I’ve been making the same apple pie for Thanksgiving for literal decades now, every so often changing up the mix of apples inside. This year, I decided to get crazy and change up the filling. It turned out really well, so I want to write it down now before I forget what I did.
Crust: I used Martha Stewart’s Pate Sucree, which you can see here. It says it is not for a double crust pie, but I’ve been using it for apple pies for a while now. It works really well with the dense filling.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6-7 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced. I go for a medium slice – maybe about ¼ inch thick.
I used 6 apples, but have used as many as 9 if the apples were small. This time I used 2 Macintosh, 2 Granny Smith and 2 Sugar Bee apples. I like Braeburns for pie, but they didn’t have any, and my grandmother always swore by Macintosh apples, so I got those. Even though I think they are kind of mushy, their flavor holds up in the pie.
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons of butter, but into small pieces.
Milk, for brushing the top crust of the pie
Cinnamon sugar (I think we did 2 tablespoons of sugar to one teaspoon of cinnamon. You won’t use all of that though.) for sprinkling.
Mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and lemon zest together.
Put the bottom pie crust in the pie plate. Fill with the apple slices, going around the outer edge first and then making smaller circles until the bottom is covered. I like to alternate between the three types of apples. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture.
Add a second layer of apples, again going in a circle. Top with 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture.
Add a third layer of apple slices, going in a circle. Poke any leftover slices you see into gaps in your apple pile. Top with the final 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture.
Dot the filling with the small pieces of butter.
Add the top crust. Pinch to seal the two crusts together and flute the edges.
Take a small knife and cut a little circle out of the dough in the center of the pie. Then take the knife and carve other vents in the dough. You can cut out whatever shape you like, or even just slice a S shape (that’s what I do).
Brush with the milk, and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the top, so that there is a light coating.
Put your pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees F. You’ll know it is done with the filling starts to bubble up through the vents (just a little).