My dad is an extremely critical person, especially when it comes to food. His biggest peeve is that desserts aren't traditional enough or that they're overly sugary. That being said, he brags about this apple pie to random strangers, so it HAS to be good.
With a homemade (Jack-enhanced) crust, and a gooey, tart-yet-sweet apple filling, you're sure to gain some praise at any holiday party you bring this pie to. Or, you could eat the whole thing yourself... your choice.
Traditional Apple Pie with a Jack-Infused Crust
- Prep Time:40 mins
- Cook Time:50 mins
- Total Time:1 hr 30 mins
- 2 and 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 and 3/4 sticks unsalted butter cold
- 5 tablespoons Crisco
- 1/4 cup Applejack or other hard liquor
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 dash salt
- 4 large apples
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Vanilla ice cream optional
Preheat your oven to 425˚F and get out your ingredients to make the crust: 2 and 3/4 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, 5 tablespoons of Crisco, ~1/4 cup of Applejack, and a dash of salt.
In a very large bowl — the deeper the bowl, the less messy you'll get — mix together your flour and sugar. Use a fork instead of a whisk; you'll be mixing by hand in a hot second, and whisks are really annoying to clean.
Chop up your butter into ~1/2 inch (width) squares. Make sure the butter is cold, but not frozen. Try not to use the microwave!
Add these cubes 2 at a time to the flour mixture. Use your hands to mix the butter until well-dispersed. The mixture should have a nice, flaky texture.
Now, add your Crisco. Make sure to scrape ALL of the Crisco off the tablespoon measure, since it's this combo of fats (butter and Crisco) that gives pie crust its signature flavor and flakiness.
After adding the Crisco, use your hands to mix a bit more. The crust should no longer be very flaky.
Finally, add your Applejack. Add between 4 and 6 tablespoons.
#SpoonTip: If you don't have Applejack, vodka works well, as does regular Jack. Use vodka if you want no flavor and Jack if you want some whiskey undertones. Either way, the alcohol is supposed to prevent gluten development in the crust, resulting in a flakier texture.
Finally, split your dough into 2 parts. After wrapping them up, put them in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. Browse Netflix to kill time.
The first step in making the filling is washing and peeling your apples. I used a mixture of Macintosh and Gala apples, since that's what was available at the orchard I went to. However, if you're not a bougie piece of trash, Granny Smith apples also work really well.
Using either a small knife or a potato peeler, peel 4 of your apples. DO NOT PEEL OFF ANY OF YOUR SKIN. Skin in an apple pie is a big Thanksgiving no-no.
Once peeled, cut your apples into ~1/8 in (width) slices. Put them into a new bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and your 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar. Mix until all the apples are nicely covered in the sugary mixture.
#SpoonTip: I do not add a lot of sugar because my dad hates sweet apple pies. However, I've also done this recipe adding up to 1/2 cup of sugar. Basically, add the amount of sugar you think tastes best.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 tablespoon of nutmeg, and 1/4 tablespoon of allspice. Mix until the apples are covered in a sort of brown "paste." Set aside.
Get your dough out of the fridge and unwrap one of the balls. Prepare to roll out your bottom crust by putting a handful of flour on a cutting board.
Rub some flour onto your rolling pin, and begin to flatten the dough. Roll until the crust is ~1/6 inches thick. Try to roll the dough into a circle/oval if you can.
#SpoonTip: If you don't have a rolling pin, you can also you a clean bottle of wine/vodka, etc. Just roll very gently.
Lie your oval of dough into a 10" pie pan. Don't worry about any cracks or flakes; those can always be fixed by using a little water to seal up the cracks.
Cut away any crust hanging over the edge.
#SpoonTip: You can also use this extra dough to patch up cracks.
Now that your bottom crust is ready, you can pour your apple mixture into it. Feel no shame in licking the bowl!
To add some extra flavor and to keep enough moisture under the crust, cut up 2 tablespoons of butter into small cubes and spread them across the top of the mixture.
Roll out your second ball of dough using the same techniques as in Step 15. Place over the top of the pie, cut extras away, and use a fork to press the two crust layers together.
Before you pop the pie in the oven, make sure to cut some holes in the top to let the steam escape. Pop in the oven (425˚F) and bake for 30 minutes.
After 25 minutes, take the pie out. Combine 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Brush over the top of the crust — especially the edges! Put the pie back in the oven and let it bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a nice, golden brown color. Make sure the edges don't burn!
Best served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
#SpoonTip: if you make the pie in advance and want it warmed up, pop it in the oven at 350˚F on "broil" for ~10 min.