Hi hi! Happy Sunday! Things are finally kicking into Autumn here, which means it’s absolutely apple pie season (It’s always apple pie season IMO though). I had a some super fun visitors yesterday to my tiny wee NYC apartment, and we whipped this guy up, so I wanted to pop the recipe here for you!
Nz Chef Josh Emett and his lovely wife Helen are here in NYC at the moment, promoting Josh’s new book, ‘The Recipe’ (watch this space for a recipe from it coming your way v soon). It’s a collection of recipes from top chefs around the world - all the recipes look incredible, and the photography is so, so beautiful. Josh has some amazing restaurants back home in NZ, and does an incredible cooking segment on his IG stories, so we decided to join forces and make something together - an epic apple pie! My teeny NYC kitchen is a far cry from Josh’s insane kitchen back in Auckland, but we made it work!
We kept it simple and made a ‘basic’ apple pie - I say basic because we let the ingredients speak for themselves. I have a couple of other apple pie recipes here on the site, with caramel, cardamom, etc, but didn’t have just a plain old apple pie, so it was a great time to remedy that. We picked up some apples from the farmer’s market, then headed back to my apartment to make the pie. You really can’t go past a good apple pie and this one is just that - flaky pastry, and a packed apple filling. We went a little fancy on the lattice topping, which I love to make, but also love how it increases the ratio of the pastry to the filling, because as far as I’m concerned, the more crispy pastry the better. Enjoy! x
A few wee tips:
I love to use a mixture of apples to make apple pie. We used three - Mutsu, Honeycrisp and another green variety. The variation in flavour and texture makes for a super delicious pie - go for something a little sweeter, and something a little more tart. If you’re in NZ, a mixture of Braeburn and Gala would be great. Braeburn hold their shape nicely in the oven and provide the tartness, and gala is more sweet.
I made the pie dough for this the morning that we made the pie, but the night before works well too. You can also make it and freeze it for up to 3 months - defrost overnight before using.
I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a disc. I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.
I like to divide the pie dough into 1/3 and 2/3 - shape the smaller one into a disc as it will be your bottom crust, and shape the top into a rectangle so it’s the right shape when it comes to cutting out lattices.
We used pie stamps to cut out the shapes for the edge of the pie - I have collected a whole bunch over the years - I have this set and this set of leaves, and then this set is where the flowers are from. I think I also have this set!
You want to ‘shingle’ in the apples when you are adding them to the pie, in order to have as few gaps as possible. Apples cook down in the oven, so layering them tightly ensures that they bake evenly.
Don’t be afraid to bake this until it is a deep golden brown colour - I do 20 mins at 425°f / 220°c and then at least 40 mins at 375°f / 190 °c, but check it as you are going and take it as far as you like. Golden pastry is my fave, but this will also help avoid a soggy bottom on the pie and make sure that the pastry is cooked through.
"Basic" Apple Pie
- Makes one 9” pie, serves 8 -
540g All-purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp (13g) sugar
345g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
60g (1/4 cup) Apple cider vinegar
1.5kg apples, peeled and thinly sliced (yields about 1200g sliced apple)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
45g all-purpose flour
85g raw sugar (increase this to taste if needed)
big pinch of salt
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Raw sugar to finish
- PROCESS -
Place flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Divide the dough into two - I like to do a 1/3 to 2/3 split. Shape the smaller portion into a disc and the larger into a rectangle. If desired, roll out and perform letter folds after an hour of resting (see notes - I do this every time now and it makes such a difference). Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
On a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.
Roll out the second piece of dough (the rectangle) into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. If you would like to make a braid, roll a piece of pie dough into a long thin rectangle, cut thin strips, and braid. Place your strips and braids onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll, these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border - freeze for 10 minutes or so before stamping out to help the stamps hold their shape.
Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the apples and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish a little at a time, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Remember that it will bake down a little, so it is ok for the pie to seem a bit full.
Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. If you are adding stamps, trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish, then glue on the stamps with a little egg wash. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.
Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425°f/ 220°c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven.
Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375°f / 190°c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, ideally with a scoop of ice cream.
Store leftovers wrapped in foil at room temperature and re-warm slightly when serving.