Jay: “If I buy an apple tree, will you make me a pie?”
“Oh boy, Sammy,” my husband says to one of our hounds while pushing the end of his shovel into the still partially frozen earth to make room for his new purchase, “the pie momma makes with these apples is gonna taste so good!”
Jay: “Are there any blossoms on the apple tree?”
Jay: “So we’re not going to have any apples this year from our tree?”
Fast-forward one year and our once spindly, barren apple tree is thriving along with two new fruit tree companions. Still not the bumper crop my husband was hoping for, but the 7 apples our tree produced were ready to picked a couple weeks ago. As promised, I baked my husband that pie he had been hoping for after a year and a half.
Ok, ok, he also got a pie last year with store bought apples but after a year my crust decorating skills have improved and I’ve made some tweaks to the recipe. I’m still sticking with a butter and shortening crust, but I’ve cut the white sugar and am using only brown sugar here. Brown sugar creates a more syrupy interior and plays really well with the tart apples.
I can’t talk about pie without bringing up my dear, late Uncle Randy. He made the best pies every year for Thanksgiving. They had a perfectly flakey crust I’ve yet to replicate and the filling was always just the right density. Whenever I bake a pie, I think about all the work that went into our thanksgiving desserts.
I don’t think my uncle used butter in his crust, which is probably why mine isn’t as flakey, but I like the richness that butter adds to my pie. Before going into the oven, the top gets brushed with an egg wash then sprinkled with turbinado sugar.
This pie is good, guys. Perfectly sweet, absolutely beautiful, and ideal for your fall celebrations. If you try out this recipe, tell me about it in the comments below!
Brown Sugar Apple Pie
For the Crust
- 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, cubed and placed in the freezer for 10-20 minutes
- 3/4 Cup Shortening
- 1/2 cup Ice Water
For the Filling
- 6-7 Medium Apples (I used ginger gold but any firm, tart variety like cortland, empire, or granny smith would work)
- 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Egg
- Turbinado Sugar (Optional)
For the Dough
Get started on the crust by mixing the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening and using a pastry cutter or fork work the fat into the flour until crumbly. Butter and shortening should be about pea-sized. Fill a glass with half a cup of water and ice to it. Slowly drizzle the water in about a tablespoon at a time stirring until just combined. Add enough water to barely bring everything together. The dough might still feel a little dry and that’s ok. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball. Divide the dough in two and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge and allow to cool for at least an hour or up to 3 days. The dough can also be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for 3 months.
For the Pie
Preheat the oven to 400. Peel the apples and slice thin. Place in a large bowl and toss with flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out one of the discs large enough to fill your pie pan. Trim the edges and fill with the apples. Roll the next dough disc out and place on top or create strips to make a lattice pattern.
Whisk the egg and brush over the top of the pie and top with turbinado sugar, if using. Place the pie in the oven for 20 minutes then turn the heat down to 375 with the pie in the oven and continue to cook for 35-40 minutes. If the crust starts to get too brown, cover with tinfoil and continue to bake.
Allow to cool for at least an hour before slicing in and enjoying!