Nothing says home cooking like a warm apple pie! And what better recipe to use than the classic one from The Joy of Cooking? Of course, to adjust it for our guests, we veganized the recipe by switching out butter with a vegan alternative. Also, since we were making multiple pies, we just used the same pie dough recipe that we'd used for our other pies. It's definitely just easier to scale up a single recipe than doing multiple, similar recipes. Though I'm sure the version in The Joy of Cooking is just as good!
This recipe calls for the apples to be pre-cooked before baking in the pie. This allows them to reduce to their final volume before baking, rather than allowing them to shrink in the pie after being filled. This extra step eliminates the gap that results from any shrinkage that occurs during baking. The result is a beautiful, perfect pie with a crust that lies flat against the filling!
1 recipe pie dough
3 pounds apples (6-8 medium-large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (for vegan version, use Earth Balance sticks)
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough. Peel, core, and slice apples a little thicker than ¼ inch.
Heat butter in a very wide skillet or pot over high heat until sizzling and fragrant.
Add the apples and toss until glazed with butter. Reduce the heat to medium, cover tightly, and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened on the outside but still slightly crunchy, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Increase heat to high and cook the apples at a rapid boil until the juices become thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Immediately spread the apples in a thin layer on a baking sheet, and let them cool to room temperature.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the apple mixture into the bottom crust. Cover with a pricked or vented top crust or a lattice. Bake until the crust is richly browned and the filling has begun to bubble, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack, 3 to 4 hours.
If you wish to serve the pie warm, place it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The pie is best if eaten promptly, but it can be kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.