And the winner of this year’s election is… Apple pie!

Yes, you heard it here first. Never mind waiting for those restaurant exit polls. Forget the culinary pundits.

Pie prognosticators, take a hike.

The bakers here at King Arthur Flour predict the winner of this year’s popular pie vote will be a long-time incumbent, a veteran campaigner who’ll once again beat out perennial runners-up pumpkin, chocolate cream, and cherry.

America, meet 2008’s presumptive pie champion: apple.

Yes, apple. While Georgia peach and pecan carry the South, Key Lime tops the polls in Florida, and blueberry is New England’s favorite, apple pie tops the overall charts.

And for good reason: who can resist the scent of bubbling apples laced with cinnamon, touched with butter and a hint of vanilla? The sharp-nutty aroma of baking crust? How can you cut into a slice of warm apple pie, vanilla ice cream running in rivulets into its aromatic center, and not send your eyes heavenward in praise of Johnny Appleseed? To say nothing of the first housewife who figured out that piling apples into a crust and sliding it into the woodstove would yield a little slice of paradise.

What, you don’t bake apple pie? And the reason is… can’t make pie crust? Follow our recipe (and the photos that follow) to pie crust perfection. Or maybe you don’t like peeling all those apples. It takes me 10 seconds to peel, core, and slice an apple. Really. You’ll find my secret weapon of mass deconstruction below.

Or maybe you don’t LIKE apple pie. As an American citizen, that’s your right. Just as it’s your right to dislike baseball, and hotdogs, and your mom. But with rights come responsibilities. And I believe it’s your responsibility to read this post and seriously consider baking an apple pie.

To paraphrase a famous TV ad from the Presidential election of ’64: In your heart, you know I’m right.

img_6826.JPGLet’s start with the crust. Whisk together the flour and salt, then add the shortening. An adjustable measuring cup makes this sometimes-sticky job easy.

img_6827.JPGMix until everything is evenly crumbly; you don’t want any large lumps of shortening to remain unincorporated.

img_6829.JPGAdd the cold butter, cut into pats. Why use butter and shortening both? Shortening adds flaky texture; butter adds wonderful flavor. Why not combine them to get the best of both worlds?

 

img_6830.JPGMix till unevenly crumbly; some lumps of butter (up to about 1/2”) can remain. These larger lumps add not only butter flavor, but help contribute to the crust’s flaky texture. Butter that’s totally incorporated won’t add any flakiness.

img_6831.JPGAdd enough ice water to make a cohesive dough. It shouldn’t be at all dry or crumbly. Better a tiny bit too wet than too dry.

img_6832.JPGSee how nicely this dough holds together when you squeeze it in your hands? It feels like supple clay.

img_6833.JPGDivide the dough in two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. If you’ve got a scale, one piece will weigh about 11ounces, one about 9 ounces. The larger piece will be your bottom crust; the smaller, your top crust.

img_6834.JPGShape each piece into a disk.

img_6835.JPGRoll the edge of each disk on a floured surface, to smooth it out. This helps keep the edges of the crust from becoming overly ragged as you roll.

img_6837.JPGPretty nice, huh? Don’t be too crazed about getting the edges perfectly smooth. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or for up to a couple of days.

img_6839.JPGWhen you’re ready to roll, remove the larger piece of dough from the fridge, and place it on a well-floured surface.

img_6840.JPGUsing several short, firm strokes, roll from the center outwards, lengthening the dough.

img_6841.JPGTurn the dough 90°, and roll to make the dough into a circle. Always roll from the center outwards; don’t roll back and forth across the dough. It confuses the gluten in the flour, which consequently tightens up and and toughens the crust. The less rolling, the better!

img_6842.JPGContinue to roll till the dough is a nice circle.

img_6844.JPGThe bottom crust should be 14” in diameter, or close to it. This will make it a good fit for a 9” pie pan that’s 1 1/2” deep.

img_6843.JPGNotice the pieces of butter still evident in the dough. If your crust looks like this—congratulations, you’re doing a good job!

img_6845.JPGNow, to get that big crust into the pan. First, fold it in half…

img_6846.JPG…then in half again.

img_6848.JPGPick the crust up and place it into the pan, with the corner of the triangle in the center of the pan.

img_6849.JPGUnfold…

img_6850.JPG…and unfold again, then center in the pan. Refrigerate the crust while you’re preparing the apples. And take the top crust out of the fridge, to warm up a bit.

img_6852.JPGI LOVE my apple peeler/corer/slicer! It peels, cores, and slices an apple in less than 10 seconds. When you’ve been to the orchard and have a few big bags of apples to take care of, this is an invaluable tool. It also cores apples without peeling (for baked apples or apple dumplings). Or peels smooth (not gnarly) potatoes, with the peel-only function.

