Basic Apple Pie - Sweet and tart apples are finely sliced, tossed with some flour and vanilla bean paste, then nestled inside a super easy pie crust and topped with a lattice and baked to perfection. This is the perfect fall pie, with a pie crust that is very quick and very easy to make - it is basically foolproof.
- 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
- 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.