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Apple pie is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and an ideal dessert from the autumn apple harvest through the winter holidays. Many cooks have a go-to apple pie recipe in their repertoire, but not every apple variety is a great choice for pie.
The best apples for pie are firm varieties often referred to as baking apples. The firmer flesh ensures they will soften when baked but won’t lose their shape or become mush. You’ll also want to consider the apple’s flavor profile. Tart apples are the most popular, or you can use a sweet apple. Many bakers choose one sweet and one tart variety and combine the two equally, and there are sweet-tart apples that provide a balance of flavor on their own.
It’s pretty hard to go wrong with a homemade apple pie, so if you have a big pile of apples sitting in your kitchen that is not listed, don’t let that stop you from making a pie. The difference is nothing a scoop of vanilla ice cream can’t cure.
Tart Pie Apples
Tart apples are favored for old-fashioned apple pie because their flavor profile offsets the sugar’s sweetness. Granny Smith is a classic option for apple pie, and they’re easy to find at produce markets. Cortland and Empire are also fantastic choices, though there are several other tart apples that you can try as you perfect that personal apple pie recipe.
- Arkansas Black
- Granny Smith
- Northern Spy
- Sierra Beauty
Sweet Pie Apples
Sweet apples are often combined with tart apples in the pie filling, though they can stand independently and work well in other apple desserts like turnovers and apple crisp. If your taste leans toward a sweeter apple pie, look for Fuji, Golden Delicious, or one of the less common sweet baking apple varieties.
- Crispin (Mutsu)
- Golden Delicious
- Red Rome
Sweet-Tart Pie Apples
When you don’t want to buy two varieties, look for these apples at the market. Extremely convenient, you’ll get a nice balance of sweet and tart flavors for your pie filling. Honey crisp is likely the easiest to find, but keep your eyes out for the other varieties to use in your apple pie experiments.
- Cox’s Orange Pippin
- Fameuse (Snow Apples)
- Honey Crisp
- Pink Lady
- Yellow Transparent
Apples That Aren’t Great for Pie
Several popular apple varieties don’t make the best pie. They tend to lose their shape when baked and are best reserved for eating fresh or making things like applesauce or apple butter.
How Many Apples for a Pie
Apple pie recipes vary. While some suggest how many apples or pounds you’ll need, others call for cups once the apples are peeled, cored, and chopped. That can be a challenge when you’re at the store and deciding how many apples you’ll need.
A good rule of thumb is to buy a pound of apples for every three cups of chopped apples. On average, you will need 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of apples per pie. Depending on their size, that could be six to eight apples, and you’ll need more if the apples are smaller. Buying a few extra is always a good idea, ensuring you’ll have plenty on hand with some left to use in other recipes.
Video about How Many Apples Does It Take To Make An Apple Pie
How to Prepare Filling for Apple Pie | Cakes & Pies
Watch more How to Make Awesome Cakes & Pies videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/507540-How-to-Prepare-Filling-for-Apple-Pie-Cakes-and-Pies
INGREDIENTS: For the double crust: 2 Ã‚_ c. flour 1 1/2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 20 tbsp or 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cold) 4-5 tbsp ice water. For the apple filling: 5-6 medium apples (I like to use 2 to 3 different varieties of tart apples) 3/4 c. sugar Ã‚_ tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp lemon juice 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg For finishing: 1 egg white 1 tbsp sugar for dusting
First, we’re going to start by peeling and coring the apples and then slicing them into small chunks. I’m going to use a paring knife to do this. You can use a vegetable peeler if you want. That works pretty well. A lot of people like that. They even make these awesome machines that will peel and core an apple yourself. I don’t tend to use them because we do a lot of it and it takes a little bit more of the skin off than I like, but whatever it takes to make you make an apple pie, you should do it.
I take off all the peel. You know, if you leave a little tiny chunk of peel on there, no one’s going to complain and maybe they’ll even think, wow, that’s really an apple pie if there’s a tiny piece of peel. So don’t sweat it too much.
Now I’m going to slice the apple in half and I’m going to use a melon baller to take out the center. It’s just a little trick. It helps make this process go fast. If you don’t have a melon baller, don’t go out and get one, but it’s a kind of a nice little thing to make it go quickly.
OK. So now I’ve taken all the peel and the core out, got a little apple. I’m just going to cut it into some chunks. Right now I’m using a blend of apples. I’ve got Golden Delicious, I’ve got Granny Smith and I’ve got an Empire apple. Really depends on what you can get and what time of year it is, but I like to use a variety of apples in my pies. Three or four types is ideal. You’re going to get different textures, some will be sweet, some will be tart. They’ll bake up differently, so when you bite into the finished product, the pie, there will be some pieces that are more like a chunky apple and some will almost dissolve and just give up a lot of sweetness, a lot of sugar into the pie.
So I’ve got my apples. Now I’m going to add a little bit of sugar. I’m going to add a little bit of salt and this is some cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg makes a nice addition. I’m going to throw a little bit of lemon zest in there. Not a ton, but a little bit. You don’t want the chunks to be too big. I’m also going to give a squeeze of lemon juice in there. I like to juice my lemon into a separate bowl, just so I can keep some of those seeds out of the pie. There’s one in there. All right. And that’s just a little bit.
Now you’re adding the sugar and the lemon juice. Those are going to combine and they’ll start breaking down the apple. It will make the apple pie thick. The filling will thicken up because of the pectin and that the lemon juice and the lemon zest and the sugar all help break down the apple and release that pectin. And so we’ll combine all this, we’ll mix it up with the rubber spatula and then I’m going to let it sit for a few minutes, probably five, ten minutes. Not too much longer than that, but you’ll see that there’s a lot of liquid at the bottom of the bowl and that’s delicious. You should use that. Definitely put it in the pie. So let’s let that rest for ten minutes and we’ll start rolling out the pie crusts and getting ready to assemble the pie.
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