Written by Isabella Ferrentino
The aroma of apple pie fills your home and immediately warms the hearts of those who walk through your door. Sarah Kieffer, author of Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season, bakes her traditions with her family. Make this apple pie a part of yours.
Makes: 6–8 servings
Prep time: 1–2 hours
Bake time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes, 4 hours
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2½ pounds (7–8) Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼-in [6-mm] pieces
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup hard cider or apple cider
- ¾ cup caramel or salted caramel, at room temperature
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 2 batches of pie crust dough of choice
- Egg wash
- 1–2 tablespoons granulated sugar
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and salt. Let sit at room temperature 1–2 hours or covered in the refrigerator overnight. Strain the sugary juice (about ½ cup) from the fruit into a medium saucepan and return the apples to the large bowl. Add the cornstarch and cinnamon and toss to combine. Add the hard cider to the saucepan with the juice, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until reduced to a scant ½ cup, 5–6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the caramel.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the apples and toss to combine. Set aside.
- Lightly flour a work surface and roll one half of the dough
into a 12-in [30.5-cm] circle about ¼ in [6 mm] thick and place it into a 9-in [23-cm] pie plate. Transfer the plate to the refrigerator, and let the dough chill while you roll out the second piece. Lightly flour the work surface again, and roll the second half of the dough into a 12-in [30.5-cm] circle, about ¼ in [6 mm] thick.
- Fill the prepared pie shell with the apple mixture, and place the second crust on top. Trim the dough overhang to 1 in [2.5 cm] past the lip of the pie plate. Pinch the dough together and tuck it under itself so it’s resting on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges of the dough, and cut at least four vents in the center, each about 2 in [5 cm] long. Transfer the pie plate to the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. The crust should be nice and firm before you bake it.
- Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 425°F [220°C]. Place a sheet pan on the oven rack (the preheated sheet pan helps crisp the bottom of the pie crust and also catches any leaks and drips).
- When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Transfer the pie plate to the preheated sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375°F [190°C] and bake 40–50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the juices bubble.
- Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. The pie is best eaten the same day.
Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season by Sarah Kieffer, published by Chronicle Books, © 2021; chroniclebooks.com.
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Isabella Ferrentino, a freelance writer and editor, is a passionate journalist who is constantly pushing for new narratives. Isabella embraces her creativity through photography, “punny” headlines and design. Her work has been featured in American Farmhouse Style Magazine, Vox Magazine, Columbia Missourian, Foothills Sentry Newspaper, New Rules of Health and Kansas City Magazine. Isabella continues to serve as a content creator and offers freelance editing services that range from local to international brands.