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September 24, 2016

Spiced Apple Pie | Fall Favorite Desserts

I haven't always been a fan of apple pie.  In fact, my first real apple pie moment wasn't until last year when I made this Apple Cranberry Crisp made with orange juice and zest along with cinnamon and nutmeg.  For me, the addition of the orange made everything work together so perfectly and it added a new dimension of flavor.  While baking, my house smelled like hot mulled cider - typically simmered with orange peel.  

With that recipe in mind, I created this classic Apple Pie recipe that is also laced with orange zest and juice.   You might remember I featured my "How to Make a Pretty Pie" tutorial and recipe last year before Thanksgiving.  We used that recipe and technique when making this pie - Emma helped me make and roll it out (which is so easy to make, by the way) even with the additional extra pair of hands and toes that seem to be becoming her favorite cooking utensil. 

If you've never made a pie before, it can seem daunting.  But, you really should try it.  It is so satisfying to make something so pretty, so comforting and so classic.  And the good thing about pies is the more rustic looking the better...

Apple Pie

New! Printable Recipes, here.

2 pounds Granny Smith apples
2 pounds Braeburn apples
1/2 orange, zested
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons of butter
My Easy Pie Crust Recipe
1 egg for egg wash

In the photos, I used my Natural Linen Tea towel (2 for $24) that are a new addition to my store for Fall.  I had a rush for orders on them last week when I first posted the photo, but will be restocked to ship more by October 4th.  You can go ahead and place an order now to make sure you get your name on a pair in this shipment.

Here are the dry ingredients for the pie dough mixed with the butter in my mini food processor - I had to make it in two batches - which worked great because I needed two crusts for a top and bottom. 

Again, the recipe is here :  "How to Make a Pretty Pie" tutorial and recipe

And here it has come together after the addition of cold water.

I found a great new use for the parchment sheets (that I carry in my online store, here).  You know how you are usually supposed to chill the dough before rolling out and baking?  The reason for that is so when the pie bakes, the butter is still cold and puffs up in the hot oven, creating a flaking crust.

Well, instead of refrigerating, then rolling, we rolled the just processed dough out onto the parchment sheet (while it was still nice and soft), then refrigerated it. 

I rolled both pieces of dough out, then stacked them on top of each other on a baking sheet to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

Here is my mix of Braeburn & Granny Smith apples.  Plus 1 orange.

I hate peeling apples (and potatoes and carrots, for that matter) so I don't.  You can if you want, but I think by the time they bake in the pie, it doesn't really matter.  I like to slice them really thin so they stack nicely to create a tall layered pie.  When the thin pieces are stacked, they make each piece sturdy so it doesn't fall apart when you slice it.

Zest the orange, then juice.

Here are the apples tossed with the zest, juice, flour, sugar and spices.

After I took the dough out from the refrigerator, I rolled each piece a little more with the rolling pin to make it easier to manage, then flipped it and put it in the bottom.   Pile the apples in, then dot them with the butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Top with the 2nd crust and crimp the edges.  Again, instructions for my crimping method are here : "How to Make a Pretty Pie" tutorial and recipe

I put 6 slits in the top using a small knife.  While I pinch the edges, Emma put her own tiny little pinches on the top crust.

Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with a fork.  Brush the top crust with the egg, then generously sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then cover with foil, reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30 more minutes.

I served this pie on a Sunday night after Braised Short Ribs for dinner... oh, did our house smell good.

As I mentioned in the previous post about our Sunday Night Suppers, as the air gets cooler I love to fix things that simmer on the stove or in the oven all day (like these Short Ribs).   What are some of your favorite feel good Sunday Night Meals?  I'm making my to-make list for Fall and I'd love to know your favorites.  


  1. Beautiful pie! Apple pie is one of my favorites.

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  3. Jenny, that looks delicious! I work in the PR department so I also love that knife! Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe.

    1. Um. PR department for CUTCO. Sorry about that.

  4. That dinner looks divine! I love the idea with parchment paper, thank you for that!

  5. I love making spaghetti bolognese for a feel good sunday night meal. yum!

  6. I love the mix of apples. I only could find granny smith - waiting for the Braeburns.

  7. Dear Jenny,
    I love reading your blog space everyday. You have so many wonderful,beautiful, fun, inspiring ideas. I enjoy them all immensely. Just so you know, I have been making your quiche recipes and my family loves them. Also this past weekend both my son and I were craving for homemade apple pie and YES! I followed your recipe and it was amazing! It's not that hard to make your own pie crust afterall. Thank you Jenny for all your creative tips and resourceful methods. They really do make a HUGE difference-can spend more time with family and enjoy life in the kitchen. THANK YOU and HAPPY FALL!

  8. Hi Jenny, I meant to say easy to make your own "homemade" piecrust afterall... thanks to you! :-) Also, I just want to add how adorable Emma has grown. I giggle and smile from ear to ear when I see her in the kitchen with you. What a cute little food taster she is and a very flexible one at that! :-)

  9. Just made this pie and I really hope it turns out. I was having trouble with my food processor and I had to use my kitchenaid. It looks delicious :) Thanks for all the great ideas!

    1. I made your pie and everyone loved it :) BUT I made it and it was still HOT 2 hours later and it cut like soup! Should I make it the night before and then cut it? Help, I don't know what I diud wrong!

  10. All in all, this recipe is great!


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