img_6853.JPGOne apple: peeled, cored, and sliced.

img_6854.JPGCut the apple in half, and separate the slices. Repeat with the remaining apples. Honestly, it’s taken you longer to read this than it does to turn a whole apple into peeled slices!

img_6860.JPGIf the apple peeler is my favorite tool, boiled cider is my secret ingredient. This thick, intensely “apple-y” syrup comes from Willis and Tina Wood’s orchard in Springfield, Vermont. It’s simply boiled-down cider. Can you boil your own cider? You can; it’s tricky. It goes from almost perfect, to too thick, to burned and inedible in a flash. If you want to treat yourself to a really cool ingredient this fall, one that’s perfect for all of your apple desserts, try boiled cider. Drizzle a few tablespoons atop your cake, or into pie, crisp, baked apples, dumplings… you’ll taste the difference.

img_6865.JPGToss the apples with the boiled cider and the remainder of the filling ingredients, and spoon into the crust.

img_6866.JPGRoll the top crust, and set it atop the filling.

img_6868.JPGNext, bring the edge of the bottom crust up and over the top crust.

img_6871.JPGSqueeze the two together, making a little fortress-like bulwark all around the edge of the pie.

img_6873.JPGNext, decorate the edge of the crust. Use a fork to simply flatten the edge…

img_6874.JPG…or do the same thing with a spoon.

img_6875.JPGOr use your fingers to make a decorative crimp. That’s my favorite.

img_6935.JPGCut a hole in the top crust, for steam to escape. This can be just a plain hole, as I did here. Or decorative slashes. An “S” shape is traditional. Brush the crust with milk…

img_6939.JPG…and sprinkle with coarse sugar. This isn’t a requirement, but that sparkly, crunchy sugar atop the flaky crust is both lovely and delicious.

img_6887.JPGPlace the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. It’s probably going to boil over a bit, and the parchment is a savior when it’s time to do the dishes. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 90 minutes.

img_6894.JPGLooooonnnnng bake time, huh? Well, the crust insulates the filling, and the filling insulates the crust. The result: filling with deep, rich, almost caramelized flavor; and crust that’s golden brown, both top and bottom. Notice the “S”-shaped slash on top of this pie.

img_7064.JPGAnd take a look at that bottom crust. No pallid, soggy, white crust here!

img_6995.JPGAnd there you have it: America’s favorite pie, start to finish. Have we relieved your pie angst? C’mon, give it a try. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself… and running out of parchment paper, best friend of the cleanup-averse pie baker.

Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Apple Pie with a Twist.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Supermarket bakery 8” apple pie, 20¢/ounce.

Ingredients: Apples, Enriched Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Fructose, Sugar, Modified Cornstarch, Brown Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Cinnamon, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid.

Buy: Homemade 9” apple pie, 15¢/ounce.

Ingredients: Apples, King Arthur Flour, salt, trans-fat-free vegetable shortening, butter, water, sugar, boiled cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, fresh lemon juice.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Mike T.

    I love apple pie! But, where are the golden raisins? Can’t have it without raisins! Oooh, and vanilla ice cream… Mmmm… Well, its only 8:30a… Guess I’ll get started making this guy… With the raisins of course.

    Mike, you’d be astounded how many people don’t like raisins! For those of us who love them, we know where to add, right? :) PJH

    Reply
  2. Andrea

    Mmmmmmm….once we’re done moving this week, I’m going to make a pie on Sunday to kick off September, grad school starting back up, and just being thankful that I get to be home with my little guy :) How would this recipe turn out with whole wheat flour?

    I love fall! The trees have already started turning here. :) I know the Northeast sure is pretty in the fall, but I’d argue that Wisconsin (and the upper Midwest) is equally so… gosh, if it could just be fall all year long!

    Andrea, the crust will be different with whole wheat flour. For a good ww flour crust, take a look at this recipe’s sister, Blueberry Pie with a Twist. And – My home state is Wisconsin, so I concur – lovely state. Actually, very much like Vermont, but with rolling hills instead of mountains… PJH

    Reply
  3. Susan in Las Vegas

    How do you keep the interior of the pie from collapsing during baking? My mom’s pies were always mounded high with apples, which all compressed during baking. That left a lovely, but very fragile, dome of crust on top, which crumbled the instant the first cut was started. I read somewhere, was it here? that pre-cooking the apples a bit might help. Any hints?

