Harvest Apple Pie



For the apple filling

  • 6 large firm early-crop apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour or arrowroot
  • 1 recipe Jim's Flaky Pie Pastry; chilled and ready to go

For glazing the top

  • 1 large egg white, beaten in a small bowl just until smoothly broken up
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Special equipment suggested

  • A vegetable peeler
  • A melon baller
  • A 3-quart mixing bowl
  • A rolling pin
  • A pastry scraper
  • A rubber spatula with extra-wide blade, 2 1/2 inches across
  • A 9-inch metal pie pan with sloping sides
  • A pastry brush


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and set the rack on the lowest level. 
  2. Preparing the Apples: Peel the apples and cut them in half. Use the melon baller to remove the cores. Cut each half into three wedges and then cut across the wedges, slicing each into thirds. Thoroughly blend the sugar, spices, and tapioca or arrowroot in the mixing bowl, and toss with the apples, coating them evenly. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the apples to make an airtight covering, and set aside.
  3. Lining the Pie Pan: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and massage through the plastic for several minutes, just until it is pliable enough to roll out. Divide it in half, and chill one half. Sprinkle your work surface and the top of the dough lightly with flour, and start rolling it into a circle that is to be 10 inches across and about 1/8 inch thick. Chef Jim says it is quite all right for you to roll the pin back and forth, as long as you do not roll over the edges. As you roll, lift and swish the dough on the counter to keep the bottom well-floured. Fold the circle in half and pick it up; brush off excess flour, and lay the dough in the pie pan with the fold at the center. Open the dough out to fill the pan, then lift the edges to coax it down into the pan, pressing it so that it lines the pan tightly.
  4. In Go the Apples: Empty the apples into the crust using the rubber spatula to be sure that all the juices and seasonings go with them. Push them around so they are nicely arranged with a slight dome at the center. Brush the edges of the dough, where it rests on the edge of the pan, with the egg white. Roll the second piece of dough as the first; fold it and drape it over the apples; unfold and process the edges together to seal them, actually lifting the two pieces gently in your fingers to press them together, and at the same time folding them under to make a 1-inch lip all around. Then push the edges up to make an upstanding rim that does not overhang the sides; otherwise the crust will droop during baking. Crimp or flute the edges by pressing the index finger on one hand against the inside rim of the dough while pressing the dough lightly around that finger from the outside rim, using the thumb and index finger of your other hand. Continue around the dough at intervals of about 1 inch. Brush the center of the dough - but not the crimped edge - with more egg white, and sprinkle on the sugar. Note that the edge cooks first and fastest, and the egg while and sugar would cause too much browning.
  5. Manufacturing Note: Chef Jim prefers egg white to water for sealing the crusts together since water could produce steam which would pry the edges apart.
  6. Baking the Pie: About 1 hour in all, starting at 450 degrees F. With a sharp knife, poke four neat holes for steam release in the top of the crust - not the downward slopes where the juices could seep out. Bake in the lower level of the preheated over for 10 minutes, then rotate the pie a half turn and reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Continue baking 45 to 50 minutes more, until the top is golden brown.
  7. When is it done? The apples should be tender when poked with a cake tester or small sharp knife through the steam holes in the crust. Any juices that bubble out should be slightly thickened and clear.
  8. Remove the pie to a wire rack and let cool for an hour before cutting and serving.

Watch Jim make Harvest Apple Pie with Julia Child on PBS's In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs


Copyright © 2014 by Jim Dodge. All rights reserved under International Copyright.