This apple pie is my favourite ever apple pie! You see thanks to an ingenious method you'll get an incredible texture to your apples without any sogginess! This BEST EVER apple pie uses up 2 kilos or 4.4 lbs of apples in it and has a double crust of buttery cinnamon pastry. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader and perfect for Father's Day coming up!
Dear Reader, I discovered the secret to making apple pies today and I'm very excited to share it with you! It uses an apple pie technique that I had not yet tried.
I paired this apple pie with an apple caramel, a dark caramel flavoured with apples that is just a simple bonus that comes with this clever method of making a pie.
Why is my apple pie runny? Common apple pie problems:
1 - How many times have you made an apple pie and there's just a pool of liquid when you cut into it? Apples release juice and you end up with too much liquid in the pie.
2 - Your base becomes soggy as a result as well as undercooked.
3 - There's a big gap as the apples shrink down
4 - The apple filling has a floury texture to it because you use flour to thicken up the juices
The key to making the best apple pie is double cooking the apples. This was a revelation to me. Not only do you get a beautifully turned out pie without any added clagginess from flour, but the apples still retain a wonderful bite to them! You would actually think that cooking the apples twice would mean that they would turn to mush but provided you use the right apple (please see below) they will have the most luscious, tender but not mushy bite to them!
What is the best type of apple to use for apple pie? You generally want to use apples that hold their shape, particularly if you're going for the stacked look. I used Pink Lady apples but other varieties that are good are Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Pippin, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Jonagold. You can of course use a combination of these.
Do you peel apples for apple pie? Usually I am a no-peel sort of gal. I hate peeling and also there's lots of nutrients and goodness in the skin. But for apple pies, you generally do want to peel the apples to keep each bite a consistent texture. The beauty of this apple pie is the texture of the apples. Of course you can keep the skin on, just be aware that the skin will add texture to each bite.
How to get that pretty stacked look? The truth is, it's a lot of stacking and takes a bit longer than just tossing the apples inside the pie crust (which is also valid and just as delicious if less architecturally sound!). Also try and use apples that are roughly the same size and bigger apples are less time consuming to stack.
Brown sugar vs dark brown sugar: I used dark brown sugar for this pie so the caramel ended up being quite dark. Dark brown sugar has a more intense aniseedy or licorice flavour to it. This isn't an overly sweet pie as most of the sugar goes into the caramel sauce. If you want to add more sugar you certainly can (I've added how much and when as an option in the recipe) but I like not adding the extra sugar in step 4 as it brings out the flavour of the apples.
What can I do with the leftover peels and core? Save them to make jam! Apple peels and cores are very high in natural pectin. If I know I am making jam soon then I'll freeze the peel and cores.
I am sharing this apple pie recipe for Father's Day coming up on the 6th of September. I actually made this for Mr NQN (who is a doggy daddy) for his birthday which is the month before Father's Day but it was closer to Father's Day when I actually found time to make it. This cake with all of its layers is bit of a labour of love so you'll want to set aside a bit of time. However, it can also be done in parts over a few days if that's how your schedule works at the moment.
Every year Mr NQN jokes about asking for one particular cake that gave me PTSD. It's the thousand layer apple cake. It took so long and was so fussy that I ended up getting a sore back and neck and I really wish I hadn't started it at all. I think I almost started weeping halfway or maybe I'm just remembering it very dramatically which is entirely possible.
This year's birthday or Father's day cake was the sort of pie that halfway through I may have regretted starting only because the stacking was laborious. But once I baked it and tried it all was forgiven. Apple pie would never be the same for me again. And I've told him that he can definitely ask for this apple pie again!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever do high effort or time consuming food projects? What is your favourite pie filling?