Apple pie for our National Day

Last year during the week previous to October 12, I wrote a series of dishes that followed the path of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. But this year the date has come and almost gone without a word from me. How things change in a year!

But I still a few minutes to publish this post and commemorate the occasion. Today’s dish is one of America’s favorite, so is kind of ad hoc too.

I used a store bought Pate Brisee, but you could use your own pastry crust recipe or use the one below. As for the apples I used, they were Golden Delicious. I have to say that I followed this recipe from Joy of baking to the letter and the result was perfection, seriously. So if this is your first time making this pie (like me) I recommend that you do the same at first and then experiment with other variations. Like this Apple Thingamajig from The Bartolini’s Kitchen.


Pie Crust

  • 2 ½ cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • ¼ to ½ cup (60 – 120 ml) ice water

Apple Filling

  • 2 ½ pounds (1.1 kg) apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups (2 L))
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)


Pie Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).

Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

Then remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.

Apple Filling: In a large bowl combine the sliced apples with the sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to three hours. Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15-30 minutes or until you have about ½ cup (120 ml) of juice. Spray a 4 cup (960 ml) heatproof measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray, and then pour in the collected juices and the 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of unsalted butter. Place in the microwave and boil the liquid, on high, about 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup (80 ml) and is syrupy and lightly caramelized.  (Alternatively, you could place the juices and butter in a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat on the stove.)

Meanwhile, remove the top pastry crust from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it has time to soften. Transfer the drained apples slices to a large bowl and mix them with the cornstarch (corn flour). Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make five- 2-inch (5 cm) slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 ºF (220 ºC). Place the oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on the rack before preheating the oven. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the stone (or pan) to catch any apple juices. Set the pie on the stone or pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits. Make sure to cover the edges of the pie with a foil ring to prevent over browning after about 30 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Makes one 9 inch (23 cm) pie.

A painting by Goya depicting the Marian apparition to St. James the Greater

Today’s is also the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, She’s the Patroness of the Spanish Civil Guard and the Hispanic world and of all the women named Pilar. So happy day to all of you, especially to my beloved daughter Pilar.


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37 thoughts on “Apple pie for our National Day

  1. Alastair October 12, 2012 at 23:53 Reply

    An apple pie with no cloves :-)

    I love apple pie, although I do prefer apple crumble

    • Bluejellybeans October 12, 2012 at 23:58 Reply

      Cloves? Next time, then ;)

      • Alastair October 13, 2012 at 00:00 Reply

        I meant it’s good to see one without them. Take a bite of one them and the whole meal is wasted lol

        • Bluejellybeans October 13, 2012 at 00:09 Reply

          Oh! Ok ;) You are totally right!

          • Alastair October 13, 2012 at 00:11 Reply


  2. albertocook October 13, 2012 at 00:09 Reply

    I love apple pie..
    Can I have a slice? …… Please!!!

    • Bluejellybeans October 13, 2012 at 01:27 Reply

      Hehe! Sure :)

  3. Mad Dog October 13, 2012 at 00:34 Reply

    Tart or crumble – what a dilemma… I did have some delicious tart crumble last Sunday, but that was tart in flavour. I like sharp fruit, so I’d use I’d use Bramley apples, I’m not a fan of Golden Delicious.
    Your tart does look delicious though and happy Columbus day :-)

    • Bluejellybeans October 13, 2012 at 01:27 Reply

      Crumble is in my to do list, maybe next week ;)
      ¿Sabes cómo se llaman en español las manzanas Bramley? Porque parecen reinetas, pero no son lo mismo. Happy CD to you too :) !!

      • Mad Dog October 13, 2012 at 03:28 Reply

        Bramley es una manzana muy Inglés, por lo que don “t saber si se cultiva en España. Hay un montón de variedades de inglés que sólo se producen en pequeños huertos. Bramley es bien conocido en toda Inglaterra para cocinar. Hay algunas variedades inglés cocción enumerados aquí:
        I don’t think my Spanish is quite right in the last sentence ;-)

        • BluejellybeansGiovanna October 13, 2012 at 12:03 Reply

          Tu español, como siempre, me parece buenísimo MD. Muchas gracias por la información. Supongo que lo más parecido aquí sería la Reineta (Russet) que es la que más se usa para cocinar, por ejemplo para hacer manzanas asadas.
          ¡Que tengas un buen fin de semana!

  4. Stefanie October 13, 2012 at 05:38 Reply

    What a wonderful way to celebrate Columbus Day! Delicious looking pie! Hope you had a great Columbus Day and feast day!

    • Bluejellybeans October 13, 2012 at 12:17 Reply

      Hi Stefanie! I know this pie is more tipical of 4th of July, but is so good… that it works too for Columbus day ;)
      Thanks for your comment. Have a nice weekend :)

  5. bulldogsturf October 13, 2012 at 07:09 Reply

    Apple pie my favourite… warm and with ice cream…

    • Bluejellybeans October 13, 2012 at 12:18 Reply

      Thanks for your comment! Yes vanilla ice cream…yumm! ;)

  6. niasunset October 13, 2012 at 07:58 Reply

    Happy Day, dear Giovanna, I love apple pie so much I can eat all of them :) Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Bluejellybeans October 13, 2012 at 12:19 Reply

      Thank dear Nia!
      Whomever invented it was a genius ;) Have a nice weekend!

  7. Food,Photography & France October 13, 2012 at 10:10 Reply

    I just never imagined the painting was by Goya. The figures look so much like El Greco’s work, as does the colour. My mistake. Love the pie as well:)

    • BluejellybeansGiovanna October 13, 2012 at 12:12 Reply

      Thank you Roger. I understand what you mean, the long faces and the use of the light and shadows seem more Greco’s… Thanks for the comment. Have a nice weekend! :)

  8. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) October 13, 2012 at 15:40 Reply

    Tis the season for apple pies!!! Liz and I just went to a farm, picked our own apples a pie the same day. Oh so good.

    Hope you’re enjoying your weekend Giovanna!

    • Bluejellybeans October 15, 2012 at 22:59 Reply

      Hi Jed! Thanks for your comment :) That is something I wish we could do here (apple picking) because it sounds like so much fun…

  9. Tandy October 13, 2012 at 20:10 Reply

    Nothing says America more than apple pie :)

  10. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 13, 2012 at 20:54 Reply


  11. cookiemomma October 14, 2012 at 03:22 Reply

    You are so full of talent! I’m in awe! Apple pie is my favorite pie of all time and yours is making my mouth water

  12. trixfred30 October 14, 2012 at 22:20 Reply

    I wish i coulod get a pie crust looking that good!

    • Bluejellybeans October 15, 2012 at 23:02 Reply

      Well, you just have to go to the supermarket and buy one ;) That’s what I did…
      Thanks for your comment :)

  13. trixfred30 October 14, 2012 at 22:21 Reply

    I wish I could spell ‘coould’ too. There see I’ve done it again.

  14. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 15, 2012 at 05:31 Reply

    Nothing better to celebrate than an apple pie.. I love the Joy of Baking website, especially their videos too. Your pie turned out just perfectly!

  15. Promenade Claire October 16, 2012 at 14:09 Reply

    A perfect dish Giovanna, just perfect!

  16. Chica Andaluza October 17, 2012 at 10:15 Reply

    Belated greetings to your little Pilar – and what a gorgeous apple pie, one of my very favourite desserts!

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