    Susan, I’ve had good luck cooking the filling first, just till it collapses a bit… this also gets the thickening going. Might not be a good idea in this particular recipe, due to its 2-hour bake. But for a shorter bake, it would definitely work. Give it a try – PJH

    Reply
  4. jen

    this is my very favorite apple pie, it’s more or less replaced traditional apple pie in my house. well, without the raisins, they’re yucky ;)

    Reply
  5. Melissa

    If you pack down the crust and force the air out of the top where its vented, that usually helps with the crust falling down or breaking when you first cut into it. The air creates that bubble effect so get as much out as you can before you place in the oven.

    Another good ingredient for pie crust is apple cider vinegar. A teaspoon makes for a nice flaky texture!!! I found this trick out a few years ago and have been doing it ever since.

    I agree the peeler/corer/slicer is the best invention ever! It is so critical to making a good apple pie. The evenness of the slices is what makes for consistent baking. No overdone or underdone apples because they were too big or too thin.

    Reply
  6. Deb in Minnesota

    Wow, this looks great! We just made a trip to the local apple orchard for some early season apples and they are so good-I’ve been thinking about an apple crisp, but after reading this, a pie might just be in order!

    Nice tutorial on pie crust, I have one question, though. Can you explain why the mixer method is better than the food processor method? I’ve only used the food processor way once and my crust turned out just fine. My guess is that it potentially over blends the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients?
    Thanks!

    Mixer method definitely isn’t better than the food processor; I just figured more people have mixers than food processors. My very favorite method is actually to shred frozen butter into the flour using the shredder disk of a food processor; pulse butter/flour VERY briefly; and drizzle water in while pulsing, just till dough comes together. Probably you do the same, eh? – PJH

    Reply
  7. Kat DeFonce

    The two things I always bake (besides my weekly bread) during the fall are pecan pie & apple pie! I may be a North Eastoner but, I have to admit Pecan Pie is my favorite; apple my second. This recipe is a must try! One question though, by not using lemon juice, do the apples become sweeter? Lemon juice is added in some recipes so your apple do not become discolored. Joan@ The Bakers’s Hotline

    Lemon juice is mainly a flavor enhancer – like salt, like alcohol, like sugar, it brings out the flavor of the other elements. In this case, apples. – PJH

    Reply
  8. Lois Banks

    I could not find the temperature that you bake the pie anywhere. Please let me know. Thanks. Lois

    You will find the temperature in step 8. Preheat the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Joan@The Baker’sHot Line

    Reply
  9. Erik

    I LOVE Apple Pie. For me, it’s not a fall thing, it’s year-round. Definitely the #1 pick. I haven’t heard of boiled cider before, I’ll have to check that out. I have heard a suggestion to add Apple Jack to the recipe for a kick of flavor. I like that your recipe combines both butter and shortening – I do the same, but prefer to use a food processor to incorporate everything over my Kitchen Aid. Great post. I need pie now…

    Reply
  10. Chavi

    Instead of using boiled cider, I take the liquid that the apples release after all the ingredients are stirred in and reduce that to an apple butter consistency and then pour that over the apples. This adds an awesome flavor dimension without buying any fancy product and minimal work!

    Reply
  11. Claudia

    I have made apple pies since I was about 10 years old…my grandmother gave me her recipe right out of her head and it has never been written down. At the risk of blowing my own horn (or my grandmother’s horn, LOL)…that recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted and as far as I’m concerned, it has never been beaten. Maybe I’ll give this one a try and let you know what I think. Thank you, King Arthur flour bakers!!!

    Claudia, I hope you manage to keep that recipe in your head as you get older – would be a shame to lose it to middle-aged memory lapse… maybe you should write it somewhere secret? Though, as Julia Child said, If you don’t want to share, don’t write it down. My opinion, recipes live to be shared… – PJH

    Reply
  12. Sherry

    PJ:

    Have you ever used organic, non trans fat shortening to make a pie crust? I don’t use hydrogenated shortening anymore, and have not made a pie crust lately. Spectrum makes an organic shortening that is 100% expeller pressed palm oil, and it looks just like regular shortening. Thanks, Sherry

    Haven’t used organic/Spectrum, Sherry – just Crisco’s non-trans-fat version… which works fine. – PJH

    Reply
  13. Kimberly

    I like the easy pie crust I learned working at apple orchard in Michigan.
    Till I learned this easy way to make pie crust I could not make pie crust. But strangely enough never heard of boiled cider even though they made their own cider. And oh the donuts I would make and eat! They were yummy too!

    2 cup pastry flour or All-Purpose flour
    1/3 cup of oil
    1/4 water (don’t mater how warm or cold it is.)

    Mix all together either by hand, mixer or food processor. Divide dough in half. Roll onto floured surface. This will make two crust. Sometimes I like to add a drop or two or almond extract give the crust a little punch.

    Also I like to add caramel to mine too. And or pecans.

