Update: Since sharing this recipe, I’ve discovered a new favorite recipe for pie crust that’s still flaky and delicious but so much easier to work with. You can find an updated recipe for classic apple pie (still using my mom’s tried-and-true apple pie filling, but with an updated and easier-to-work-with pie crust recipe) here!
Let’s be honest. Turkey is great, stuffing is pretty awesome, and cranberry sauce is totally delicious, but Thanksgiving is all about the dessert. And that means PIE!
The trick to a delicious pie is a delicious pie crust. Here’s my favorite recipe for a perfectly flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust.
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shortening
2 2/3 T butter
1/4 cup orange juice
Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Add shortening and butter using a pastry cutter (or two forks). Then slowly add the orange juice with a fork just until the dough is moistened (not sticky). If it’s a humid day, you may not need all of the orange juice, or you may need a tiny bit more juice if it’s a particularly dry day.
Divide the dough in half. Press each half into a flattened sphere, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
Then comes the filling…
Perfectly Classic Apple Pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T lemon juice
Peel and slice the apples. In a large bowl, mix the apples with the salt, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Let the apples sit and soak up the mixture while you prepare the crust.
*I like to use two types of apples when making a pie. Macintosh apples have great flavor but get soft when baked, so I like to mix them with a firmer apple. For this pie I used 3 Macintosh and 3 Braeburn apples.
Remove the dough from the fridge. It should be slightly firm but not too cold and firm that it cracks when rolled. Let it sit on the counter to thaw for a few minutes if it was in the fridge for more than 10 minutes.
Flour your counter and rolling pin so that the dough won’t stick and roll out one of your pie crusts. Place the crust gently into the bottom of your pie plate, and pinch together any holes or tears in the crust with your fingers. Arrange the apple slices around the crust until the bottom is covered, and then pile the rest of the apples on top. Then roll the other pie crust and gently place it over the apples. Pinch together the edges of the pie using a fork to merge the two crusts and poke a few holes in the top of the pie with your fork. Bake the pie at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake the pie for 30 more minutes. Serve warm.
If you want to get fancy you can create a lattice top for your pie. This was my first attempt at making a lattice pie! It took some patience, but it wasn’t quite as challenging as I’d expected (just remember there’s beauty in imperfection!). Click here to see the instructions that I followed.