Recipe: Classic Apple Pie with Tips from Magnolia Bakery

There's hardly a time when a warm slice of apple pie doesn't just hit the spot. While it's best associated with cool fall days, apple pies are a standard in my kitchen year round. And when Magnolia Bakery offered to share classic pie tips, I had to check it out! Read on for step by step photos of constructing a fabulous apple pie.

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In Magnolia Bakery's kitchen in their Upper West Side location in Manhattan, apple pies are created assembly line style. Really! Last Thanksgiving they worked for 36 hours to bake all of the pies ordered by their devoted customers. So it's fair to say that Bobbie Lloyd, Magnolia's chief baking officer, knows her way around an apple pie.

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Bobbie stressed a few details of the process. Magnolia bakers make each apple pie individually so each pie's filling tastes fresh and crisp. They mix the dough by hand, with their hands rather than with a food processor or pastry cutter. Learn to know the texture of the dough by making it frequently. And don't be afraid to pile the apples much higher than you thought possible!

Double Crust Apple Pie
inspired by Magnolia Bakery

For the crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled or frozen
1/4 cup vegetable shorting, chilled or frozen
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar and mix well. Working quickly, cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Add butter to flour. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, break up the chunks of butter until the cubes are the size of large peas. Add shortening and break up any pieces. Drizzle ice water into mixture and mix until just combined. Dough should come together when pressed, but still feel shaggy. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon of ice water and repeat until dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Press dough together (don't knead) and be sure to stop handling the dough before the butter heats and it appears shiny. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a flat disk and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once dough has cooled, turn out onto a floured surface. Use a heavy rolling pin to whack the dough into a wide, flat circle. If the dough appears to be cracking at the edges, stop and wait for it to warm up. Roll out dough in a circular shape until it's about 13 inches around. Gently fold into quarters and place in a 9 inch pie dish. Unfold and press into the pan with your fingertips, taking care not to stretch the dough. Roll out the top crust in the same manner and refrigerate both crusts while preparing the filling.

For the pie
6-8 medium size Fuji, Jonagold or Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4" to 1/2" slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/8 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss apple slices with lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add sugar mixture to apples. In a small bowl, separate egg white and mix with 1 teaspoon water. Brush bottom pie crust with egg wash. Pile the apples in the pan, heaping them in the middle of the pan to form a mound. Dot apples with butter. Gently cover the apples with the top crust dough and press (don't stretch) against the apples and bottom crust. With a pairing knife, trim dough flush to pan. Dip a fork in flour and press along crust edges to crimp and seal the crust. Cut several steam vents in the top crust. In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Brush crust with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Place in the center rack of oven and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and place a cookie sheet under the pie to catch juices. Bake an additional 10-20 minutes, or until juices bubble through the steam vents and apples still give resistance when pierced with a knife. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes:
• When mixing the crust dough together, the mixture should always remain dry and your hands shouldn't become shiny. If this happens, the mixture is too warm and should chill before continuing.
• Slice more apples than you think you'll need -- having a few left over to snack on beats a flat pie.
• If the crust is browning too much, brush with heavy cream.

Related: What Are the Best Apples for Apple Pie?

(Images: Stephanie Barlow)

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