    Kimberly, I like the almond extract tip. But I have to say, I’ve made this oil crust and found it unworkable. Not sure what I’m doing wrong…? It just doesn’t roll out well. I end up pasting it into the pan in pieces… PJH

    Reply
  14. MrsM

    I have not made this recipe, but I have used boiled cider in my favorite recipe for apple pie, and it really DOES make a difference in the taste. Once you try it, you will be sold on boiled cider. And the apple peeler makes short work of preparing the apples.

    Reply
  15. Francesca

    I’ve been a King Arthur customer for almost 10 years thanks to my friend Martha! Last Christmas I “accidentally” followed this recipe (minus the boiled cider which i had never heard of)–I couldn’t tell whether my mother-in-law’s oven was hot enough to bake my pie in a normal amount of time! It baked for almost 2 hours but we all liked it and my mother-in-law, whose appraisal means much to me, said it was very good. I used the same measures of spices like allspice and cinnamon. Therefore, I’m very glad to see this King Arthur recipe which is another confirmation that long baking times don’t ruin a good apple pie, they enhance it! I’m now going to follow your recipe as the model for repeating what started out as an experiment.
    Thank you King Arthur!
    A happy baker in Brooklyn

    Francesca, more confirmation – even our mistakes are delicious, eh? – PJH

    Reply
  16. Carolyn

    I purchased boiled cider last fall (’07) and stored the unused portion in the ‘fridge. Can I still use it?

    Sure, Carolyn. Take a look – it’s like any syrup. If it hasn’t got any mold on top, you’re good to go. – PJH

    Reply
  17. Cathy

    I think you have made me hungry for apple pie!
    Just wondering how long boiled cider keeps.

    We keep our boiled cider in the fridge, Cathy – it lasts months. Years? Hard to say, we use it up. But it’s like any syrup kept in the fridge, it’s very stable. – PJH

    Reply
  18. Kathy

    The one problem I have had consistently with my pies (whether I make apple, cherry, etc) is that the bottom crust NEVER gets done. It is always raw and white. What can I do to prevent this? I have tried brushing the crust with egg white before I put the fruit filling in, placing the pie pan on a metal cookie sheet while it’s baking and/or moving the oven rack down a notch in the oven so the bottom of the pan is closer to the cooking elements. Any suggestions for me? I LOVE making pies, but this is very frustrating. Try baking your pie on the lowest rack. This will put your pie bottom closer to the heat element. Joan@ the Baker’s Hotline

    Also try baking your pie for 2 hours, as I did for the apple. Works wonders on the bottom crust. If not a long bake, a dark metal pan helps. Or you could blind-bake (pre-bake) the bottom crust, then fill, lay on a top crust then bake again for the normal time. Lots of things to try… PJH

    Reply
  19. Margy

    Boiled cider–yummy on oatmeal, pancakes, waffles and French toast! Add a little cinnamon (or put a cinnamon stick in the bottle)–delish!

    Reply
  20. Andrea

    Kimberly and PJ –

    I’ve made tons of oil crusts – mom taught me to ALWAYS refridgerate pastry before rolling it. This crust is awesome if you chill the dough at least 2 hours. Same basic principle as freezing scones before baking. :)

    Well OK – I chilled it, too. But you’re talking me into trying it again. Wonder what I did wrong??? -PJH

    Reply
  21. Angela

    How do I freeze apple pies? Do I freeze before or after baking? I was going to can apple pie filling, would the recipe for the filling work for canning as well? Thank you for all the great recipes and the pictures! They really helped me make a better pie crust this week! I will send you an email answer to your questions.

    Angela

    Reply
  22. Alison Seamans

    Same basic principle as freezing scones before baking? I haven’t heard of that one, would someone explain it? What does it do? when do I freeze them and for how long? I’ve tried the apple pie with a twist, and WOW is it good! Also routinely make an olive oil pie crust. Mine has a bit of baking powder in it. It is a bit trickier to roll than a shortening crust, but I must confess I don’t usually chill it! It has a wonderful texture and taste, we just LOVE it!

    thanks,

    Alison

    Alison, freezing scones or biscuits before baking solidifies the fat. Then, when they bake, it takes longer for that fat to melt; by the time it does, the structure of the biscuit or scone is usually set, and where the fat melts, it leave a tiny little flat pocket – which we perceive as a “flake,” thus “flaky” biscuits and scones. I’d freeze for about 30 minutes; then you’ll need to add a bit of time to the bake, probably 5-10 minutes. PJH

    Reply
  23. Mike in Nebraska

    PJ, a week ago I got some wonderful small green apples from one of the vendors at the local Farmer’s market. He didn’t know the variety, but they were tart-sweet, maybe about the size of a tennis ball.

    Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with the Scottish shortbread recipe in the KAF Whole Grains book using 2 cups of ground oatmeal, 1/3 cup of whole oatmeal and 1/3 cup of pecan meal. (I bake them on a cookie sheet instead of a round pan, that way I can cut them into small rectangles, they’re so rich! But they’re even better with a little frosting on them!)

    We have also decided that they go great with ice cream and even better with some cooked apple and ice cream, so the obvious next step was to try it as a pie crust.

    Well, that almost works. It tends to collapse a bit if you blind bake it in a pie pan, so it doesn’t go all the way up the sides. Saturday I tried it in a 9 x 13 pan. That worked better, but it isn’t really a crust in the traditional sense, and we’re not sure what to call the finished product, It’s more like an apple crisp than an apple pie, but it sure is good, the shortbread crust and the apple filling sort of merge to become very caramely!

    We think the next step will be to try making it in individual servings (like a custard cup or ramekin) because when we tried to refrigerate the leftovers overnight things got really stuck down. Leaving it on the counter for an hour or so loosened it up again, though.

    YUM! Sounds wonderful, Mike. I know what you mean about using it as piecrust – I tried the same thing… Never got around to it, but I was thinking perhaps adding an egg would give it enough structure to hold it up/together better? Love this time of the year – so many things you can do with apples. We have wonderful local heirloomapples here – I could enjoy a different apple every day of the week, aside from “the usual suspects.” Thanks for sharing- PJH

    Reply
  24. Valerie

    My husband loves pies!! I just made two apple pies, and didn’t have quite enough apples to make a nice high pie, so I added a cup of frozen blueberries (tossed with corn starch and sugar of course) to the top, and it made a very colorful apple pie. Couldn’t even really taste the blueberries.
    Also, this is my favorite shortcut. After assembling the pie, I bake it in the microwave on high for 12 minutes (on a plate to catch the drips). Then it goes on a baking sheet into the 450 degree oven, with a shield over the edge crust, for another 10-12 minutes. Final baking time: less than 1/2 hour per pie! And I don’t have to have the hot oven on nearly as long!

    WHOA, love that tip, Valerie. I’ll have to try that – it would be just the opposite of my 2-hour bake… Thanks for sharing- PJH

    Reply
  25. Kelly

    I just love to bake and have really learned a lot from your website. Now that I have compiled a nice list of good baking apples, I only have one question. What is the ideal
    size to slice the apples? Oh I’m so excited, I can hardly contain myself! Today is the first cool, crisp, fall-like day we’ve had. What better way to celebrate? You are right. Cool crisp days in the fall just shout apple pie!
    I like my apples sliced thin- 1/8″ to 1/4″ is my choice. I can then really pack them into my pan, which helps keep them from shrinking and leaving a huge gap between the filling and top crust. Ive found the best way to slice them is to use an old fashioned apple peeler- corer-slicer, available on our Web site. In less than 10 seconds, your apple is cored, peeled and perfectly sliced, ideal for pie, tarts, crisps, or up-side-down cake.

    Reply
  26. Amy

    This has inspired me to make an apple pie this fall. I LOVE the blog and that you don’t skimp on the pictures. This feature is really what inspires me! Keep it coming.

    Reply
  27. Steve

    I love pie, but can’t eat dairy. Will the crusts come out as well using just shortening? Or is there a better substitute for butter in the recipes?

    Steve, shortening is just fine – just use a tablespoon or so less than if you were using butter… because shortening is 100% fat,and butter has some milk solids and water in it. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  28. Mary Lou Yoder

    For the 2-hr bake time – If I am using a glass pie pan, let’s say, rather than aluminum foil pan, do I make any adjustments in oven temperature?

    I wouldn’t adjust temperature – just start checking sooner. You can easily see when the bottom crust is nice and brown. And make sure it’s a nice, deep brown; the browner (without burning), the more flavorful and less soggy it’ll be.- PJH

    Reply
  29. Pat

    I am a newcomer to you site and especially love the recipe for the apple pie and pastry. Just so happened I was out walking today and passed a house with bags of apples out in the front yard and a sign saying “free to a good home”so I immediately picked one up. I live in Canada and have never seen the boiled cider you mentioned, do you have a substitute that I could use instead? Every time I try to leave the site I see something else that catches my eye, the time passes so quickly when you are having fun. Thanks so much for a great site. Pat

    Pat, substitute frozen apple juice concentrate for the boiled cider. Not exactly the same, but better than nothing – glad you gave those apples a good home! – PJH

    Reply
  30. Carrol

    I ordered the boiled cider and now that it has arrived I can’t wait to try baking this pie. (I couldn’t resist tasting the boiled cider when it arrived and it has a wonderful flavor by itself. I read on the internet yesterday that making boiled cider was very common in the northern east coast many years ago and that it was used in baking in place of hard to get sugar. I guess for the rest of our country, the information just never traveled this far. Boiled cider is certainly new to me. I can’t imagine how using concentrated frozen apple juice could taste as good as this boiled cider. Cider is a different flavor than juice, plus this boiled cider is much more concentrated than frozen juice.

