiest of all kitchen treats, Deep Dish Apple Pie.
My Deep Dish Apple Pie recipe is perfect for when the weather starts to cool down, and all the fresh new-season apples arrive at the markets. It’s a hands-on kind of recipe, ideal to fill an hour or two when you have some time on your hands on the weekend. I like to get up early, make a coffee and put some jazz on the stereo before I start. Baking heaven.
A big, comforting apple pie
The quantities in this recipe make enough for a large, deep dish apple pie, but can be easily halved to make a smaller or shallower pie. I love to weave a lattice topping for the pie, it looks beautifully rustic and sounds much more complicated than it actually is.
You can, of course, just make a simple lid, but it is worth giving the lattice top a go, as it always elicits oohs and aahs of appreciation when it comes out of the oven.
I love the simplicity of flavours in homemade apple pie. There is something so honest and comforting about a sweet apple filling, lightly spiced with cinnamon and wrapped in a golden, flaky homemade pie crust.
You only need simple ingredients to make apple pie!
- Flour, butter, sugar and salt: For a deliciously tender pie crust. I always use unsalted butter as that way I can control the salt content in the finished dish.
- Apples: Tart apples are better than sweet apples for baking. See below for my recommendations on variety
- Lemon zest and juice: To cut the sweetness and stop the apples from browning.
- Cinnamon: for that delicious apple pie aroma.
- Breadcrumbs: My secret ingredient! See below.
How to avoid soggy apple pie crust
The dreaded soggy bottom! It’s not a total disaster but it’s always nicer when the bottom of the crust isn’t totally soaked through. There are a lot of variables with apple pies as different apples have different levels of moisture.
- By adding the flour to the filling in this recipe you shouldn’t have any problems. I have also used the good old-fashioned German trick of putting a layer of breadcrumbs in the pastry case before you add the apples, the breadcrumbs will soak up excess liquid and you cannot taste them in the final dish.
- The type of dish you use can also cause problems. Metal or glass pie plates conduct heat more efficiently than ceramic. I use enamel pie plates which not only look beautiful, they make a lovely crisp pastry base and clean up easily. Win-win.
- If all else fails, you can try mixing the apples, flour and cinnamon sugar together and then placing them in a colander over a bowl. Leave for ½ an hour, then simmer the sugary liquid that the apples have released until reduced by half. Pour over the apples once they are in the pie.
- As a fail-safe, you can heat a rimmed baking sheet in the second lowest position of the oven and place the pie on this rather than on the oven rack. The heat will transfer more effectively and cook the bottom crust faster. You may have to move the pie at the end of cooking time if the top crust isn’t browning fast enough.
Pies need time to cool off
As tempting as it may be to serve your pie up straight from the oven, while the house is full of delicious aromas, apple pie needs time to set. This can take an hour or two depending on the depth of your pie, so be patient, it is worth it in the end.
If you want to eat the pie warm, you can always warm up individual slices in the oven.
Do you make apple pies? Do you have a favourite apple pie recipe or do you like to experiment? Let me know in the comments below! xJ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use store-bought pastry to make my apple pie?
Of course you can, but it is worth making your own. This dough recipe is very forgiving and easy to handle, try it, you might surprise yourself!
What sort of apples should I use to make Deep Dish Apple Pie?
Tarter apple varieties are usually used for cooking, in Germany I use Elstar, but my favourite variety is Braeburn from New Zealand.
Granny Smith apples are excellent for baking as they aren’t too sweet, are widely available and cook well.
Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious are also good all-rounders. Experiment with your local apple varieties to find the one that works the best for you.
Looking for more Apple Recipes?
It’s apple season, so it’s the best time of year to bake with apples while they are cheap and plentiful. If a traditional apple pie seems like too much work, try some of my easy recipes with apple:
Deep Dish Apple Pie Recipe Card
FOR THE PIE DOUGH:
- 350g ( 1 + ¾ cups) plain or all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 200g (7 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 100ml (3.25 oz.) cold water
FOR THE FILLING:
- 1.25 kg (2.75 lb.) apples
- juice of 1 lemon
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- 100g (½ cup) white sugar
- 30g (2 Tbsp) plain or all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp fine bread crumbs
FOR THE EGG WASH:
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- MAKE PIE DOUGH: Make the dough by whisking the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the butter to the flour mixture and rub together until the mixture looks rough and flaky. Pour in the water and use a fork to mix into a loose dough. Turn out onto the bench and squeeze together into a disc, then wrap in clingfilm or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- SLICE APPLES: While the dough is resting, prepare your filling. Peel and core the apples, then quarter and cut into slices 5mm (¼ inch) thick. Toss with the lemon juice and lemon zest to prevent the apple from browning.
- SEASON APPLES: In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, flour and cinnamon, then stir through the apple mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the apples to release their juices.
- ROLL OUT DOUGH: Heat oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas 7 with a baking tray on the middle oven rack, and grease a deep pie dish with butter (see note). When the dough has rested, divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the bigger piece to a large circle on a lightly floured surface, turning the dough 90° between each roll and flouring the surface so it doesn't stick.
- PLACE DOUGH IN PIE DISH: Drape the dough over the rolling pin and lift the dough into the pie dish, ease dough into the pie dish, pressing it firmly against the base and sides, leaving a pastry overhang on all sides.
- ADD FILLING: Prick the base all over with a fork, scatter over the bread crumbs, and then transfer apples and any liquid remaining in the bowl. Try to have the apple slices lying as flat as possible. Transfer to the fridge while you prepare the top pastry.
- ROLL OUT AND SLICE PIE TOP: Roll the second disk of dough out to a large circle. To make the lattice top, use a ruler and a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut strips in your desired width. Arrange half of the strips over the pie in parallel lines. Fold back every second strip, lay a strip over the pie, perpendicular to the others, and then fold the strips back down.
- WEAVE DOUGH: Fold up all the strips that you didn’t fold up the last time, lay another strip of pastry perpendicular to the others and repeat, weaving the pastry strips together until the pie is covered. Trim the edges of the dough, leaving a small overhang, then fold in the excess pastry from the base, rolling it onto the rim of the pie dish. Crimp or pinch edges of top to seal.
- BRUSH WITH EGG WASH: Whisk egg yolk and water together, then brush the pie all over. Sprinkle with sugar then bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and the apple is bubbling.
- COOL AND SERVE: Allow to cool completely in the dish before serving, a la mode if you like, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Imperial and cup measurements are approximate. For best and most accurate results I use and recommend a digital kitchen scale like the one below.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 93gFiber: 5gSugar: 35gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
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