Is there anything more perfectly suited to a holiday table than apple pie?
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One of my favorite things about apple pie is that it’s become a tradition with practically all of the really American holidays. Apple pie is equally at home at Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and Christmas! It also happens to be a family favorite. So even when we have four dessert options (aka every thanksgiving ever), this is ALWAYS one of them.
This is based on the Joy of Cooking‘s apple pie. That recipe is classic and practically begs for regular use with your own personalizations.
Here’s my take:
Start with your apple choice. I like a mixture of Granny Smith and something a little sweeter, like Gala. Usually I do about 2/3 Granny Smith and 1/3 Gala. This photo may be misleading because the granny smith were enormous and the gala were hilariously small.
Peel and slice. To prevent browning, go ahead and add your lemon juice during this process. Toss to coat a couple times as you slice.
Combine the spice blend: sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour.
Coat the apples with spices! Be sure to let sit 10-15 minutes, which lets the fruit soak up the spices so they stick. While you’re waiting for that, grease a pie dish and lay the bottom crust.
Pile in the fruit! Messy is good here.
See how the spices combined so nicely with the juice? That’s exactly what we want before baking.
Cut the butter into small chunks and distribute across the top of the apples. In case you haven’t noticed, I have a minor obsession with the inside of pies before they bake. Not sorry.
Cover with the top crust and pinch the corners. Sprinkle and bake!
Perfection. I love to serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream.
CLASSIC APPLE PIE
- pie dough for double crust (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 1/2 – 3 lbs apples, mix of tart and sweet
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2/3 – 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 – 3 tbsp flour
- 2/3 tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Put the oven rack on the lowest third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Prep the pie crust as needed and add the bottom crust to a greased 9 inch pie dish.
- Peel, core and slice apples. Toss with lemon juice.
- Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Amounts are estimated based on sweetness of apples used: if there’s more granny smiths/tart apples, use a little more sugar. If the apples are extra juicy, add a bit more flour.
- Toss the apples with the spice mixture. Let stand 10-15 minutes, until the spices are moist.
- Pour apples mixture into the pie crust. Cut butter into small pieces and dot on the top.
- Cover with top crust and cut slits to vent. Sprinkle the top with 2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
- For cleaner ovens, cook on a cookie sheet to prevent drips. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn oven down to 350°F for another 30-45 minutes.
Merry Christmas! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Independence Day!