Monday, November 19, 2012

Best Pie Crust and Apple Pie Recipe Ever

I spent the afternoon making pies with my friend Louis, pie-maker extraordinaire, for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  

True confession:  I have always been horrible at making pie crust.  For years I have bought ready-made pie crusts at the grocery store.  Thanks to Louis I can finally make a decent pie crust; the recipe below is fool-proof.

So, if you have been looking for an easy homemade pie crust and / or apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving (or any other time of year) then look no further.  This recipe is courtesy The Kitchn's Best Pie Bakeoff.  It is based on Martha Stewart's apple pie recipe so it may look familiar. 

The original recipe calls for a pastry blender to cut the butter into the crust, but we used a food processor  It's much easier!  We also added a pinch of ginger to the spice mix.  Today we juiced an orange and used a bit of that in place of lemon which also makes for a delicious pie.

The filling is not super-sweet so if you like a very sweet pie adjust the sugar to your taste.  It is absolutely delicious served a-la-mode so do not adjust the sugar if you will serve it with ice cream!

Martha's Apple Pie
Makes 1 double-crust pie

Pie pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (it is essential to use ice water!)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
8-12 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Fuji; use the slicer attachment on your food processor to save time)
3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (a juice of about 1/2 an medium orange also works; we omitted the zest)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten

1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and use a pastry blender (or a fork, but I find it makes a difference to use the proper tool) your food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.

2. Add ice water slowly, while gently stirring with a spatula just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Be careful not to overwork the dough. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.  About 5 tablespoons is all you will need.

3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.

4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface roll out pastry into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of an 11-inch plate. Press one pastry circle into the pie plate.

5. In a large bowl combine apples, sugar, lemon zest and juice, spices, and flour. Toss well. Spoon apples into pie pan. Dot with butter, and cover with remaining pastry circle. Trim edges of crust to make neat circle, with top slightly larger than bottom. Seal by gently folding top layer around the edge of the bottom shell and pinching edges with fingers and thumb to make a pretty fluted edge. Cut several steam vents across top. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar.

6. Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Feel free to share a link to your favorite pie recipes in the comments.  And if you try this one let me know!

And don't worry, Madison Avenue Monday will return next week (I promise!).


  1. I buy pie crusts too. I'll have to give your recipe a whirl sometime soon! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Well, I might still buy pie crusts from time-to-time and save the dough making for special occasions!

  2. That looks AMAZING!

  3. There's no time of the year, to my mind, that's better suited to pies than autumn, and I always like to whip up at least a couple during this season myself, too. I've always loved to make anything that can be made from scratch from scratch myself, and am not sure if I've ever picked up a store bought pie crust come to think of it (I definitely know I haven't since going gluten-free). Perhaps the most important tip I can give when making pie crusts yourself is to use butter. I've tried shortening, lard and oil recipes, and personally feel that nothing delivers on golden flakiness quite like good ol' fashioned unsalted butter. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! :)

    ♥ Jessica


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