It’s way past Thanksgiving, but I did save the pics from baking the apple pie—Whew!
I decided that I was kind of tired of the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. We weren’t having turkey, either, so tradition was kind of out the window.
As I know from many years of making apple pie, there are pitfalls:
- Sometimes the apples aren’t done by the time the crust is done.
- The filling can shrink away from the top crust as the apples cook within it. When you cut into such a pie, you think you’ve been cheated out of some filling.
- Sometimes the apples are too sweet or too tart because you don’t get to test the filling before it goes into the pie and make adjustments.
So this year, I cooked the filling first. In hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer. The best part of cooking the filling in advance is that you can do it the day before making the pie. You can also make the crust a day ahead so that the day of baking is just assembly and baking. I ended up making the whole pie the day before Thanksgiving so I could just eat on the big day. 👍
I found this terrific recipe for a Classic Apple Pie with Precooked Apple Filling. It also has what looks like a good crust that you might want to try, even though I opted for a different one. I used a combination of Granny Smith and Macintosh apples to cover both the tart and sweet flavors. I can’t imagine ever making another apple pie without a precooked filling.
For the crust I used the Foolproof All-Butter Dough from Cook’s Illustrated—it’s not the one with vodka. (There may be a paywall that prevents you from reading the recipe if you are not a member.) It’s a nice dough that almost resembles a puff pastry, with many flaky, tender layers, as you may be able to see in the photos. If you look closely at the slits in the baked pie, you can see the layers in the crust. We thought it was the most tender crust we ever had:
I can’t believe I didn’t take any photos of the pie after it was sliced!