Welcome friends and family this Thanksgiving with a homemade apple pie. Always a favorite Thanksgiving dessert, apple pie is sure to please all of your guests. This is a classic apple pie: lightly sweet with a flaky crust and a delicious filling. It’s a definite family favorite in our house, and something I just love to share.
Our apple pie recipe is easy and straightforward. The filling has a little bit of bite. I love to let the flavor of the apples come through easily, so I go easy on the cinnamon and spices. My secret ingredient? Orange zest–it lends a tart deliciousness to the filling. The other secret ingredient is the apples; I use whichever are crunchy and fresh, and adjust the sweetness or tartness depending.
Classic Apple Pie
for the crust (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 tablespoon for the crust
16 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/3 cup ice water, or more if needed
for the filling
5 fresh Macintosh apples
5 fresh Empire apples
1/2 cup (or less) sugar
1/4 cup flour
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of allspice
In the bowl of your food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Drop in the butter and pulse several times until the dough has a sandy texture.
Combine the sour cream and the water, and slowly drizzle into the dough mixture. Give everything 5 or 6 short pulses, processing until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and gather it up into a ball. Divide the dough in half, form two rounds, and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill dough rounds for a half-hour or more.
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Put a cookie sheet into the oven to preheat as well. Generously butter a deep-dish pie pan.
Remove a dough round from the refrigerator and roll out into a 14” circle on a floured board or parchment paper. Fold the dough up and then unfold into your pie pan. Press the dough into the sides, leaving a 1” overhang all the way around. Place the pie pan with the dough in the refrigerator.
Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/2 – 3/4” slices, and then toss with the sugar, flour, citrus juices, zests, and spices, and set aside. Roll out the second dough round into a 14” circle. Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator and spoon the filling into it. Arrange the slices so they fit well in the pie with a slight mound in the center. Cover with the second dough round. Fold the dough under and seal the crust using fingers or a fork. With a sharp pairing knife, cut five slits in the top of the dough. Sprinkle the top of the crust evenly with remaining the 1 tablespoon sugar.
Place the pie onto preheated cookie sheet and into the oven. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, turn the pie, and continue baking until the juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer your pie to wire rack and cool to almost room temperature for 3 hours or more.
Looking for more classic Thanksgiving desserts? Try these Family Kitchen recipes: