How To Make Perfect Homemade Apple Pie
Its taken us a while to zero in on our favorite method for making apple pie, but I think weve finally nailed it. This simple recipe guarantees perfectly cooked apples surrounded with a thick gently spiced sauce. Theres no need for precooking the sauce or apples and the steps to make this pie are simple, you just need a little time.
As with all of the pie recipes on Inspired Taste, we start with this homemade pie crust. Im a stickler on this one. It has never failed us and is our go-to recipe for pumpkin pie, tarts, and other fruit pies like blueberry pie.
You can make the crust in advance. It can be refrigerated or frozen. Definitely check our pie crust recipe for our tips on making it .
As for the apples, we use a lot of them and like to use two or more varieties for the most apple-flavored pie. Ive listed some of our favorites below. It isnt a complete list, but it should give you some inspiration when shopping for your homemade pie. If you find yourself with extra apples, try making homemade applesauce!
We dont precook the apples before adding them to the crust.
Instead, we toss peeled and sliced apples with sugar, salt, and spices in a large bowl. When the apples are well coated, we set the bowl aside and let the apples sit for about an hour.
In this hour, the sugar and salt work on the apples to help them release their delicious liquid . The apples also soften quite a bit. We do this when making apple bread, too.
How To Make Pie Crust In A Food Processor
Learn how to make pie crust in a food processor for the easiest homemade pie crust ever!
There are times when I just dont have the energy or patience to go through all the steps of my foolproof flaky pie crust. I need a shortcut so I can get it done fast, throw it in the fridge to chill and move on to other things.
Food processor to the rescue!
This pie crust method saves time and effort, but still yields a perfectly flaky all-butter double pie crust.
Its not entirely foolproof you can accidentally add too much water or overwork the dough if youre not careful. But if you pay attention and follow my instructions below you can have your pie crust together in almost no time at all with the help of your food processor.
How To Make Pie Crust Step
We’re following the Best-Ever Pie Crust recipe:
1. There are four ingredients in a standard piecrust: flour, fat, liquid, and salt. Flour forms the structure and bulk of the crust, fat adds flavor and creates a flaky texture, liquid binds the dough and keeps it pliable, and salt enhances the flavor and helps brown the crust. See below for more info about the four basic ingredients.
2. Always chill the fat and liquid before you begin. This prevents the fat pieces from getting creamed into the flour.
- Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Cut the chilled butter or shortening into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands.
- You can also use a food processor: pulse the flour with half the shortening until it’s the texture of cornmeal. Add the remaining shortening or butter and pulse until it’s the size of small peas.
- Turn the mixture into a bowl.
3. Add the chilled water one tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork after each addition. You should be able to gently press the dough into a ball. Handle the dough as little as possible overworking will make it tough.
4. Split the dough in half. Pat the dough into balls, flattening them slightly, and wrap them in plastic wrap.
5. Generously dust a clean, dry surface with flour remove and unwrap one of the discs of dough from the refrigerator.
6. Working quickly, roll the dough into a circle ¼-inch thick or thinner.
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How To Roll Out Pie Crust
After the dough has chilled, start preparing your pie. Roll out the crust. Always use gentle force. You are not mad at the crust. When rolling dough out, always start from the center and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go.
Turn, roll, turn, roll.
Roll the dough to fit a 9-inch pie dish. I typically roll the dough into a 12-inch circle so that there is enough crust to go up the edges of the dish and so I can trim and flute.
Do NOT be overwhelmed. I made sure to break everything down very easily, so a lot of the text in this recipe is me being as thorough as possible. Be sure to read through additional tips and troubleshooting below. Let me know about your pie adventures!
- Total Time:2 hours, 15 minutes
- Yield:2 pie crusts
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1/2 cup ice water
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
An easy tutorial on how to make your own homemade pie crust! This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients and turns out perfect every single time. This post also includes several different ways that you can use this pie crust recipe!
Making your own pie crust should never be intimidating. In fact, if you have a good recipe and instructions its actually pretty easy.
If youve been following me for a while youve probably seen this pie crust recipe at some point. But today I wanted to share this simple recipe with you again because its one that I use all of the time! Youll absolutely love this recipe because its:
- Super flaky
- Uses simple pantry staples you likely have on hand
- Tastes better than anything that you can buy at the store
Trust me when I say that youll never go back to buying store-bought pie crust again once you learn how to make your own!
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Using Sweet Or Tart Cherries
As far as the cherries go, we like to use fresh cherries, but if you need to, use thawed frozen or canned/jarred cherries. . Both sweet and tart cherries will work well in this pie. We usually use sweet because fresh tart cherries are almost impossible to find where we live. No matter which you use, be sure to check for how sweet they are then adjust the sugar accordingly. We love serving each slice with freshly whipped cream, but ice cream would be divine.
Keep Everything Chilled Especially Yourself
Now its time to chill for about 30 minutes. As Kate from Art of the Pie says, Keep Everything Chilled, Especially Yourself! I love this! Pie making is a learning process, and you will have more fun if you keep yourself a little chilled out! Its also imperative that you take the time to chill your dough throughout the process. Rolling out and shaping your pie crust is SO much easier with slightly chilled dough. If you are having trouble rolling out your crust, or if your lattice is falling apart, clear out some space in your fridge or freezer and toss the whole thing in to chill out.
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Time Tested And Easy Pie Crust
Ive tested this perfect pie crust recipe so many times over the years and know this recipe works with most pie fillings and can be made by hand fairly quickly. It always provides a flaky crust with lots of flavor that is sturdy enough for heavy pie fillings.
In other words, this is the perfect pie crust and the only recipe youll ever really need.
Heres how I make it.
Pie Recipes To Explore:
If you make this recipe, Id love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
Now go forth and make homemade pie. You can DO THIS!!
Tips For Making Pie Crust
Does The Butter Need To Be Cold
Absolutely make sure that the butter is cold or even frozen. Cold fats in your dough are a must. It helps the crust to be flaky, tender and so delicious when the bits of cold butter and shortening melt in the hot oven as the crust bakes. If butter and shortening are too warm in the crust before baking, it can result in a hard, greasy and even crumbly pie crust. Some people freeze all of the ingredients before mixing the dough.
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How To Make Pie Dough For A Lattice Pie Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- *1/3 cup frozen vegetable shortening cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- About 1/2 cup ice water have more on the ready just in case
- Egg wash
- Sugar for sprinkling
What Causes A Flaky Pie Crust
The melting point of lard is lower than butter, which means that more air and steam are released during the bake time. This gives a flakier texture in your pie crust, exactly what we want!
So why use butter at all? Because FLAVOR. Nothing tastes quite as delicious as butter. So the answer is to use both! I like to use 8 tablespoons of shortening to 12 tablespoons of butter.
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What Youll Need To Make Pie Crust
Some pie crust recipes call for all butter some call for all shortening, lard or oil and some call for a combination of fats. I like to use a blend of butter and shortening. The butter lends delicious flavor and flakiness, while the shortening makes the dough easy to work with and also helps it hold its shape. Its important that the butter and shortening are both very cold.
As for the dry ingredients, in addition to all-purpose flour and salt, I like to add a bit of baking powder to my homemade pie crust. It helps the crust expand into the pan, rather than shrink and slip down the sides as it bakes .
How To Tell When The Pie Is Done
Here are three simple methods for telling when apple pie is ready to come out of the oven:
Visual cue: Apple pie is done when the juices are bubbling through the vents of the top crust or lattice. If you do not see bubbles, the pie needs more time.
Internal temperature: The pie is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the middle of the pie reads 195 degrees Fahrenheit .
Texture of the apples: Piercing the pie is a good indication of how soft the apples are. If they feel too crunchy, the pie needs more time.
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Knead Your Pie Crust Together
Now that weve got the liquid in, its time to knead. Use a spatula for the first part, trying to mix together the flour and the wet part together. But at some point your going to have to dig in there with your hands.
The top picture is what I could get done with a spatula the bottom is after working it with my hands.
I like to do it right there in the bowl. Coat your hand with flour and start pressing the dough together. Keep working it, gathering up the little bits of flour and butter from the bottom, and kneading it until it comes together in a ball. If you have kneaded 8-10 times and its still not coming together, add more ice water about 1-2 teaspoons at a time. I hardly ever add extra ice water, but this does depend on climate. The point is, dont add too much, or you will make your pie dough too sticky.
Shape it into a ball and then cut it in half, then shape each half into a disc. This is what you need to make one double-crust pie. If you only need a single pie crust, put the other one in a ziplock and toss it in the freezer for your next pie. It will keep for 3 months. See my post for How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust for tips on pre baking and fluting a single crust pie.
You can see the beautiful bits of butter and shortening all through the dough.