Secret Ingredient Apple Pie

star rating (14) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Secret Ingredient Apple Pie

star rating (14) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

And the secret is...? Boiled cider, which gives this pie over-the-top flavor. In addition, an extra-long 2-hour bake yields a rich gold, nearly caramelized filling, and spectacular crust, both top and bottom.

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) buttermilk powder, optional
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
1 to 1 1/8 cups (8 to 9 ounces) ice water

7 to 8 cups (about 2 pounds) cored, peeled, and sliced Ginger Gold or Granny Smith apples
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar mixed with 1/3 cup King Arthur Fruit Pie Filling Enhancer*
1/4 cup (3 ounces) boiled cider**
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice, or spice mix of your choice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted

*Or substitute 1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour mixed with 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar.

**Substitute frozen apple juice concentrate, if you choose; the flavor won't be quite as good.

To make the crust: Whisk together the dry ingredients, then work in the cold butter until the dough is unevenly crumbly. Sprinkle in the ice water, enough to make a cohesive, pliable (not crumbly) dough. Divide dough in half, wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour, or for up to 3 days.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to roll it. While the dough is warming, prepare the filling, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the filling: Microwave the apple slices, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes, until they've softened but still retain a bit of "bite." Drain, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the remaining filling ingredients.

Roll one piece of dough into a 12" circle, and place it in a 9" to 10" pie plate (at least 1 1/4" deep). Spoon the filling into the crust. Roll out the top crust, place it over the filling, trim any excess, and seal and crimp the edges. Use crust trimmings to roll out and cut leaf shapes, if desired, and place them atop the crust. Cut a slit in the center, for steam to escape.

To bake the pie: Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet (to catch any spills), and bake for 30 minutes. Gently place a sheet of aluminum foil atop the pie, covering its entire surface, and continue to bake for an additional 90 minutes, for a total of 2 hours, till the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove the pie from the oven, and allow it to cool for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before cutting (to avoid a lava-flow of filling). Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Yield: 8 generous servings.


1 2  All  
  • star rating 12/09/2014
  • Linda from Everett, WA
  • I didn't bother making the crust recipe because I have great success for years with my tried and true recipe, but hands down, the best pie filling I've ever made in my life! The boiled cider and the pie filling enhancer do make all the difference in the world! I probably could have eaten the whole pie by myself, it was that good!
  • star rating 11/27/2014
  • Towandavt from KAF Community
  • I know the filling in this pie is scrumptious, but I decided not to experiment with the crust on Thanksgiving. It was so soft, I wasn't sure I'd done it correctly. I did substitute the whole wheat flour with the all purpose. Maybe that was my mistake. Will call the hotline after the Holiday. Thanks for your recipes and products.
  • star rating 10/13/2014
  • Amanda from Kenosha, WI
  • The filling was pure caramel!! HEAVEN!! Even my Husband (that does not like apple pie) had two slices. Top notch flavor--Don't forget that Boiled Cider and the pie filling enhancer--made all the difference!!
  • star rating 09/28/2014
  • travel202 from KAF Community
  • The apples turned into applesauce probably due to the initial pre-cooking of the apple mixture as described in the recipe. I will try to make it again eliminating the pre-cook step so the apples will hopefully retain some definition. This outcomes was not representative of a good Apple pie.

    You certainly could try that, but I would guess your troubles may have had something to do with the kind of apple you use as well, since some apples break down with very little heating and some hold their shape very well over extended heating. Granny Smith are usually my favorite, and Cortland, Gold Delicious, Northern Spy and Gala work well also. Please give our Baker's Hotline a call at 855-371-2253 if you'd like to talk through the recipe further. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 11/30/2013
  • member-cmarias from KAF Community
  • Surprisingly, quite good! I'm a novice pie-maker so I certainly questioned adding 1 cup or so of water,.and all that butter? That seemed like a lot...and the confectioner's sugar?...well that was an unusual twist too...But,by golly, the end result was spectacular...well, the taste, anyway. I had made mini-pies and the dough was sticky & hard to handle. I don't know what I would have done if I had made a full-sized pie, but a better baker than I would have known just how much flour to add when the crust was being rolled..Although the little pies looked more "rustic" than I would have wanted, "white sparkling sugar" came to the rescue and dressed it up a bit....mmmmmm. 'even better the next day!!!
  • star rating 11/28/2013
  • Geneve from KAF Community
  • Make this pie! Writing on Thanksgiving means it was just THAT good. The boiled cider lends such an incredible quality to the filling. (I boiled my own down, which took maybe just over an hour for the amount needed--pretty easy.) And in a pinch I substituted some corn starch, confectioners sugar, and a squeeze of lemon in for the pie enhancer. Turned out incredible... the best apple pie filling I've ever had, really!
  • 06/26/2013
  • Candi from California
  • star rating 02/20/2013
  • from KAF Community
  • I made this pie for my daughter in laws birthday and it disappeared so quickly the next time I will bake two! I have baked it with another crust recipe but like this one the best.
  • star rating 11/26/2012
  • Emery from PA
  • This is an excellent Apple Pie and I have even made smaller versions. The only difference is that I make a Rich Pie Pastry recipe by Auguste Escoffier which has sugar and egg added to make a very tender and rich crust. I have also used a very basic crust which is excellent as well, (Flour, Butter, Water.. Done). Very easy to work with and a wonderful crust.
  • star rating 09/16/2012
  • runnercoop48 from KAF Community
  • I am also known for my excellent apple pies but decided to try this recipe. I was not disappointed! I used my own crust but followed the directions for the filling, everyone loved it!!! The secret must be the boiled cider, the filling held together nicely not too runny which has happened before.I will definitely use this recipe again.
1 2  All