Out of the 1 million apple pie recipes out there that all claim to be the BEST, this is apple pie is entering the ring to compete for that title. Tart apples are steeped in sugar syrup to add extra flavor, and a coating of egg wash and coarse sugar takes this dessert to the next level.Click here to jump to recipe
With Pi day right around the corner, I was eager to bake a pie this weekend and share my favorite apple pie recipe. I’d had a long, tiring week of work and I just wanted to unwind with a good book, hot tea, and a fresh slice of fragrant pie. Baking this pie became the One Big Thing I was looking forward to over the weekend. The fact that I wanted to smash my face into my laptop for most of the week made it seem even more exciting. I couldn’t wait for my weekend and my pie!
But on Saturday I got into one of those big, sobbing, cataclysmic, emotional, messy fights with my SO. And instead of baking my pie, we spent the evening in that sad, grey state where it seems nothing will ever be right. It seemed my relaxed, pie-baking Saturday disappeared in a poof of stress and tears, and I couldn’t help but be resentful of my SO for seemingly ruining the little bit of non-work time I have each week. Stress, as many of you know, is a mean little creature that will eat away at you and torture your loved ones as well.
I went to bed resentful and woke up heart sick… until my SO suggested that we spend our Sunday morning baking a pie. It showed that he cared and it lightened my heart. We baked this beautiful apple pie, and we each had a quarter of a pie each with ice cream for breakfast. Because sometimes your adult life just requires you to have pie and ice cream first thing in the morning 🙂
What makes this apple pie recipe special?
This recipe is from my best friend and is a little more complicated than your average apple pie recipe because you cook the apples in syrup before putting them in the crust. This extra step is totally worth it though – you’ll get a flavorful filling with a crisp, non-soggy crust.
I also recommend brushing the crust with egg wash and sprinkling with coarse sugar before popping in the oven. It really adds an extra oomph and polish to the final product.
Crust: to buy or to bake?
I’ve made this apple pie with both store-bought pie mix and homemade pie crust. Both will lead to absolutely delicious pies, though I do think the homemade crust has a slight edge. I’m updating this post a year after baking, and the same SO that I was fighting with in episode one claims that homemade pie crust is “the best pie crust he’s ever had.” Making your own crust is a little more work though, and you’ll need to make the crust at least 2 hours in advance. For store-bought crust, I love Betty Crocker’s pie mix – all you need is ice cold water. For homemade crust. I love Sally’s buttery, flaky pie crust, which is made with a mix of butter and shortening.
Tips to make your pie-making life easier
- Always keep your pie crust as cold as possible. The wonderful flakiness is created when fat in the crust melts in the oven. If your fat gets too warm and blends into the dough, there will be less flakiness.
- Flour your work surface and rolling pin generously to avoid sticking pie crust
- If you are using primarily sweet apples, lemon juice gives a nice tart flavor. Otherwise, tart green apples work just as well.
Other apple recipes you’ll love:
There are about 1 million apple pie recipes in existence (all claiming to be the BEST), but if you do make this recipe, let me know! You can comment below or tag me on Instagram @halicopteraway or #halicopteraway.
Best apple pie
- 1 medium or large pan
- 1 9 in. pie dish
- Rolling Pin
- Pastry for 2-crust 9 in. pie, unbaked
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (60g) water
- 3 pounds apples (about 5 – 6 medium apples)
- juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Egg wash and topping
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk or water
- 2 tbsp coarse sugar
- Prepare pie crust and line 9 inch pan. While preparing the rest of the ingredients, keep the crust in the fridge so that it remains chilled.
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Peel and core apples and cut into eighths. Mix with lemon juice if your apples are not tart.
- In a medium or large pan, mix sugar, water, and salt and cover on low-medium heat until sugar dissolves
- Drop apple pieces into sugar syrup to cover the bottom of the pan and cook until tender. Leave the cover of the pan on while the apples cook.
- Remove cooked apples onto flat tray and continue until all apples are cooked.
- When all apples are cooked, thicken the remaining syrup with 1 tbsp of flour. You should have about 1/3 of a cup of syrup left. Add butter and and cinnamon and mix well over low heat.
- Place apples into the pastry-lined pie tin. Pour syrup over the apples. Cover the top of the pie with top pastry or lattice. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with coarse sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce oven to 400°F and bake for 25 – 30 more minutes