Apple pie is one of the best comfort foods I know. It has to be good apple pie, no store bought filling or crust. A good pie, no matter the kind needs to be made from scratch using whole ingredients. It has a buttery flakey crust and lots of filling. There is a pie for every day and celebration; another reason pies are great.
This is my favorite pie crust recipe. It’s nothing fancy but it lends itself to any flavor. You can add spices (or herbs for savory pies) to give it a little something extra or leave it plain for a good old fashioned crust.
Old Fashioned Pie Crust
2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1/3c. Butter, cold and in chunks
1/4 c. Water, cold
Sugar (this can be left out for savory pies
Combine the flour, butter and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, break the cold butter into pea-sized chunks. Add the water, mixing only until a soft dough forms. This will take more than a 1/4 c. but I always start with that and add a couple tablespoons at a time. *See Note. Divide the dough into two, flatten into a thick disc and place on a pan and let rest in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Once rested, roll the dough about a 1/4 inch thick. (It can be rolled thicker or thinner to your liking.) Place in your pie pan and continue with your pie recipe. This can be prebaked if needed or filled and baked depending on the recipe.
* Note- The amount of water needed will vary depending on the humidity, which changes the moisture content in the flour. It will also change depending on the four you use. I like to grind my own, each ground flour you buy will vary just the same. It’s best to start with the small amount of water, adding little by little until you reach the desired texture.
** Tip- Do not over knead or mix the dough. It will get tough very easily and will lose the nice flakey texture you want.
Cinnamon Pie Crust
This is so simple and yet so good. My mom would make this some afternoons, it would be hot out of the oven when we got off the bus from school. The house would smell like warm cinnamon; it was the best snack.
1 Old Fashioned Pie Crust, rolled thin on a cookie sheet
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake at 400 degrees until light brown.
It’s at it’s best hot out of the oven, but good anytime.
Anna’s Apple Pie Filling
I don’t usually measure my ingredients for this, but I did make an effort this time to give you a good idea of what I use. Feel free to adjust to your taste.
8 Large Apples- two or more different varieties
1/4 c. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/3 c Butter, cut in small chunks
Vanilla (I never measure vanilla, just a splash)
1/4 c. Flour (this is optional, adding it will make a thicker sauce in the pie, but it works well without too)
Peel and thinly slice the apples. Toss with the rest of the ingredients. Place into the Old Fashioned Pie Crust (unbaked). Top with the second rolled out crust. Fold the dough over itself around the edge and pinch together. Poke holes in the top with a small knife.
Beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp. water and 1/4 tsp. salt. Brush this lightly over the top crust. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake at 375 degrees until you can see the top crust slightly rising and falling from the bubbling filling, roughly an hour.