A golden, buttery, flaky crust and a thick apple filling with cinnamon lending a pleasant richness, and you’ve got a classic apple pie that tastes like a dream!
A classic apple pie somehow always becomes the finishing touch at a family dinner party.
For me, apple pies are tied up with the best memories. When I was little, mom baked them for us as winter treats. Always served with a spoonful of lightly whipped cream.
She continues to make them even today. But with the winter setting in, I decided to give it a whirl because fruit pies are hands down my favorite, with apple leading the way.
I prefer recipes that require the littlest fuss, so that’s what I used here. The result? A warmly spiced pie that keeps the flavor of apples front and center. The nuttiness from the almond meal just adds to the charm of this comforting classic.
How to make a classic apple pie?
Pie requires three basic steps. You make the crust; you prepare the filling, and then you assemble.
For the crust
- Sift flour and sugar and then cut it with cubes of butter till you have a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Pour in ice-cold water in small increments to bring the scraggy dough together until it’s smooth.
- Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk.
- Cover it in cling wrap and then slide it into the refrigerator.
Tips for flakiest pie crust
Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour. They work better.
Your butter has to be chilled. The same applies for the flour and water; if needed, add ice cubes to the latter.
The dough should rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For the apple filling
- Peel and dice your apples.
- Toss them with sugar and cinnamon.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes in a tablespoon or two of butter until the apples are softened. Let cool.
For the assembly
- Uncover your chilled dough in a well-floured prep area.
- Split it into two unequal parts. The bigger one will be your base, and the smaller one creates the lattice pattern.
- Roll the larger dough portion into a circle, and then with gentle hands, place it on your pie dish.
A trick to laying the dough on the pan is to flour your rolling pin and rotate the dough loosely around it. Then unroll the dough into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface.
- With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan.
- Before adding the apple filling, add a light layer of almond meal. This is my go-to trick for ensuring there is no soggy crust.
- Fill the base with your apple filling.
- Make the lattice pattern on top with the leftover dough.
- Brush it with butter (or beaten egg or cream) and then bake till you have a golden-brown crust with bubbling fruit juices.
How to make a lattice top for the pie
If I can make a lattice pie crust, then anyone can do it. I’m not great at it ( case in point: my cherry pie), but I am getting there. Fingers crossed, one day it’ll be flawless.
- Roll your remaining dough into an 8-inch circle.
- Then with a very sharp knife, cut 16 strips out of it.
- Lay 8 of them horizontally on the pie filling. Make sure you crimp the strip edges with the base lining the pie pan.
- The rest of the 8 strips go on top in a diagonal direction. Once again, tuck the edges with the crust base.
Variations of the apple pie recipe
Your pie doesn’t need to have a lattice pattern on top, although it does look pretty.
If you decide to skip it, cover the fruit filling with another disc of rolled out dough. Make sure you make vents on the upper crust. They help steam escape the pie while baking.
You can also cut out some cute little shapes using a cookie cutter and use those to cover the pie.
How to make a gluten-free apple pie?
Substitute your flour with buckwheat flour, as I did for my apple hand pies.
How to make a vegan apple pie?
Instead of butter, use coconut oil to make a vegan apple pie. Make sure the oil is chilled. Completely.
Not in the mood for apple pie? Try:
Serving the classic apple pie
A classic apple pie needs to be served the classic way – with dollops of whipped cream or scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Or you could give some vanilla custard a shot. Whatever you decide to serve it with, make sure you enjoy the pie warm.
That’s the best way to devour the flaky crust filled with gooey cinnamon coated apples. Not that the children haven’t caught me eating a bite or two straight from the fridge. I don’t nit-pick when it comes to apple pie!
Classic Apple Pie
- 200 gms All-purpose flour
- 115 gms Butter, chilled, cut into cubes I used salted butter
- 1 tbsp Powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp Chilled water
- 75 gms Almond meal
- 4 Apples, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 50 gms Coconut sugar You can use regular white sugar too
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Butter/Cream for brushing on top
- Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Rub the chilled butter in the mixture, using your fingertips. When it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, add iced cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time, just enough to bind the dough. It can be a bit a scraggy at this point, but don’t worry, it will come together. Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 4-5 times until its smooth.
- Roll into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate until ready to use. This should rest for at least an hour.
- When you’re ready to bake, keep a 7" pie pan handy and preheat the oven to 180C.
- Toss the diced apples with sugar and cinnamon powder.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter. Add the apple mixture.
- Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the apples are softened.
- You may need to add a splash of water if the apples start sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Let the apple filling cool.
- Unwrap the dough and flour your work surface well. Divide the dough into 2/3rd and 1/3rd parts.
- Working with the bigger part, roll it out into a 9" circle. Place the dough gently into the pie pan. Trim the edges of the pastry to fit the sides of the pan.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with the almond meal.
- Spoon the apple filling into the pie.
- Combine the pie trimmings with the balance pie dough. Roll it out into an 8" circle. Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 strips. Lay 8 strips of dough on the pie filling in one direction. Crimp the edges of the strips with the pastry lining the pan. Now lay the balance 8 strips of dough crosswise across the filling. Again crimp the pastry edges. Brush with melted butter or cream or beaten egg.
- Bake for 30 -35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the juices bubbling. Allow the pie to cool for at least an hour before slicing and serving. Enjoy!