    If my attempt to make this pie is a successful try-out I plan to make it for Thanksgiving as well and maybe Christmas too.

    I love ‘good’ apple pie. Many are not! IMHO pie should taste sweet. So many homemade apple pies I have eaten tasted like they took apples, added a small bit of spice, and baked it. They were dry, and almost tasteless with no sweetness at all. I can’t tell you how many times this has been the case.

    This pie sounds so awesome! I will be writing again after I make it to let you know how it actually tasted.

    The best tasting apple pie I ever ate was at an Orchard in Watsonville, California many years ago. This orchard had a store where they made pies while you watched. They were the highest apple pies I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe the huge mound of apples they put in their pies. And they were soooo flavorful and sweet too.

    High with anticipation, indeed!

    Reply
  31. Mary Batson

    When i make the oil pie crust i roll it between wax paper and then you can invert the pie dish over the crust and pick it up that way it doe not crumble.

    Reply
  32. flourchild

    I bake for a Saturday farmers market through October 25. I plan to make this pie. I was asking my husband last night “do I freeze and bake or bake and freeze?” and he said “why are you asking ME?” (good point). Then I saw Angela’s question and couldn’t believe she asked the same thing and looked forward to your answer. So I was disappointed to see that you were only going to email your answer to her. Could you share? I start baking on Monday for Saturday so anything I can make and freeze ahead is such a help to avoid a Friday “crunch”… Could you please help me? I have successfully frozen strawberry-rhubarb cobblers in aluminum pie pans and stacked them in the freezer prior to baking and they were came out wonderfully. Should I do the same thing? Thanks so much for your help!

    Generally, fruit pies are fine to make, freeze, then bake, but others, custard for instance, can’t be frozen without compromising the texture. In order to really help you, we need to know what kind of pies you want to freeze. Hope this helps – Molly

    Yes, do the same thing with this apple pie—prepare, then freeze, then bake. You can bake right from the freezer, as I’m sure you do your other fruit desserts. As Molly says, you surely wouldn’t want to bake custard-type, egg-based pies, but fruit pies are wonderful candidates for freezing, then baking later. PJH

    Reply
  33. Nicole Shugars

    Question — the blog talks about tenting the pie after 30 minutes but the copy of the recipe I had mentioned tenting after 45 minutes. What is the guideline for what the crust should look like before tenting?

    Nicole, the top of the pie should be set and not moist looking at all. I kind of go back and forth between 30 and 45 minutes because you can really choose either one, frankly, and it doesn’t make a lot of difference. The 30-minute version will have a slightly darker top crust. Have fun with it- PJH

    Reply
  34. cindy leigh

    I love the boiled cider. I bought if for the first time last year. It’s a bit pricy, though. When apple cider (the real pressed kind) was available and on sale here, I made my own syrup. It’s actually very easy.Before I go to bed I place the cider in an UNCOVERED crock pot and let it cook all night. In the older crock pots, it can go on high. Newer crock pots tend to have higher temps, so I set the newer ones on medium.
    I found I have to be careful of what type of apples I’m using- some are too juicy to actually add extra moisture to the mix. If you’re using boiled cider, you might need a little (more) flour or cornstarch mixed in. I generally like to use a blend of apples- Northern Spy, Cortlands, Macs, Stamen Winesap.

    Thanks for the tip, Cindy – our cider is just coming in here. I’ll have to try that. – PJH

    Reply
  35. flourchild

    PJ and Molly, thanks for your help above about freezing this pie! I will make several today, thanks to you… it looks delish! One more question, though… yes, I did bake the strawberry-rhubarb straight out of the freezer, but the recipe was one MADE for the freezer, so the baking times it gave took that into consideration. How much additional time should I tack on to this 2-hour pie in order to compensate for starting frozen? Sorry I didn’t ask the first time around, you guys. Love this blog and the recipes are always easy to follow and I always bake with confidence knowing they will turn out to be great. I never trust online sites where anyone can post, and will only use KAF recipes from this blog or your cookbooks as well as Cook’s Illustrated/Cook’s Country (all the great bakers come from Vermont, it seems! Must be the long, cold winters that serve as inspiration for the cozy warmth of baked goods! I took one of your classes in Dublin, Ohio quite a few years back and loved it and hope you will swing by this way again. Also, your staff is unsurpassed. My favorite CSR is Carol… please say hi for me! Thanks so much for all your help!

