Apple Pie: The Do's and the Dont's
It’s that time of the year again – the apples are sweet, the family is gathered, and you're probably thinking about that apple pie that you can never get to look or taste just right.
Here are some tips to help you make the perfect apple pie every time:
DO make sure your ingredients are as chilly as the weather is outside
When it comes to making pie crust, it’s crucial to keep your ingredients cold. This means keeping your butter, shortening/fat, and water as cold as possible to prevent it from melting as you shape the dough. Be sure to chill the dough in the fridge (some people suggest 30 minutes, some say an hour, others even refrigerate overnight!) to allow it to relax before you roll it out. Skipping the chilling step of making an apple pie is a definite don’t!
DO choose the right apples for your pie
While it may feel like every recipe for apple pie suggests different apples, there are some varieties that you should definitely steer clear from. For example, sweeter apples tend to break down easier than their acidic partners. This means that apples like Red Delicious break down quickly, turning your pie into more of an applesauce than a delectable dessert. However, apples such as the Granny Smith tend to hold their shape and deliver a perfect combination of juicy yet tart.
DO (or DON’T?) peel your apples
While the debate on whether or not to peel your apples seems never-ending, it really comes down to a matter of personal choice. Unpeeled apples will add a bit of color and texture to your pie, but they may prevent the apples from melding together when baked. Peeled apples will give you a delicately soft pie with no tough surprises, but some people argue that you lose the apple’s nutritional value once the peel is removed. Making sure you are using the correct apples – peeled or unpeeled – is a more important part of crafting the perfect apple pie.
DON’T use overripe apples
Pay close attention to the apples you’re choosing for your pie, as overripe fruits will cause your filling to turn mushy. Choose firm apples for baked pies to achieve the sweet yet tart flavor. Reserve those overripe apples for chilled pies or applesauce instead.
DO use a thickener
Have you ever seen a pie that looked like it was better suited to be eaten with a spoon than a fork? Skipping the thickener will guarantee that your pie turns to soup. The most common pie thickeners are flour, cornstarch, and tapioca, though each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to do a bit of research on which thickener will work best for your pie before you dive in!
DON’T cut your pie before it cools
We get it. You just took that pie out of the oven, and its beautiful aroma has filled your home. It looks delicious, and you’ve worked up an appetite! But stop right there!! It’s important to let your pie cool completely before cutting it. By giving your pie the proper time to cool, the pie filling will set properly. After all, you’ve worked hard to make this delicious masterpiece! It would be a shame to let that hard work go to waste.
Whether you’re using a longstanding family recipe or one that you just discovered online, the most important part of baking a pie is to remember to have fun. Oh, and if you want that sweet, delicious apple pie without the work, you can always pick one up from the Market Basket Bakery!
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and delicious Thanksgiving from Market Basket.