In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: Of the dozens of apple pie recipes published in the past 40 years, this is hands-down the best. It comes as no surprise that it’s the creative genius of pastry queen Rose Levy Beranbaum, who penned some of the most reliable baking books still on shelves today. This pie gets its intensely apple-y flavor from macerating the apples in sugar for an hour. The liquid drained from the apples is simmered with a hit of butter until a syrup forms. That rich syrup is mixed with the apples, piled into the crust, and baked until tender and delicious. The pie is excellent the day it’s made, but even better the next day. Interestingly, this pie was developed to be “slimmer, trimmer, but just as tasty” as its double-crusted counterpart. “bigger is not necessarily better, and neither is sweeter,” said Beranbaum. Not convinced? Try a slice. You’ll see.
1/3 cup apricot preserves, melted and strained, divided
3 pounds Rhode Island Greening or Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoon cornstarch
How to Make It
Brush inside of baked pie shell with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves.
Place apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl; toss to combine. Let stand until apples release about 1/2 cup liquid, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain apple liquid into a small, heavy saucepan. Set drained apples aside. Add butter to pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss drained apples with cornstarch. Arrange half of apples on bottom of pie shell; drizzle with half of the reduced apple syrup. Arrange remaining apples in overlapping concentric circles on top, starting from outside and working in; drizzle with remaining apple syrup. (The apples will be heaped above the top of pie shell but will sink down during baking.)
Cut a round of aluminum foil to fit over top of pie; pull edges of foil up and crimp in 3 or 4 places to create a small dome. Tent pie with foil, and bake in preheated oven until apples are tender when pierced with a paring knife, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove aluminum foil, and bake until tops of apples are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
Warm remaining apricot preserves, and brush over top of hot pie. Cool pie in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Transfer pie from pan to a serving platter. Serve warm, or cool to room temperature.
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