Thanksgiving is my absolute favourite holiday, and luckily enough in Canada it falls around one of the most beautiful times of the year, early autumn. It also coincidentally enough, apple picking season (the best season), which is one of the best fall flavours if you ask me. This year in South Western Ontario the weather has been superb, off the charts warm with beautiful red-orange foliage slowly falling from the trees. I continued the tradition of baking an apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner, it has been a short tradition of actually baking it; since many times before its been bought by a near by farmer’s market or bakery (okay let’s be real; sometimes – usually, the grocery store). Apple pie is my boyfriend’s favourite, so of course being the awesome girlfriend that I am, I’ve made it for him each year we’ve celebrated together.
This year I went a little overboard with the baking (and cooking). There was two apple pies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cheesecake swirled muffins, and sugar cookies with royal icing; it was A LOT. But so worth it (my stomach thinks at least). Since I was baking so much, (and I tried squeezing it all into a day and a half); I took some short cuts and thought to myself, ‘wow people probably don’t realize how simple baking can be’.
I am not a baker myself, all through culinary school it was my least favourite course and I dreaded bake labs. I used to think everything is and must be so precise, but the fun part about baking a pie is that can all change. The filling is just like cooking; add a little of this, and a bit more of that. I guess what I am trying to say, is you CAN make it easy for yourself with a few short cuts (that you don’t even have to spill to others).
Below I will copy the recipe that I originally started with, I did change a few things to make it my own. I have followed this recipe to a dime before and it has turned out perfect; but this year I wanted to give my own twist on it, and I also had less time since I was making so many other baked goods. The secret this year was Pillsbury Dough Boys refrigerated pie crust; but if you’re reading this today and you’re stressing because the local superstore is out of apple pies, I thought why not go one more step? The most time consuming part of this recipe aside from the dough (which you’ve solved time for already) is the peeling and slicing of the apples. If you’re REALLY in a pinch; you can cheat a little more by buying presliced/peeled frozen apples (I would just let them thaw a tad before, so the dry ingredients stick). Instantly your fresh baked pie went from an all day baking spree to a 20 minute or less prep plus the baking time (which you can use to do other things around the kitchen – just don’t forget about in the oven).
Double Crust Fruit Pie Dough
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces (does not have to be ice cold)
- ¼ cup cool water
- 2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
- 6 cups peeled and sliced mixed apples (such as Mutsu, Granny Smith, Royal Gala, Honey Crisp, Cortland or others) – about 5 medium apples
- 1 lemon juiced
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 recipe Double Crust Fruit Pie Dough
- 3 Tbsp rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp water, for brushing
- sugar and cinnamon, for sprinkling
Double Crust Fruit Pie Dough
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the oil and blend in using a pastry cutter, electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until the flour looks evenly crumbly in texture.
- Add the butter and cut in until rough and crumbly but small pieces of butter are still visible. Stir the water and vinegar (or lemon juice, if using) together and add all at once to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 disks, wrap and chill until firm, at least an hour.
- The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored chilled, or can be frozen for up to 3 months, thawing in the fridge before rolling.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice. Place half of the apples in a sauté pan or saucepan and heat over medium heating, until some of the juices cook out and the apples soften, about 10 minutes. Remove the apples from the pan using a slotted spoon and stir with the remaining uncooked apples to cool.
- In a separate bowl, stir the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to blend, then stir this into the apples and set aside.
- Pull out the dough from the fridge 15-30 minutes before rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first disk of dough into a circle just less than ¼-inch thick. Dust a 9-inch pie plate with flour and line the plate with the pastry. Sprinkle the bottom of the shell with the oats (this will help absorb any excess juices). Spoon the apple filling into the shell and dot with the butter. Roll out the remaining disk of dough to the same thickness and place over the apples. Trim any excess dough and pinch the edges of the crust together, created a fluted edge. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Stir a little sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle generously overtop. Use scissors to snip opening in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
- Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 400 F. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and continue to bake for another 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool the pie for at least 2 hours before slicing to serve.
I did not create this recipe; but I did change some of the ingredient quantities – to check out the original recipe by Anna Olsen click here. In my recipe; I used Gala apples, picked at an orchard near by my home town (fresh, not frozen). You can also do designs on top dough crust, use cookie cutters for shapes, or slice it to make a basket weave. Keeping it simply traditional with a hole cut in the middle for some steam to be released is just as presentable and just as delicious.
If you do decide to make this; I hope to hear from you! Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Dessert will be a hit if you decide to make this apple pie – whether you use any of the short cuts, or make it totally from scratch. If you’ve missed this recipe for Thanksgiving – give it a try for Christmas, or just on any given weekday for fun!