I was at a local grocery store lately and I saw something I’ve never seen before: $1.88 per pound honey crisp apples. Needless to say, I bought way more than I could’ve eaten.
Some sort of apple dessert was in order, so I decided to truly embrace the fall tradition and make an apple pie. It was the perfect Sunday night dessert after a long weekend of journalism and editing video for the school paper, and it tasted even better than I imagined it would.
But back to apples: honey crisps are my favorite both to eat and to cook with. They have a really good balance of sweet and tart, and are perfect as hand fruit and in desserts. Their unique flavor also allows for food that really showcases apple; I’ve had apple pies and turnovers that are sugary or heavily spiced, but I kept it light with just brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, hoping to let that apple flavor shine through.
The dough recipe I already use was also perfect for this, and made just about the right amount for my 9-inch tart pan. I even had a tiny bit extra, that I used to make a flower detail on the top, just to make things fancy. After all, it is almost November and soon all the apples will be out of season.
If you’re ever in need of something easy and comforting, try out this pie recipe and tell me what you think of it. Enjoy!
for the crust
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
- ½ cup ice cold water
for the filling
- 5 mid-size apples, peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons butter (for sautéeing)
In a large bowl, whisk together your flour and salt.
Then, with your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter cubes into the flour, making sure not to let your body heat melt the butter. Do this until you reach a crumbly, sand-like texture.
Add in the cold water two tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
In the meantime, prep your apples. In a large bowl, mix together your diced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-low heat, and let the butter melt in it before adding your apples.
Cook the apples for 5-8 minutes, or until they’re soft and fragrant.
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Take your dough out of the fridge, and roll out into two large sheets, ¼” to ⅛” thick.
Lay one of the sheets at the bottom of a lightly greased pie or tart pan (I used a tart pan because I like how the finished product looks, but a pie pan is easier to use) and cut off the excess. If using a tart pan, be careful to get the crust into all the little nooks.
Fill the pie bottom with your sautéed apples, then lay the second piece of dough on top and use your fingers to meld the two dough sheets together. Then, vent your pie. I had excess dough, so I added a little flower design on top to make it that much more special.
Brush the crust with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon cream or milk) and bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the kitchen smells like baked apples.
Let the pie cool completely before serving
Note: if using a tart pan, make sure to use one with a removable bottom, so that the pie can be released from the pan and served.