Apple Pie Recipe

I am endlessly entertained by seeing what visitors search for on this site. Every month or so I look in my log files and am able to see every search entered on 101 Cookbooks (everything people enter in the little search box to your upper right). You can learn quite a bit about your visitors from looking at what they search for and here's what I've derived so far: You like pork over chicken, gelato over ice cream, fruits over vegetables, and cookies and brownies over doughnuts and blondies. For the most part you have no idea that I am vegetarian, and search for all things sausage, beef, chicken, and osso buco.

You generally spell quite well, although there are a few foods that give you a hard time. You can't spell the word raspberry to save your life -- a couple favorite variations include: razberry, rasberry, and razzberrie. Other spellings that have invoked chuckles on my end include: collar greens, sweetish meatballs, marshmellows, couz couz, shrimp scampy, and quesadias.

At one point someone entered a search for 'shit cake' -- but as a friend pointed out, maybe they just misspelled shiitake. I hold out hope.

If I had to guess (I'm not actually going to count) I would say the most popular searches on this site are for the following:

-vodka (for infused vodka recipes)
-chocolate chip cookies
-and you've also been diligently searching for apple recipes as well, hence todays recipe choice.

If you want to download a document with a big chunk of my recent search queries, you can clickhere (268k)...

Apples are absolutely everywhere right now - the San Francisco Chronicle did an article on them today, as did the New York Times. So accordingly, the ingredient du jour is the noble apple.

I bought the Gourmet Cookbook last week, and lugged it the quarter mile from the bookstore to my house. I am down to about 10 back issues of Gourmet -- somehow purging all past issues except my very favorites and most recent. Having all the greatest hits in one monster volume was a welcome acquisition. I looked through all the apple recipes in the book (there are 32), and decided on making a classic Apple Pie. My dad used to make homemade apple pies for us as kids, but I haven't had one in a longtime, so I decided to get out my rolling pin and apple peeler and go to town.

I used half granny smith apples for their firmness and tart flavor, and half softer mildly honey-sweet Jonagolds. Making the filling was a breeze. Making the double pie crust was, challenging. I clearly need more practice, I mean the recipe was very straight forward, and making a pie crust isn't exactly rocket science, but I still ended up with flour all over myself and the kitchen by the time I was finished. I made three individual apple pies, instead of one grande pie. It is a bit harder to cut and assemble the tiny double crusted pies than it is to assemble a single big one. The cooking times for smaller pies needed to be adjusted as well, as they cooked faster. This is a great apple pie staple recipe, you could even mix it up a bit by substituting pears, or adding cranberries or other seasonal favorites. I even promise not to tell if you use a store-bought crust. I included a link to the recipe up above, or you can click here to see it on Epicurious. The version of the Apple Pie recipe on the Epicurious site is almost the exact version they ran in the book - the only difference is the the 'start to finish time' (5 1/2 hours) and how long you need to cool the pie (2 to 3 hours).

I am really looking forward to going through more of the Gourmet Cookbook recipes, right now I have about fifteen of them tagged to try including: Tomato Tatins, Cumin Apple Chips. Lemon Broth with Green Pea Ravioli, Panfried Tofu with Chinese Black Bean Sauce, and Stained Glass Teardrop cookies.

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Apple Pie Recipe

Serves 6 to 8
Active time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 5 1/2 hours (includes making dough and cooling)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 10 wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Basic Pastry Dough for a double-crust pie (see recipe below)
1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Put a large baking sheet on middle oven rack and preheat oven to 425F.

Whisk together flour, zest, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and 2/3 cup sugar in a large bowl. Gently toss with apples and lemon juice.

Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit it into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Refrigerate while you roll out dough for top crust.

Roll out remaining piece of dough on lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round.

Spoon filling into shell. Cover pie with pastry round and trim with kitchen shears, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Press edges together, then crimp decoratively. Lightly brush top of pie with egg and sprinkle all over with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. With a small sharp knife, cut 3 vents in top crust.

Bake Pie on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes more. Cool pie on a rack to warm or room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

Basic Pastry Dough

Makes enough for a single crust 9-inch pie or a 9- to 11-inch tart, or for a double crust 9-inch pie.
Active time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 1 1/4 hours (includes chilling)

For a single crust pie or a tart

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water

For a double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingers or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea sized) lumps of butter. For a single crust pie or tart, drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn't hold together, ad more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring or pulsing until incorporated. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.

Turn dough out onto a work surface. For a single-crust pie or tart, divide into 4 portions; for a double-crust pie, divide into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together, with a pastry scraper if you have one. For single-crust pie or tart, press into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. For a double-crust pie, divide in half, and then flatten each into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.

