Par-cooked apple filling makes a foolproof holiday pie. This recipe is best enjoyed within a day of baking, To re-warm the pie before serving, place on a baking sheet in a 350-degree F oven for 15 minutes.
Keyword homemade apple pie, how to make the best apple pie, lattice apple pie
Roll out two disks of pie dough to 12-inch diameters (about 1/8-inch thick). Fit one crust into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate and trim overhang flush with the plate's edge. (Be careful not to stretch the dough when fitting it into the plate.)
Keep the second crust flat. Refrigerate both crusts for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator 5 minutes before filling and baking.
Make the filling
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon apple cider with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, stirring until dissolved. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine apple slices, remaining 2 tablespoons apple cider, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, gently stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, but do not lose their shape, about 15 minutes.
Stir in cornstarch/apple cider mixture and continue cooking, uncovered, until juices are thick and clear, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Fill and bake the pie
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in lower-middle position. Place a baking sheet on the rack.
Pour cooled pie filling into the lined pie plate. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chilled, diced butter.
For a traditional crust, top pie with second rolled dough round (roll the dough around a rolling pin or fold it into quarters for easy moving). Trim the top layer of dough to a 1/2-inch overhang, tuck under the bottom dough, and crimp or flute as desired to seal. Cut 3-5 slits in the center of the filled pie to vent. If desired, decorate with seasonal crust cutouts.
Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
Place on preheated baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and continue baking until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, about 30-40 minutes longer (add about 10 minutes for stoneware pie plates). Keep a close eye on the pie and cover the top and/or edges of the pie with foil if it's browning too quickly.
Let pie cool on a wire rack to room temperature, at least 3 hours. Slice and serve.
In Case of Especially Juicy Apples:
Some apple varieties produce more juices than others when cooked. If your apples are particularly juicy and there seems to be a lot of liquid in the pot after thickening and cooling, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked apples to the lined pie plate. Then, pour about 1/2 cup of the thickened juices over the apples.
To make a lattice crust:
Chill one round of rolled dough (1/8-inch thick) until firm and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch wide strips using a pastry cutter or knife.
Starting with the longest strip in the center and picking up every other strip in the dough round, lay 5-7 strips across the top of the pie, about 1/2-inch apart. Fold every other strip on the pie halfway back on itself.
Starting in the center, place the longest remaining strip of dough perpendicular to the strips you just placed. This piece of dough will lay over the strips that haven't been folded back. Lay the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.
Now, fold back the strips that weren't folded back before. Place another perpendicular strip and lay the newly-folded strips over it. Repeat until you reach the edge of the pie, then continue on the other side of the pie, working from the center outward.
Trim the edges of the strips with a 1-inch overhang and tuck under the bottom crust. Crimp or flute as you would a solid top pie crust.