Imagine a pie with a large gap between the fruit and the upper crust? And if the gap is so big, it caused the upper crust to collapse into the fruit. Usually the gap forms when the apples shrink during the cooking process and loose the volume as the pie bakes. This will create a gap and often lead to the upper crust collapsing. Precooking the apples will help reduce some of the volume in advance of baking. It will make a more sturdy pie, without the large gap or potential collapsing of the upper crust.
Another key thing for the perfect apple pie is to choose the right apples. Golden Delicious, Honey Crispy, or Granny Smith apples are both great apples to use as they stay crisp and they bring a tart flavour to the pie. Other baking apples include: Mutsu, Jonagold, Winesap, Pink Lady, and Braeburn apples (bonappetit.com).
Delicious Apple Pie
Makes 1 Pie
Enough pie crust dough for a double crusted 9-inch pie (Hand Method or Food Processor Method) 4 lbs Granny Smith Apples, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp Apples, or other baking apples 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoon cornstarch (if you do not have this, substitute with tapioca starch) 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (if you do not have this, substitute with cornstarch) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (optional)
1 egg 2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, mix together the 2 teaspoon sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Then set aside.
In another small bowl, beat the one egg and set aside.
Peel, core, and then slice apples into 1/4 inch slices.
Add the apple slices to a large bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice, then toss with the lemon juice. This will prevent the apples from oxidizing and browning.
In a large skillet or pot on low heat, add the butter and melt.
Next add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and salt. Mix the ingredients together.
Next add the apples, coat the apples with the spice mixture.
Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until apples have softened slightly.
Pour back into the large bowl. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Next, add the cornstarch, tapioca starch, and optional vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste and mix together until combined. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the prepared pie shell from the fridge.
Then pour the apples and juices into a prepared pie shell.
If you plan to do a lattice or double crust, brush the edge with water, then add the double crust or lattice top (if you want you can do a streusel or crumb topping or whatever you desire).
Trim and then fold over edges, next crimp the edges to secure.
Using a pastry brush dip into the egg wash and brush the lattice top or double crust top, then sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet (this is in case the pie bubbles over in the oven, it will not make a mess in your oven).
Place the pie into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for another 40 minutes to 50 minutes, until the pie is bubbling throughout and the crust is beautifully browned. If the crust starts to brown too much, cover with foil. So check at the half way mark.
Once the pie is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 hours before serving. You want it to cool so the pie can set and when you cut the pie, it won't fall apart. Also, you won't burn your tongue!