Luscious Apple Pie

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 425°F/220°C
Baking Time 45 to 55 minutes

A commenter on my blog came up with the idea to add thickened apple cider to the apples in an apple pie to make more sauce in the filling—a request from her husband. I tried the idea and love the luscious texture and added flavor the apple cider gives to the apples. I still like to concentrate the apples’ juices to keep the bottom of the crust from getting soggy and to add a wonderful caramel undertone to the filling.

Ingredients

Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust

VOLUME WEIGHT
dough for a standard double crust 9 inch pie . 22 ounces 624 grams

Filling

VOLUME WEIGHT
about 6 medium baking apples ( pounds/1,134 grams), see Notes 8 cups (sliced) 2 pounds (sliced) 907 grams (sliced)
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 tablespoon (15 ml) 0.6 ounce 16 grams
light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar ¼ cup, firmly packed 1.9 ounces 54 grams
granulated sugar (see Notes) ¼ cup 1.8 ounces 50 grams
ground cinnamon (see Notes) ½ to 1½ teaspoons . 1.1 to 3.3 grams
nutmeg, freshly grated ¼ teaspoon . .
fine sea salt ¼ teaspoon . 1.5 grams
unpasteurized apple cider, unsweetened ½ cup (118 ml) 4.3 ounces 122 grams
cornstarch (for the apple cider) ½ tablespoon . 5 grams
unsalted butter 2 tablespoons 1 ounce 28 grams
cornstarch (for the apples) 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon . 12 grams

Special Equipment

One 9 inch pie plate | An expandable flan ring or 12 inch round cardboard template | A baking stone or baking sheet | A foil ring to protect the edges of the crust

Method

Roll the Dough for the Bottom Crust

Remove the dough for the bottom crust from the refrigerator. If necessary, let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until it is malleable enough to roll.

On a floured pastry cloth, pastry mat, or between two sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap, roll the dough into a ⅛ inch thick disc, 12 inches in diameter or large enough to line the bottom of the pie plate and extend slightly past the edge of the rim. Lift the dough from time to time and add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. Before measuring the dough, make sure to lift it from the surface to allow it to shrink in so that it doesn’t retract when set in the pie plate. Use the expandable flan ring, or a small sharp knife with the cardboard template as a guide, to cut a 12 inch disc of dough.

Line the Pie Plate

Transfer the dough to the pie plate, easing it into place. If necessary, trim the edge almost even with the edge of the plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Prepare the Apples

Peel the apples and slice them in half. Use a melon baller to remove the cores and a small sharp knife to cut away any remaining peel. Slice the apples ¼ inch thick. Weigh or measure the apple slices and toss them with the lemon juice.

In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the apples and toss to coat them with the sugar mixture. Let the apples macerate at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Thicken the Apple Cider

In a small saucepan, stir together the apple cider and the ½ tablespoon of cornstarch. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. It will become very thick. Scrape it into a small bowl, cover tightly, and set it aside.

Drain and Concentrate the Apple Juices

Transfer the apples and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least ½ cup/118 ml/5 ounces/142 grams of liquid.

Transfer this liquid to a 4 cup microwavable measure with a spout that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add the butter and microwave for about 6 to 7 minutes until reduced to about cup/79 ml/3.1 ounces/88 grams—or a little more if you started with more than ½ cup of liquid. It will be syrupy and lightly caramelized. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Alternatively, reduce the liquid in a saucepan, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Swirl but do not stir it.

Complete the Filling

Transfer the apples to a large bowl and toss them with the 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of cornstarch until all traces of it have disappeared. Pour the reduced syrup over the apples, tossing gently. (Do not be concerned if the syrup hardens on contact with the apples; it will dissolve during baking.) Scrape in the thickened apple cider and again toss gently to mix it in. Spoon the apples into the dough-lined pie plate. Moisten the border of the bottom crust by brushing it lightly with water.

Roll the Dough for the Top Crust and Crimp

Roll out the dough for the top crust large enough to cut a 12 inch disc. Use the expandable flan ring, or a sharp knife with the cardboard template as a guide, to cut the disc of dough.

Place the top crust over the apple filling. Tuck the overhang under the bottom crust border and press down all around the top to seal it. Crimp the border using your forefinger and thumb or a fork, and use a small sharp knife to make 5 evenly spaced 2 inch slashes in the top crust, starting about 1 inch from the center and radiating toward the edge. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before baking to chill and relax the dough. This will maintain flakiness and help to keep the crust from shrinking.

Preheat the Oven

Forty-five minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the lowest level and place the baking stone or baking sheet on it. Place a large sheet of nonstick aluminum foil or foil lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray on top of the stone to catch any juices. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.

Bake the Pie

Place the foil ring on top of the pie to protect the edges from overbrowning and set the pie on the foil-topped baking stone. Bake for 20 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pie halfway around. Continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the juices bubble through the slashes and the apples feel tender but not mushy when a cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted through a slash.

Cool the Pie

Cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Store

Room temperature, 2 days; refrigerated, 4 days.