My earliest memories of apple pie were from The Big Apple, a bakery/shop that sits just off the westbound lane of Highway 401 as it passes Colborne, Ontario. My family made a point to stop here every time we were on our way home to Toronto from Ottawa to pick up a couple of their huge pies. To be honest, the place is purely a gimmicky tourist attraction and the pies aren’t very good. I’ve since had much better home baked pies, including the one that Mr. Chuckles whipped up recently.
Mr. Chuckles was indeed on a baking spree this past weekend, starting with our gingerbread cookies and wrapping up with this warm old-fashioned apple pie which made use of some leftover gingerbread crumble.
Adapted from Serious Eats.
Serves: 1 double crusted 9-inch pie | Prep time: 1 hour | Ready time: 5 hours
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4¼ pounds tart apples (about 8 large apples) such as Granny Smith
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Adapted from Serious Eats.
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, straight from the fridge
- ½ cup cold tap water
See previous gingerbread recipe. Bake leftover dough as directed and crush into crumble.
Prepare the apple filling.
1) Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Slice into ½ inch wedges.
2) Measure 11 rounded cups or 50 ounces sliced apples into the bag, seal tightly, and tumble until roughly coated. Macerate at room temperature, flipping the bag occasionally to distribute the syrup, until the apples have lost a third of their volume, at least 3 hours. The apples can be held up to 8 hours in the fridge.
3) Add tapioca starch to the apples. Reseal and toss to combine.
Prepare the pie dough.
4) Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut butter into cubes no smaller than ½ inch, and toss with flour mixture to break up the pieces. With your fingertips, smash each cube flat. Stir in water, then knead dough against the sides of the bowl until it comes together in a shaggy ball. Dough temperature should register between 65 and 70°F.
5) On a generously floured work surface, roll dough into a roughly 10- by 15-inch rectangle. Fold the 10-inch sides to the centre, then close the newly formed packet like a book. Fold in half once more, bringing the short sides together to create a thick block. Divide in half with a sharp knife or bench scraper. Dough temperature should still be somewhere between 65 and 70°F.
6) Using as much flour as needed, roll one piece into a 14-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush, using it to nestle dough into the very corners of the pan.
7) With scissors or kitchen shears, trim the edge so that it overhangs by 1¼ inches all around. Roll remaining dough as before. Transfer to a baking sheet or parchment-lined cutting board. Wrap both portions in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Assemble the pie and apply egg wash.
8) Pour apple filling into the prepared pie shell, nestling the slices into a flattish mound.
9) Stand top crust a few seconds at room temperature until pliable, then drape on top. Pinch to seal both crusts together and trim to ¾ inch. Tuck the dough under itself, so the pie looks something like a bonnet, or crimp into loose waves.
10) Refrigerate the pie until cold and firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
11) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F.
12) Whisk egg, yolk, cream, and salt together in a small bowl. Brush over the chilled pie. With a sharp knife, cut six 3-inch vents around the top, wiggling the blade left and right to open each into a wide vent.
13) Place pie on a parchment-lined aluminum half sheet pan and bake until 195°F in the very centre, about 75 minutes.
14) Cool at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle gingerbread crumble on top as garnish.
👨🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles
Although I really enjoyed this creation, particularly the apple filling, it did not meet Mr. Chuckles’ standard. The bottom pie crust turned out a little soft. Perhaps some of you expert home bakers out there can give us tips on how to avoid this on the next try?