Our Top Thanksgiving Recipe: Martha Stewart’s Apple Pie

It's very much a good thing.

September 13, 2018

Martha Stewart’s apple pie is a Thanksgiving tradition for FREDERIC Editor in Chief and Schumacher Creative Director, Dara Caponigro, who bakes it with her children each year—and considers the domestic doyenne’s 1998 book Entertaining simply groundbreaking. Here’s the recipe!

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Martha Stewart’s Old-Fashioned Double-Crust Apple Pie

Makes One 9-Inch Pie

Cortland or McIntosh apples, Granny Smiths or Macouns—the most important thing to remember when baking this pie is to use tart, crisp, fresh apples and lots of them. The crust should be flaky and golden brown, and, depending on the number of apples used, can stand up very high.

1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust (see below)
9 to 10 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
Grated peel of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, in small pieces

Prepare pastry according to the recipe. Fit bottom pastry into 9-inch pie plate. Roll out circle for top.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Fill pie shell with sliced apples.

Mound them up high. Sprinkle with lemon peel and juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Dot with butter. Cover with pastry top, making vents, sealing and crimping rim.

Place pie in oven and lower temperature to 375°. Bake 45 minutes, or until crust* is brown. Cool before serving.

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The Perfect Pie Crust

Makes One Double-Crust 9-Inch Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
¼ cup ice water

Hand Method:

In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into 1-tablespoon bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, work flour and shortening together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water little by little, pressing the pastry together into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

It is very important to work the pastry as little as possible. Don’t overhandle. A secret to light, flaky pastry is to keep the mixture cool, add as little water as possible, and mix only as much as necessary.

Food Processor Method:

Put flour and salt in bowl of machine. Cut butter and margarine into the flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly until the dough ball is firm. The whole process should take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.

If pastry has been chilled for a long time, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling.

Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.

Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry—it should be slightly larger than the pie plate and 1/8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edges. Do not trim the pastry yet.

Fill the pie with filling. Then roll out the second crust in same manner as for bottom. Fold circle in half and with a sharp, pointed knife cut little vents in a decorative pattern. Place folded pastry on one half of the pie. Unfold, pressing top and bottom pastry together. Trim edges with scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold bottom pastry overhang over top and press firmly to seal. Crimp rim, using fingers or the tines of a fork.

Reprinted from ENTERTAINING. Copyright © 1982 by Martha Stewart. Published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.