    Carol S. I would add 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time if I were baking it frozen. Mary @ King Arthur Flour

    Reply
  36. Carrol

    This is a wonderful pie! I had a little problem rolling out my dough because I realized all to late that my rolling pin is missing. I was forced to use a 10″ glass tumbler believe it or not. I did have a little spill-over when I baked it but fortunately I had taken the precaution of placing a sheet of parchment paper on top of my sheet pan so at least I didn’t get sticky stuff burning in the oven. LOL

    Anyway like others I couldn’t resist trying the pie after two hours when it was still too warm to have firmed up. So as a result it was still runny.

    But the next day………oh, it was absolutely perfect. Not only did I no longer have a runny filling…but the flavor was more enhanced as well.

    I will buy another rolling pin…and most definitely will make this pie again…I’m thinking my daughter-in-law’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas…and on and on. Thanks for a wonderful tasting pie with an awesome pie crust too! (even if you do have to roll it out without a rolling pin!)

    Hi Carrol,
    I have heard that a wine bottle, or any tall bottle also works well as a stand in rolling pin.
    Happy Baking! MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  37. Jan

    I am trying to find the recipe for your apple pie, but keep being directed back to the blog and how to pictures. Can you post just the recipe? I’ve made apple pies for years but have never used boiled cider and am eager to try your recipe. Thanks.

    Here’s the recipe for Apple Pie with a Twist, Jan. Not sure what was going on with the redirect… but it appears to be working just fine now. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  38. Carol

    Loved Loved Loved the pie! I made a full one and loved it and want to make some for the farmer’s market on Saturday. I have 2 more questions then I will quit bugging you guys! For the farmers market, I try to make small versions of things (mini-loaves etc.) since a lot of my customers are elderly, alone, and on limited income. So… I sometimes take a pie and make 4 pot pie sizes out of it. I’m afraid to do it on this pie not knowing if it’ll take the 2-hour bake? Should I not attempt this? Also, I know the idea of this pie is that the crust insulates the filling and vice versa. If I use my pie stencil (it is so cute with little apple cutouts all over it), would that, or any lattice, be insufficient to protect the pie? Does it need the full top crust? Again, I appreciate all your help and advice. You all rock!

    Try baking the smaller pies for maybe an hour or so? Till they’re brown and bubbly. And feel free to cut designs in the crust, they’ll be fine (and pretty!) – PJH

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  39. Carol

    Thanks, PJ. I’ll let you know how they turn out! Right now I’m working on your almond puffs! That has got to be the easiest and most impressive recipe I’ve ever used! I sell lots of them. Thanks a million for all your help and now maybe I can go an hour without a question, ya think? :) It is just wonderful, instead of just guessing on my own, to have someone knowledgeable to bounce these things off of. Enjoy your autumnal weather and thanks for coming through for me.

    Reply
  40. Carol

    AND… (I forgot to mention)… the one item that constantly brings oohs and aahs is the German Chocolate Mini Cakes. I put them on a doily under the glass dome of a cake stand and stack them each on large flattened muffin cups. Oddly, though, although women stop to admire, almost everyone who actually buys them are men! I have no idea why that is. But again, thanks for dependable, elegant and winning recipes!

    Reply
  41. masa

    once the dough is refrigerated, how many days can you leave it there without rolling it out and baking it? thank you.

    Hi – It will start to deteriorate in the fridge after 3 days or so. For longer storage, roll it out, and store it flat, or put in a pie plate and freeze. – PJH

    Reply
  42. Lorraine J. Miner

    I’ll bet that bakery/apple farm mentioned in Watsonville, CA was Gizdich’s. It’s a favorite year-round stop for the locals (counting Santa Cruz, too). If you are ever there try the ollalaberrie pie or buy some berries (late June fresh or frozen all year round) and make your own pie or jam. Ollalaberries are a blackberry-loganberry mix and not available many places. My family’s favorite.
    Thanks for the blog and all comments. Fun!

    Hi Lorraine,
    I have always wanted to try Ollalaberry pie. Color me jealous!
    MaryJane @ KAF

    Reply
  43. Aeshon Beksmit

    can i cut the baking time of 2 hours by some if i pre-cook the apples filling over the stove instead and blind-bake my bottom crust for maybe 8mins in the oven with the same heat recommended? how ‘soft’ should i cook the apples if i do? would there be any difference in the liquid added if i added some dried raisins to the filling? preciate the advice. i’ve only tried baking apple pies maybe twice in my life thus far and being pregnant and reading this site, makes me crave for exactly wot you’ve made.

    also, minus the boiled cider.. how huge a difference would it be? i live in italy and there wouldnt be ANY boiled cider in sight around here unfortunately. do KAF deliver to italia btw? *curious*

    help!!

