The best apple pie recipe straight from the Wilson family kitchen.
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup cold water plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more if your dough is dry
For the Filling:
- about 6 apples / 2 lbs apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick. I used a combination of Cosmic Crisp, Fuji and Golden Delicious
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably fresh grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the Praline Topping:
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup very coarsely chopped pecans (some halved pecan pieces are fine)
- To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas.
- Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the cold water. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To assemble the pie, remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, then use your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. The circle won’t be perfect, that’s ok.
- Try not to get any tears in the rolled out dough, but if you do, they can be patched together with extra dough. When you roll the dough and you can see it start springing back, that means that the butter is warming and the crust shouldn’t be rolled out anymore. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in a deep 9-inch round pie dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust. Roll the top crust and place on a plate and allow to chill while you prepare the filing.
- To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and toss to mix. Allow the apples to macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch.
- Carefully spoon apple mixture and all of its juices into the prepared pie shell. Dot with butter chunks. Place the top rust on the pie and seal and crimp.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill while the oven preheats.
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place pie of a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, until the edges bubble and the apples are cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- While the pie cools, make the praline topping. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before pouring on the pie. (If you make the topping ahead of time, reheat it over low heat until just pourable). Allow the pie praline topping to cool to room room temperature before serving. (Pie can also be refrigerated before serving- just leave it out on the counter for about an hour before serving.)