A nostalgic dish found in retro diners across the U.S., pie is the quintessential American dessert. Nothing beats a classic all-American pie’s well-made crust with tender, flaky texture and golden colour filled with fresh, flavourful fruit.
Pie-making may seem daunting as it requires patience and skill, time and temperament, season and substance. Pastry chef Safia Osman shares her advice and a recipe for a classic lattice-topped apple pie.
- Twenty minutes before you start making the dough, put all of your ingredients, the bowl and the attachments in the freezer. The fat in your crust should be super chilled to maintain its integrity and avoid being over-worked into the dough, so the crust is as flaky as possible.
- Speaking of fats, Safia swears by mixing old-school standby Crisco with butter. She’s tried many ways of making pie and found this combo results in the best texture. The butter contains water which creates air pockets and flakiness during baking, while Crisco lends a tender texture.
- Safia always re-freezes her formed crusts before baking. This ensures it’s fully chilled and relaxed. Again, for optimal flakiness.
- Safia always par-bakes her crusts. Par-what, you say? Baking the crusts on their own before adding the filling prevents a doughy bottom and slouchy sides. Line the unbaked crust with parchment or aluminum foil and weigh it down so it doesn’t puff up. Safia uses dried beans or rice.
- When selecting fillings, Safia looks to the seasons for classic combinations and seeks out whatever fruit is at its juiciest.
- Choose your toppings wisely. Lattice or other cut crust decorations are best with uncooked or especially juicy fruit to let the moisture evaporate. For stewed fruits, use a crumble that crisps to a golden crunch.
- Pies are meant for sharing, so Safia always uses aluminum tins. That way, she can bring pies to parties or gift to friends without having to chase down her grandmother’s prized dish.
Burger Circus Classic Lattice-Topped Apple Pie
By Chef Safia Osman
283g all-purpose flour
88g cold water
Put all the ingredients and your mixing bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes before mixing.
Add the flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening into the bowl of a mixer. Blend on medium speed until the mixture resembles a coarse sand. There should be pebbles of the fats throughout the mixture.
Drizzle the cold water evenly over the dough and gently mix to combine. Gather a handful of the dough and gently squeeze. If it does not hold together, add a bit more water and stir gently then check again. Repeat as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently gather into a rough ball. Be careful to not to overwork the flour, but also make sure it holds together.
Divide into two portions and flatten each into a five-inch disk. Wrap the portions in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove one portion of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it is around ½ inch thick and 9 inches around. Fit this crust into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming it to leave a .5-inch overhang. Place parchment paper in the crust and fill with dried beans or rice. Parbake for 20 minutes.
Roll out remaining dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 9 inches. Cut into even strips roughly 3/4-inch wide.
Put cooled pie filling into the crust.
Lattice weave the strips over the pie and crimp the edges.
Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes until the filling is bubbly and crust is brown.
Apple Pie Filling
30g all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
1 ¼ tsp zest
1 ¼ nutmeg
pinch of salt
10g vanilla extract
1200g peeled, sliced apples
Whisk the sugar, spices, zest and salt in a small bowl.
Melt the butter and vanilla in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and spice mixture. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the apples are soft and the mixture thickens, around 7 minutes.