If there’s anything that aficionados of fall know all too well, it’s the feeling of getting home from the apple orchard or cider mill with far more apples than they know what to do with. For people enrolled in the best culinary schools in Colorado, though, there are plenty of autumnal meals and confections that are probably running through your mind when you see that bushel of apples.
One of the most popular baking options is an apple pie. While you may already have a go-to recipe, here are a few tips that will enhance your pies this season:
Use the right apples
Not any apple will do when it comes to baking a pie. Many amateur bakers are under the impression that imperfect apples are good for pies because they’ll be baked. However, you’ll want to use fresh, crispy apples. It’s also important to take the variety of apple into account. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the best apples for pie include Fuji, Jonagold, Newtown Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, Granny Smith, Rome Beauty and Winesap. This is because these apples are firm and crispy, so they won’t turn to mush when they’re baked into a pie. Many people like to use a mix of firm apples that are sweet and tart in their pies. It’s also crucial to peel your apples before using them for a pie. Baking doesn’t make the apple skin soft enough to conveniently eat in a pie.
Make your crust crispy
A few baker’s tricks will go a long way when it comes to making sure the crust on your pie is as crispy as possible. Using your hands to knead your dough – which should be taken out of the refrigerator, rather than a mixer – is a good way to ensure your dough will be crispy and fluffy at the same time. It’s also important to make sure you don’t use too much water so your dough isn’t bogged down by too much moisture. When kneading your dough, make sure it’s a little loose, rather than sticky so your crust doesn’t turn out too dense. Lastly, try brushing an egg wash on the crust and the top of the pie before putting it in the oven. This method will give your pie a delightful golden color.
Dress it up?
A simple top crust with vent is enough to keep the apples moist and the crust crispy, but many bakers like to experiment with different decorative top crust. A lattice top or even with various shapes made with cookie cutters, like leaves or flowers, as exemplified on Brit + Co are fun options. Real Simple suggests adding some flavor to your top crust, like creating a nut or sugar crumble, or even making it savory by shredding some cheese on top. Don’t hesitate to try new things and get your hands a little dough-y!