    Aeshon, just bake your pie at 375°F for about 1 hour, without using any foil. No pre-cooking, pre-baking needed. You’ll get a different effect (no caramelization, not a brown bottom crust), but it’ll be OK. If you have any apple jelly in Italy, you can try that; otherwise, just go without. Add raisins – no need to change liquid. Apple pie is very forgiving! Call our customer service ladies to see about shipping to Italy – I know we do it – 800-827-6836. Good luck- PJH

    Reply
  44. Lorrie Dykas

    I made this apple pie yesterday and it was delicious! Loved the flavor boost with the boiled cider, also loved the way the filling was carmelized after the long bake. I do have a question, though, and that is why does the recipe call for confectioners sugar rather than granulated sugar? I have never seen that in a recipe before. Is it used for taste or for texture? What happens if you use granulated sugar instead?
    You can use granulated sugar instead of confectioner’s sugar, just reduce the amount by half. Molly, KAF Baker
    Hi – The cornstarch in the confectioners’ sugar helps thicken the apple juices. Just add a bit more flour if you use regular granulated sugar. PJH

    Reply
  45. julia

    I want to make and freeze my apple pie before Thanksgiving. I see that you can do that. My question is – can you use a flour base for the filling or do you have to use cornstarch of something like Sure Jell? Also, I think I have read on your other notes that you do not bake it before you freeze it – is that correct? thanks, julia

    Hi Julia: You can use flour for the filling, no problem. Also, it’s best to freeze the pie unbaked. Then bake it the day before. You can bake it right out of the freezer (assuming your pie plate is metal or shatter-resistant glass/ceramic); or thaw at room temperature, then bake. If frozen, you’ll need to add extra time to your baking; not sure how much, but you want to bake till you can see the filling starting to bubble through the slits in the crust. If the crust starts to brown too quickly, before the filling bubbles, lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top. Enjoy! – PJH

    Reply
  46. Dana

    Is it ok to use the disposable pie plate? Aluminum kind 9″? I’m making this for my husband’s work and I won’t see my pie plate again if I send him mine.

    Thanks to you!
    Dana

    Yes, you can use a disposable pan. Be sure to put a cookie sheet or such underneath it when baking. Those pans can be a little ‘wobbly’.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  47. julia

    Just one other question – why do you need to bake the pie the day before? If I have plenty of time on Thanksgiving can I just bake it that day?
    thanks for the help!! julia If you have the time, of course, bake and enjoy. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  48. Nic

    I have a friend that wants me to make her two apple pies for her thanksgiving meal but she wants them fully baked and done by Tuesday morning. Will they hold up until Thursday? What would be the best way to keep them intact and good until then?

    No problem, Nic. Just wrap in plastic when absolutely completely cool – like, let them cool for 8 hours or so – and leave at room temperature. If possible, tell your friend to throw the pies in the oven, tented with foil, for 25-30 minutes or so at 350°F before serving. If not, you can warm individual slices BRIEFLY in the microwave. enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  49. JIm Smith

    When peeling and slicing my apples, I keep a pot ready with a mix of 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice to store my apple slices. This keeps the apples from turning brown in case you are interupted from your task. When ready to mix the filling I put the prepared apples in a colander to drain. I do not add lemon juice to the mix. Works great.

    Reply
  50. John Carter

    I could “NOT” find the recipe; I’ve been on here 3 times; Can you send it to me? I would like to made it; —-John—-

    I’ve emailed the link to you; to see it, click here Susan

    Reply
  51. Lynda

    The recipe for this pie does not give a temperature for the oven. Baking it for 2 hours I’m sure it is a low temperature but please tell me what it is.
    Thank you

    You should bake this pie at 350 degrees!-Jon

    Reply
  52. H. Valgus

    We did not get a single tree fruit in 2012, due to a warm winter and late frosts while the trees were in blossom. 2013 was year of exceptional fruit production. I am learning to bake apple pies as a result. We also make and freeze apple sauce. Thus, I googled this great apple pie site. I had never heard of boiled apple cider before. I am wondering if the wonderful, thick, syrupy apple juice we get from the cooked apples (before putting them through the mill) is comparable.

    The bottom crusts on my “test” pies have been pale white and soggy. I have been using brown glass pie plates. I am going to try some of the great suggestions. I also use 3-5 different types of apples in each pie, because I have them. One of my favourites is the Arkansas Black.
    Thank you all for the great hints and suggestions.

    Reply

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