Recently, my friend, Karen, and I took an apple pie workshop at the Pittsfield Grange. The Grange is a fraternal and service organization, also know as the Patrons of Husbandry, was originally a group for farmers. They offer classes, dances, meetings, and more. The apple pie workshop was 3 hours and cost $10. You had to supply your own apples and pie pan, but all other ingredients and equipment was provided.
I’ve made a couple of apple pies previously (and this pecan pie), but it’s always been a struggle to get a nice flaky and tender crust. The workshop instructor provided a simple recipe and technique that I’m confident I’ll be able to recreate at home. I baked the pie I made during the workshop at home and we enjoyed it all week, it was delicious.
Apple Pie with Sweet Crust
- 2 cup AP flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup room temperature butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste (optional)
- pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/3 cup frozen butter
- 5-8 tablespoons of ice water
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 5-7 apples, cored and sliced (a mix of Northern Spy, Ida Red, Wolf River, Jonathan, or Macintosh)
In a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, the room temperature butter, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix on low until just combined. Place the bowl in the fridge for 5-7 minutes. Return the bowl to the stand mixer, on low add slices of the frozen butter until just combined. Dribble the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together. Divide the dough in half, making one ball of dough slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for another 5-7 minutes.
Remove the dough balls from the fridge and place between pieces of wax paper. Roll with a rolling pin until the crust fits in your pan and is about 1/8″ thick. Repeat with the second dough ball. Rest in the fridge for another 5-7 minutes (sensing a theme here?). While the crusts are chilling, prepare the filling.
Core and slice your apples, leaving the skins on. Toss apple slices with flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
Line pie pan with bottom crust and poke steam vents with a fork. Fill with apple mixture. Add top crust, cutting excess crust and crimping the edges with your fingers. Cut steam vents with a sharp knife in the top crust and sprinkle with sugar. Cover with foil, cutting a small hole in the center, and bake at 400°F for 40-60 minutes. Peel back the foil from the central hole leaving the edges of the crust covered and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving with ice cream.