Everything You Need to Know About Pies This Fall

Fall is here and as the days are getting colder, we’re craving warming, comforting pie straight from the oven.


Apple Pie

There’s nothing better than filling your home with the scent of a delicious pie bubbling in your kitchen. Even better, there are so many fall pie recipes to choose from — they can be savory or sweet, use local or exotic ingredients, and can be made with just filling or topped with pie crust. The autumn pie options are endless and delicious.

In the mood for pie but not sure where to start? We’re offering some tips and inspiration for your next autumn pie or fall fruit tart. You won’t need to go to the store for pie anymore after you read this and will make some tasty from-scratch baked goods to wow your family and friends.

5 Tips to Make the Best Fall Pies

1. Work with Cold Dough

Dough needs to be cold when it goes in the oven — that way it will get a flaky crust when it’s baking. It’s best to work with cold butter and cold water when you’re making a pie crust so that the crust doesn’t end up tough or hard to work with. When you’re working with the dough, minimize touching it so that it doesn’t warm up too much, it’s best to roll it out on a cold surface to ensure it stays cool. You can also cool off your dough in the fridge or freezer before you’re ready to use it.

2. Pre-Bake to Avoid a Soggy Pie

It’s so exciting cutting into that first slice of pie but that joy wanes when all of your filling and pie bottom fall apart before hitting your plate. Your pie is too soggy but there are easy ways to prevent that from happening. Depending on the pie you want to make it’s helpful to pre-bake your dough so that it can hold a liquid filling, for example, pumpkin pie. Pre-baking is easy, just roll the dough out and place it into your pie dish, then line with parchment paper and fill with weights so that the crust doesn’t puff up. You can use pantry staples like rice or beans as weights to help hold down your shape. Bake for a few minutes until the dough looks matte then remove the paper. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden, then let it cool down. You can now fill with whatever your heart desires.

3. Thicken Your Fruit Fillings

Just like you pre-baked your pie crust, you may have to put in a little work with your fruit before your pie hits the oven. Since fruits contain a lot of water they can make for a soggy pie, but you can easily prevent that with a few simple steps. In a bowl, toss your fresh fruit with a thickener — tapioca starch, corn or potato starch are popular options. This will give fruit a better consistency when it is baked.

4. Brush Your Pies

Use a pastry brush as a tool to give your pie a specific look. If you want a glossy, golden look, brush your top crust pies with egg yolks. If you want a sparkly look, coat your top crust with egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Using whole milk or heavy cream will give your pie a matte aesthetic.

5. Wait to Slice

The moment has arrived — your beautiful pie is fully baked and you take it out of the oven. Resist the urge to immediately slice the pie as it needs to cool down to cut tidy slices. In some cases, your pies can taste their best when they are fully cooled, so you can let them sit for a few hours.

-RECIPE-

BROWN BUTTER APPLE PIE
Makes one 9” pie

Flaky Pie Crust
Makes 1 - 9” shell

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/4-1/2 cup (60-125 ml) ice cold water, as needed

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Begin incorporating the butter in the flour using either a pastry cutter or your hands breaking down the butter until small, pea sized lumps. If butter gets too warm during this process you can put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the butter feels solid again.
  • Begin streaming in the cold water into a well in the center of the dough and using a large spoon or your hands combine the liquid and dough until a shaggy ball forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, shape the shaggy ball into a tight, smooth ball then flatten, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in your fridge for at least one hour to let the butter harden again and let the gluten relax.
  • Before attempting to roll out dough, it is best to let the dough temper for at least 10-15 minutes to prevent cracking.

Apple Filling
Makes 1 Quart of filling

Ingredients:
4 cups apples peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground if possible
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

  • Drizzle the lemon juice over the apple slices.
  • Place the water, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large pan.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute or until just thickened.
  • Add the apples to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the apples have softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter to the pan and stir until it has melted.
  • Cool the apple filling for 10 minutes, then transfer it to containers and refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to use it.

Brown Butter Crumble
Makes 1 cup crumble

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
8 tablespoons butter, melted until browned

In a large bowl combine both sugars, flour, oats, and pecans; mix well to combine then stir in browned butter. Place the crumb topping in the fridge or freezer while you assemble the apple pie filling.

Assembly

1. Roll out flaky crust into a 10” circle. Using your rolling pin, roll the dough onto the pin and transfer it to the pie pan. Make sure to gently work the crust to all the corners and edges of the pan, avoiding the urge to pull and stretch the dough as to prevent crust shrinkage.

2. Pour chilled apple filling into shell.

3. Top with brown butter crumble.

4. Bake @ 350 for 30-45 minutes or until apple filling is bubbling and crumble is a nice golden brown color.

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