Apple pie with homemade double crust

1 Nov

It’s the perfect time of year for apple pie. I’ve made two already over the summer and both times I had crust issues. I’ve made a crust before, but not since really concentrating on what I’m doing and trying to learn the feel of different dough to hopefully make my own recipes  some day and they had turned out fine. I finally realized my problem was that I read too many of the “tips” for making a pie crust. Most recipes warn of adding too much water, which can result in a tough crust, and since I’m a chemist and pay pretty close attention to recipes, I was actually adding too little and making a kind of crumble. It was doubly compounded by the fact that I used a mixture of butter and shortening, which tastes great, but the shortening is softer and gives the dough the appearance of being held together with water before it really is.

This time, however, I was successful in my pie crafting. I’ll add a couple more of my own tips and what I’ll be trying in future pie crust adventures. For now, the recipe:

Makes one double crusted 9″ pie

Pie Crust:

I normally stick tips at the end, but I’m going to put a couple of these here so the ingredients make sense. I’d read a lot about 3-2-1 pie crusts where it was 3 parts flour to 2 parts butter/shortening to 1 part water. It took me a little while to realized it was by weight as with 8 oz (.5 c) butter, 12 oz of flour was 3/4 c in volume measurements but most recipes called for 2-2.5 cups.

Recipes also varied with the ratio of the fat in the recipe from all butter to all shortening and even lard, which I would have tried if I had it. I settled on a 50:50 mix of butter to shortening for this first time out. I also threw in 1 Tbsp. of sugar, which seems to be controversial, but seemed like a good idea to me, especially with a fruit pie.

Ingredients: (for 2 9″ pie crusts since it’s a double crust pie)

12 oz flour (about 2.5 cups)
4 oz shortening, separated in to half tablespoon chunks and cooled briefly
4 oz butter, cold and cut in to half inch pieces
6-8 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar


The flour, salt, and sugar were added to the food processor and pulsed together. The  butter and shortening were then sprinkled on top and pulsed until lightly incorporated (10-20 pulses). I mixed until the butter was broken up, but still in visible chucks, larger than bread crumbs. I added 2 Tbsp. of water at a time and pulsed about 5 times and then let it sit for 30 seconds before adding more water. I used 6 Tbsp, but use what works best for the pie to hold together.  Shape in to two disks.  Place in the fridge to keep cool and let the water get the gluten in the flour sticky so the crust holds together. Carry to the next step.

A tip from Alton Brown: For ease of rolling out, place each in a large plastic bag. When rolling them out, roll to the edges of the bag, cut the bag open, and invert over the pie plate. Alton’s book I’m Just Here for More Food has a much more detailed and exact way of getting the pie crust from the bag to the dish, but I’m too impatient to follow them all. A little bit of flour inside the bag while rolling the crust out is also a good idea.

Apple Pie Filling:

Adapted from All Recipes


1/2 c butter
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 c water
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour. Add both sugars, the water, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the temperature to let simmer about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Add half of the mixture to the apples and mix until the apples are coated.

Take one crust out of the fridge, roll out, and place in pie dish. Fill with apple mixture, mounded slightly. Pour the rest o the butter/sugar mixture over the top of the apples. Roll out the other crust and place on top. Crimp the edges and cut slits or design in to the crust to let vent (or make a lattice top crust).

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.


This crust came out great and stuck together very well. I unfortunately was sick and wasn’t able to try it, so I’ll try this crust again, along with some variations in the shortening and butter. I also want to try another tip I came across where most of the flour is used, the fat is mixed in, water added, and then the rest of the flour is mixed in so there is some flour that is not coated by the fat.

The addition of vanilla and cinnamon to the original pie filling recipe really makes everything taste a bit better. Hope you enjoy!


One Response to “Apple pie with homemade double crust”


  1. Pecan Pie (and Apple pie pictures) | Knead time - April 10, 2014

    […] used my apple pie filling recipe from here, but used the crust listed above instead of the crust with that recipe. It came out quite good, as […]

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