How To Make Homemade Apple Pie Successfully

Are you a pie-baking rookie looking for how to make a homemade apple pie without epically failing? Well then you are in the right place, because I’m going to tell you how this pie-baking rookie (with plenty of earlier baking fails) made a bomb apple pie! Really, let me tell you if I can do it so can you! This is coming from the girl who once made a banana cream pie that will forever go down in history as what my husband calls “the banana cream puddle”. At least it still tasted good! Anyway, I am here to chronicle the good, the bad, and the ugly of my first experience trying my hand at a more complicated baking endeavor than a cookie or a very simple Pinterest recipe.

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how to make homemade apple pie
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Let me start off by telling you that your success is 100% going to be because of an author named Rose Beranbaum who wrote the literal Baking Bible book. Looking through all the recipes of The Baking Bible, I decided to try the double-crust apple pie first. Why not? I live in WA, apples are in season right now, and it’s an American staple. I was going to say it’s an American creation as well, but nope! After looking it up, I found it actually originated in England (with the first written recipe dating back to 1381). #randomfactsthatsomepeoplecareabout

Anyway, I now fully appreciate and understand what all of those reviewers of Rose Beranbaum’s cookbook were talking about. She has a way of making it easy for even the most novice of bakers. However, I still had to look up a couple YouTube videos to be sure I knew what I was doing. This was a loooonngg process. Probably a hell of a lot longer than it should have been because 1) I really did not want to mess this up so I read and re-read the directions about 50 million times, 2) sometimes I had no idea what I was doing #justwingit, and 3) I am a perfectionist.

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Day One included making the dough for the double pie crust. Because it’s not truly homemade apple pie without dough made from scratch! Even though it called for mixing the ingredients in a food processor, I used my Ninja blender. Because it’s a Ninja blender and close enough. This process was pretty straight forward and there were no mishaps, thankfully. The nice part is that I could refrigerate the dough and have ready for the next day. I wasn’t about to finish the whole pie on the same day, because I naively started at 7 pm. There’s a lot of prep, wait 30 minutes, prep, wait an hour, etc.

Day Two involved A LOT of work. I had to roll the dough out for the bottom crust, measure and trim it to size for the pie dish, and place it neatly in the dish. First of all, I purchased a non-stick mat that supposedly you don’t have to flour before rolling out the dough. That was a LIE, #falseadvertisement. Flour your work station people! Don’t trust them when they say you don’t have to, because my life rolling out dough got a whole lot easier with flour.

After I solved the sticking dough conundrum, I then had to figure out how to evenly roll the dough out to at least 12″ in diameter. Not going to lie, this took me a number of re-tries before I finally got it right. I had to let go of some of my excessive perfectionism once I watched a couple YouTube videos. They really do not care about perfectly rounded edges.

The next part was slicing and coring 6 apples. According to Rose, you can use a combination of a number of apples, up to 3-4 types. I decided upon two of each of the granny smith, pink lady, and golden delicious. After flavoring the apples, they sit for at least 30 minutes and then you collect the juice from them. Here’s where my endeavor got very frustrating. Using this juice with some butter, you are supposed to microwave (or use a saucepan) to reduce the liquid.

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As you can see, my measuring cup was a casualty of my microwave, and my reduced liquid along with it. Why the hell did you use a plastic measuring cup, you ask? I don’t know, because I’ve microwaved things in it before and it was fine. #facetopalm Go ahead, laugh at my expense. I am now, but I sure wasn’t then. I ended up having to slice MORE apples and redo the whole process again. And even then, I still didn’t get enough of the required liquid to reduce. I finally just listened to my husband’s recommendation (shh, don’t tell him) and used a little apple cider. No one could ever tell the difference. Daniel stated it’s basically the same thing, right? Needless to say, I used a saucepan the second go around and we also now own a glass measuring cup.

Once I got that ridiculous mishap taken care of, I could finally finish and place the apples in the pie dish and move on to rolling out the upper pie crust (flour being my best friend at this point). As I was laying the dough over the apple pie filling, I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood and watching Snow White. I always loved the part where she makes the homemade pie with the help of the birds and chipmunks. Except in my case, the birds and chipmunks were traded for a very demanding kitty running between my feet and meowing indignantly for daring to not provide him with my undivided attention.

how to make homemade apple pie
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So I’m sure you’re wondering, how did it turn out? Or maybe you aren’t and don’t really care, which is fine too – but then why are you still reading at this point? IT. WAS. FREAKING. DELICIOUS. I have to say, Rose Beranbaum is a boss, because she got this banana cream puddle disaster chef to slay a bomb homemade apple pie. Usually Daniel and I are not the biggest fans of apple pie (I’m a peach pie kind of girl, and you know that is on the agenda eventually), but we loved this pie.

how to make homemade apple pie
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I was not only impressed by Rose’s recipe, but she also includes super helpful tips that no other recipe I’ve seen does. Tips such as pre-heating the oven with the baking sheet inside at least 45 minutes before baking the pie, or the fact that you should have the rack at the lowest level and rotate the pie halfway through the baking process so that it bakes evenly.

In conclusion, you my lovely rookie friend CAN learn how to make homemade apple pie (a ridiculously amazing one at that). There may be a few mishaps on the way to your goal (just remember to use a glass measuring cup – I covered that one for you). But you keep that determination and proceed to kick butt anyway. Just picture all the praise and surprise from your friends and family as they dig in to your masterpiece. Peek that a la mode and tell me your mouth isn’t watering. This one goes in the winning category. Now it’s your turn. Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you! I’m cheering you on!

-xo, Jennifer

“We must have pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”

David Mamet

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