Recipe Review

Gordon Ramsay’s Apple Pie Recipe Is Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before

updated Dec 11, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman

As a former Masterchef superfan, I’ve watched Gordon Ramsay excel at whatever he takes on, be it breaking down a chicken in record time or teaching the contestants how to whip up hot chocolate fondant (his favorite dessert). So when it came time to make his Caramelized Apple Pie from his 2009 cookbook Cooking for Friends, I expected nothing less than perfection. 

We first stumbled across this unique pie in Buzzfeed’s celebrity apple pie battle, where it took home first place. So this week, as we’re battling off some of the most-loved apple pies in our own epic showdown, we knew we had to see how it stacked up. Here’s how it went. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Make Gordon Ramsay’s Caramelized Apple Pie

Out of the four apple pies I baked for this showdown, Gordon Ramsay’s was the only one that had you cube, rather than slice, the apples. What’s even more unique is that you caramelize them in sugar and butter before they go into the pie. But first let’s talk about the crust, which is also unconventional.

Instead of a traditional pie dough, made with flour, ice water, and cold butter, his recipe calls for tart dough, made with flour, sugar, eggs, and softened butter. After blitzing the butter and sugar in the food processor, you’ll add the egg and flour and pulse until the dough just comes together. You’ll then knead it slightly, shape it into a flat disk, and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Now for the fun part: You’ll toss chunks of peeled apple in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then cook them in melted butter until golden and caramelized on the edges. After they cool, you’ll line a pie pan with half the pastry, spoon the apples into the pie shell, add the top round of pastry, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar, and bake until golden.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

My Honest Review of Gordon Ramsay’s Apple Pie

This pie had a lot going for it! But it wasn’t my favorite. Let’s start with the things I didn’t love.

To begin, Gordon’s recipe calls for “4 large, tart cooking apples, about 3 pounds in total,” but I couldn’t find apples nearly that large. My four large apples weighed just over 1 1/2 pounds, so I ended up using seven apples total.

Unlike the more traditional pie doughs I made, Gordon’s tart dough was difficult to work with. It kept tearing as I rolled it out, so I had to keep sticking it back in the fridge to let it firm up before trying again. The finished pie was also very pale after the suggested baking time, so I baked it for an extra five minutes to achieve a slightly more golden-brown finish. Although it baked up tender, sugary, and crisp in places, I’m not sure I preferred it to a more traditional pie crust (especially considering the extra work).

That being said, there were many things I liked about this pie! Cubing the apples took a lot less time than slicing them, and they were delicious after being fried in butter. (My kitchen smelled heavenly). After baking, the apples still retained a bit of texture (lots of apple pies end up too mushy for my liking) and they had a sweet, subtly spiced flavor. Thanks to the simple ingredient list and design of the pie (no lattice top), this pie was also pretty quick to make. If I wasn’t also tasting three other pies the day I made it, I definitely could have polished off a full slice.

Credit: Grace Elkus

If You’re Making Gordon Ramsay’s Apple Pie, a Few Tips

1. Work quickly and carefully with the dough (and keep it cold). Make the pastry dough first thing to give it time to firm up in the fridge, which will make it easier to work with and less prone to tearing. Divide it in half before wrapping it up, since you’ll ultimately have to split it anyway for the two crusts. When it comes time to roll out the bottom crust, leave the second disk in the fridge until you’re ready for the top crust, and work quickly to keep it from warming up to room temperature. Don’t be afraid to heavily flour your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Using an 8-inch pie plate like Gordon calls for will make this whole process a bit easier, since you won’t have to roll the dough as thin, but a 9-inch one works fine if that’s what you have.

2. Bake the pie for longer than instructed. Because the apples are cooked before they get baked into the pie, this pie bakes for about half as long as most. That’s great if you’re short on time, but it also doesn’t give the crust as much time to crisp and brown. I baked mine for an extra five and my bottom crust was still pale, so I’d give it at least an extra 10 minutes. Baking it on a rack in the lower third of the oven will also help with better browning.

3. Consider using this recipe just for the caramelized apples. At the end of the day, I think I prefer a more traditional apple pie made with sliced apples and pie dough. That being said, the caramelized apples in this pie are divine. I would absolutely make the apples again sans-pie and serve them in a bowl topped with vanilla ice cream.

Rating: 7/10

Have you ever made Gordon Ramsay’s Apple Pie? Tell us what you thought! 

Credit: Joe Lingeman