Cook's note:
The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.

From The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004)

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Hi Heidi, i ordered your Cookbook on July '04. It has just arrived. It's soooo lovely. I like your photos! And my favourite is "classic strawberry shortcake" You did it! Greetings from Germany


Heidi, Your curiosity into what people search for on your site brings to mind Amanda Hesser's The Way We Eat column in this week's NY Times Magazine. She talks about Bill Keaggy's collection of grocery lists and how they really provide some insight into people's attitudes towards food. I was addicted to the web site instantly: Oh, and by the way, when I first stumbled on your wonderful site a couple of months ago, I tried searching for particular cookbooks. I wanted to see all recipes from cookbooks that I own!


Absolutely darling!! I love the top crust! :D


Can someone enlighten me on why people seem as scared of making pie crust as they are of a haunted house? I make it the same way my grandma does: flour, ice water, salt and butter. Takes about 7 minutes (for me) to mash it together. I have never had problems with a pie and the crust is always flaky. Plus, these are staples that I always have. When the pie baking mood hits, I really don't want to run to the store to buy a crust. I am not against pre-made crust--if you want to make me a pie, I won't care how the crust is made-homemade pie is always good!


Yeah, I visibly cringed when I reached to put the shortening in the refrigerator....this recipe uses 1 part shortening to 3 parts butter, sighting flakiness as the reason for the shortening. The pie crust was darn good, so....maybe I will try an all butter version with my next pie and compare. My dad always told me that the egg wash was key to a deep golden crust. In my book for a few recipes (like the pot pies and the cobblers) I use an egg-white wash and that also works well, but I am really careful not to overdo it, just a really light wash - that way you get the color, but not the super gloss or goopy baked egg slicks on the top of your pie (which I hate) The added sugar on the top of this apple pie gives it a nice 'not so glossy' texture and crunch which I really liked.


My mom made apple pie when I was just home in Vermont. I've been trying to convince her to switch from shortening to butter in her crust because her technique is unstoppable but the heavy slick of hydrogenated oil in my mouth grosses me out. The crust won't be as flaky, she & my dad whine. Anyway, Heidi - what did you think of the egg wash on the crust? I don't really like what it does to the texture; do you know what the point of it is? Just glossiness?


Heidi! What a gorgeous looking apple pie. But, you should have held off on this post until November 12 -- I'm hosting the second edition of Sugar High Fridays and the theme ingredient just so happens to be apples!


RisaG, If you are just after this one recipe, then I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy this huge book (although it isn't unlike me to buy a book for one great recipe).....There is a link to the pie crust up at the top of the page (just added). Sorry about the oversight. It is a delicious pie, the contrasting apples make a huge difference. I should have said it before, the taste of a homemade crust is exponentially better than anything I've tried out of the freezer section -- but I realize that some people are just flat-out too intimidated to dive into the pie crust portion of a recipe like this, both on the time commitment side, as well as technique....and they shouldn't miss out on making pies at home. Babysteps. I vote for nailing the fillings you like and then moving on to conquering the crust. The yellow text is tough to read, but I am sure they will fix that in the next should go to a book store and spend some time with the book to see if it really bothers you. I won't let a little yellow ink stand between me and a treasure trove of great recipes, but it is certainly a personal preference.


There's nothing like homemade pie crust. Can you imagine your grandma's various pies going storebought? That being said I haven't made homemade pie crust in about ten years, so this recipe will inspire me. But I will say, once you learn, it's addictive and so easy. At one point I was making a pie almost every week, delighting that I could fill the crust with just about anything. Savory veggies, unusual fruit combos, it's endless. And those fabulous cinnamon sugar pie crust cookies you can make with the extra crust. Yum!


Don't chicken out on making home-made pie crust - especially for apple pie! Oh my...the first one I made looked terrible but tasted great and they got better looking with practice.


I haven't seen the new Gourmet Cookbook yet, or read it, but a few friends have bought it and think that the yellow print is too difficult to read. What do you think? Someone I know actually returned the book to the store because of this. I know that pie crust is a pain to make too and still haven't made it. My mother used to make homemade pie and then gave it up because my father would gobble the pie in 1 day! She figured if it was that much work and she didn't get to enjoy any of it, that it wasn't worth making. I miss her pies. My husband and son are not pie eaters so I never make them. We buy pecan pie and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving time (at the local farmers market) and those my husband loves but I have never tried making either. The one time i made a Pumpkin Pie, I cheated and used Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix. I brought the pie to my cousin's house and she insulted it (behind my back) and I never made another. Maybe one day... So, should I get the book so I can try out the crust recipe or not? Is it worth it otherwise? RisaG


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