Cookin’ With Chris: Chris’s Super Groovy Apple Pie

Chris Shea

“Let’s face it, the average apple pie is usually just a gross pile of slimy apples jammed in a store-bought crust made from pencil shavings. Apple pie deserves better, and we’re going to finally do it justice.”

-Christopher Shea, pie expert



(makes two crusts, one for the top & one for the bottom)

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 cup frozen (yes, frozen) butter

1/4 cup ice water



1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

8 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg



All aboard the apple pie train! It’s careening down a hill at 200mph and the brakes are out, so you better buckle up! Start by making the crusts, the foundation for any good pie. You may be tempted to use the frozen store-bought stuff, but my personal view is that anything you have to wrestle out of a tube and then peel off of a sheet of oily paper isn’t fit for human consumption. To make the crusts, start by mixing 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Now here’s where the magic happens: cut the frozen cup of butter into small chunks (or grate it, if you’re feeling adventurous) and mash it into the flour mixture with a fork. Why are we doing this? Well, to achieve maximum flakiness as well as buttery goodness, we need to make sure that chunks of cold butter remain in the dough. When the crust bakes, the butter will melt and mix with the dough to form delicious flaky layers that rival an ogre’s. The end texture should resemble “coarse meal,” whatever that means. Now, slowly mix in the ice water until the buttery flour mess combines into a smooth doughy ball. You might not need to use all the water, so mix it in a little bit at a time. Now, split the dough into two equal portions, roll them up into a ball, wrap them in plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge for at least 3 hours. I know, I know, 3 hours. Don’t hurt me. The gluten needs to rest! Otherwise, it’ll be like rolling out a sheet of wet kleenex. Besides, we’ve got some serious apple-slicing to do. Speaking of which: peel, core and slice 8 Granny Smith apples—yes, the lame sour green ones—into wedges of your desired thickness. I usually get 16 slices out of one apple, but you’re welcome to go hardcore and cut ‘em a little thicker. At this point, you’ll also want to roll out one of your two baby doughballs and place it so that it covers the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Preheat your oven to 350°, while you’re at it. And about the apples: don’t try to be a renegade and use fuji apples or something, since we need the tart unpleasantness of the Granny Smith to combat the diabetic nightmare we’re going to be covering them with. Speaking of diabetic nightmare, melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix in 3 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Reduce to low, and let that bad boy simmer (stirring often) for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. Once it’s up to a syrupy consistency, pile up your sliced apples on the bottom crust in the pie pan, and pour the syrup over the apples. Be careful, since at this point it’s essentially napalm. Now, roll out baby doughball #2 and place it on top however you like. I like to lattice it, but it’s a free country. Now all that’s left to do is bake the thing at 350° for about 1 hour, or until golden brown and the apples are soft. Let the pie sit overnight for the best texture… psyche! Quick, eat the whole thing before your family shows up! Run!