Classic apple pie with a flaky all-butter lattice crust and a brown sugar, cinnamon-spiced apple filling. An all-time favorite, you’ll want to commit this crowd-pleasing Fall treat to memory!
When it comes to your favorite tried-and-true desserts, which are the recipes you turn to again and again?
For me, apple pie easily breaks the top five. And that’s coming from a girl who’s cooking up something sweet most days.
Last week was a really long week. I’m not a fan of the hustle culture, so when I say that life has been way too busy lately, please don’t read that as a humblebrag.
Quite the contrary. More like, for the briefest of moments I had all of the balls – baby, marriage, work, house, dog, renovations – juggling nicely in the air, but have since fumbled just about all of them, Henry’s grabbed at least one and is toddling directly towards the stairs, and my multitasking skills certainly aren’t winning any awards.
Lest you ever think based on all of these pretty desserts that I have it all together, know that I’m currently still wearing pajamas at 2:00pm, and Henry is taking his nap… in a pack-n-play in our master bathroom, since we still haven’t finished painting his new room.
R has been working 13-14 hour days, leaving the house before Henry wakes up and getting home after he goes to bed, nearly every day. I love that little boy more than anything, but taking care of him full time by myself, as he becomes increasingly mobile and adventurous – while trying to also keep this blog business going, and managing all of the regular day-to-day and home improvement stuff in the works – has me beyond exhausted.
Since this schedule isn’t going to let up any time soon, we’re working on figuring out at least a part-time daycare option, but aren’t quite there yet. Work from home mamas – tell me your secrets about managing all the things. Do you have family/professional help? Do you ever sleep?
So. By the time last Friday rolled around, my tank was empty. During Henry’s afternoon nap, I let the laundry go unfolded, the floors unvacuumed, emails left sitting in my inbox, and I made us an apple pie.
This classic apple pie is a recipe I easily know by heart. The all-butter pastry comes together by feel, the ratios of butter and flour and ice water tattooed over and over again on my memory from years of shaping the humblest of ingredients into perfectly flaky, buttery pastry.
The sweet-tart apple filling, laden with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, can nearly be measured without cups or spoons. A little more or less sugar, maybe a heavier hand with the spice jars, all depending on the sweetness and flavor of the fruit.
And while, like any fruit pie, it takes a bit of time to make, it’s the relaxing sort of methodical work – peeling and slicing apples, rolling out pie dough, tossing together the cozy, aromatic spices, and finally, baking until the juices bubble over the golden crust – that’s good for my baker’s – and tired mama – soul.
A couple of notes about making pie:
While ceramic pie plates are prettier, I almost always bake pie in inexpensive tempered glass or simple, lightweight aluminum pie pans. They cook more evenly, and will give you tastier and more reliable results than most decorative ceramic pans. Function wins this one!
I prefer a high crust to filling ratio, so I always make an extra pie crust to be able to create a really chunky lattice and add some decorative pie crust pieces. You can find the Fall leaf stencils I used here. Following the recipe as written works best for a solid top crust, or a lattice with wider spacing (see here or here).
You can easily freeze this apple pie for later. Simply prepare the pie right up until it’s ready for the oven, then place it on a sheet pan in the freezer. After a couple of hours (or when it’s solid enough to handle), wrap the pie tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil, or place in a plastic storage bag, and freeze until you’re ready to use. Wrapped well, this can be at least 3 months or so.
Then unwrap the pie, let it defrost in the fridge, and bake as you normally would, adding 10-15 minutes to the end of the baking time, as needed. Note: I recommend using a metal pie pan if you’re going this route!
My impatience got the best of me, and I rushed slicing into this apple beauty – and predictably, my slices fell apart. If clean, sturdy slices are important to you, don’t be like me. Resist the urge to dive in, be patient, and wait until the pie is fully cooled and set before cutting into it. You’ll be rewarded with wonderfully layered slices of pie that hold together beautifully.
That being said, even an inglorious heap of warm broken pie crust and syrupy apple filling is arguably still perfection in its own right. Happy baking!!