Bran and I went to the apple orchard last week and it was SO much fun! We’ve both never been apple picking before, but now we want to make it an annual fall tradition. We had been trying to go to the orchard all October, and finally last Sunday we decided to go spur of the moment after church. This also happened to be the last day the orchard was open for apple picking and the only apple variety they had left was the GoldRush Apples. Neither of us had these types of apples before, but after eating one off a tree, we both think they are amazing! These apples are a mix between sweet and sour, so they’re perfect for literally anything – baking, snacking, cooking, whatever you want!
We had planned to get 4-5 apples, but somehow ended up picking 20 lol. Honestly, Brandon was having more fun picking apples than me. He’s 6’3″ and was loving that he could reach the mature apples at the top of the tree that no one else was able to pick. I had to cut him off, or I’m sure we would have come home with 50 apples.
Needless to say, I had a ton of apples in my kitchen that I needed to bake with this week. We typically eat pretty healthy, but sometimes you gotta live a little – so this week I whipped up my mom’s apple pie recipe with a twist! I’ve made different apple pie recipes before, but Brandon thinks that my mom’s recipe is the best. So I asked her for the recipe this week… which is why there is a “twist” in this recipe… My mom doesn’t write anything down. She just tastes as she cooks and somehow she knows exactly what to add. She’s magical, I swear. So when she sent me over her recipe, it was actually several recipes jammed together that she has referred to over the year’s and she *thinks* this is how she makes it. SO I did my best to muddle through it, added some ingredients, and modified the steps.
**ALSO I have a new found respect for food bloggers. I was on the STRUGGLE BUS trying to bake and take decent pictures at the same time. I have no idea how these food bloggers do this. They’re the real MVP**
So let’s get to it:
You will want to start making your pie crust first. I will forever and always follow Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe for “Homemade Buttery Flaky Pie Crust” (click here for the recipe)…. I mean doesn’t the name of the pie crust make your mouth drool?! Seriously, this is the only pie crust recipe I follow! I encourage you to read the entire blog post before whipping up a batch… she always gives tips in the blog posts that literally MAKES the recipe. For the pie crust, absolutely splurge on the King Arthur Flour! This flour has a higher protein content which is why the dough doesn’t fall apart. Last Thanksgiving we didn’t have this brand of flour and I tried to make this recipe… it was a disaster. So get yourself the correct type of flour. She also recommends that it sits in the fridge for two hours, so plan ahead!
She also gives tips on how to decorate (click here for the link). My pie wasn’t as golden brown since my egg wash was egg + water instead of egg + milk (insert emoji face palming face)… So really read Sally’s blog post about pie crust decorating tips because she gives so many helpful hints!
MOM’S APPLE PIE RECIPE WITH A TWIST
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8-10 medium apples*
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup to ¾ cup sugar***
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar****
*I used 6 GoldRush Apples because they were so big. But you really want to fill your pie to the max, so make sure you have plenty. It’s always better to have a little extra… they’re yummy to snack on! You also want to do a mix between sour and sweet. The GoldRush apples are naturally that way, but typically I use a mix of green apples + honey crisp.
**Alright here’s the deal- the recipe called for allspice which I don’t have… so I substituted with pumpkin pie spice and honestly, it was great!
***The amount of sugar will depend on how sour your apples are. Start with 1/2 cup of sugar and add more if you taste an apple and it’s still too sour. The brown sugar will also help.
****This prevents the apples from turning brown. I have used lemon juice in the past and I find that the lemon flavor still comes through in the pie. We couldn’t taste the vinegar at all!
- Make Sally’s Pie crust and chill dough for at least 2 hours
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In microwavable bowl, melt unsalted butter in microwave (about 1 minute)
- Mix sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, flour, and cornstarch in the melted butter. Set aside.
- Cut apples into 1/4 inch slices. Try to keep them uniform. I used an apple cutter to help with this process. Be sure that there isn’t any bits of the apple core on the apples. Place apples in large mixing bowl.
- Coat apple cider vinegar on apples.
- Pour butter + sugar + spice mixture on the apples. Make sure it is evenly coated on all apples. Taste one of the apples and add sugar if needed.
- Let apple mixture sit for 15 minutes.
- Coat glass pie dish (I use a 9 inch pie dish) with butter or shortening to prevent the pie crust from sticking.
- Roll out one of the pie crust discs on parchment paper. This will make it easy to transfer later. You will want to make sure it is rolled out enough to cover the entire dish with about 1/4 inch dough hanging off of the ends and is even thickness throughout. I would say my dough was about 1/8 inch thick.
- Turn pie dish upside down and place gently on rolled dough. Carefully and quickly, turnover the dish with the pie dough. You will “sandwich” the pie dish and dough with your hands and then quickly turn it over so the dough falls into the dish without tearing.
- Gently pat the dough into the dish. If any of the dough tore, use your fingers to seal the dough. Easy fix!
- Layer the apples in the pie dish. I like to work my way on the outside first and move into the middle. Complete layer by layer until you have reached the top of the dish. Fit as many apples as you can into the dish! DO NOT pour the excess sugar mixture from the apples over your pie, this will create a soggy crust.
- Roll out your second pie dough disc and decorate the top of your pie (refer to Sally’s blog post to inspo). I did a lattice top with 1 inch and 1/2 inch strips. On Thanksgiving, I actually measure the strips, but since this was just for us, I eyeballed it! Don’t forget to use the egg wash that Sally recommends if you want that golden look.
- Place your pie on a baking sheet (this prevents a mess if your pie spills over) and put in preheated 400ºF oven for 25 minutes. Lower temperature to 375ºF (do not open the oven or remove the pie) and continue to bake for 35 min. You may need to use a pie crust shield (or foil) on the edges of your pie towards the end of the baking time if it starts to brown too much.
- Cool the pie for 2-3 hours to allow the pie to set before cooling.
Pair this pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and Sally’s Salted Caramel (click here for the link) and you have yourself a perfect piece of pie! Let me know what you think!