Today’s post will share my Mum’s apple pie recipe AND how I used a store-bought crust with a show-stopping effect!
While you might be here to get my Mum’s Apple Pie Recipe below, the focus of this post is how to make a store-bought pie crust look fancy-pancy! It’s not hard and will make even your most “judgey” aunt’s eyes pop when she sees you walk in with it.
I’ve always loved my Mum’s apple pie recipe. Although it’s not a unique recipe, it’s a DELICIOUS classic! Not to mention that it makes me think of her, especially since I still use the recipe card she wrote out for me.
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Make the apple pie filling
You first, obviously, need to make the apple pie filling. I like to slice up my apples really thin but that’s a personal preference.
WAIT … I always forget, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
My Mum used to add just a bit of vinegar to the apples to keep them from turning brown.
The yummy part to add to the sliced apples is a simple mixture of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon. Before you add it though, take a teaspoon of it and sprinkle on the bottom of the glass pie dish. You can just set this aside for a minute. (I actually forgot to do it here, but I normally do. I’ll just have to do a RETAKE as it’s a great excuse for “having” to make another pie. Activating the “it’s for the blog” excuse, which comes in handy on a regular basis!!)
Now you can pour all of the cinnamon sugar mix on the sliced apples and mix it thoroughly to get all of the apple slices covered well.
You can now set aside the apple slices as you get the bottom crust prepared.
Adding the Apple pie bottom crust
First, on top of the cinnamon sugar sprinkles add a light dusting of flour on the bottom of the glass pie dish with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top the cinnamon-sugar with a teaspoon of flour.
Anytime I need to sprinkle flour, I like to put the flour into my sifter and then just tap the side of the sifter with my hand to create an even sprinkle.
Now it’s time for the star of the show! The Pillsbury Pie Crust … yes, a store-bought crust.
Funny aside, my boyfriend’s mom pointed out
that she makes her crust from scratch.
I’m sure I lost a few points as I used a store-bought crust
BUT the “it’s for the blog” excuse came in handy yet again!
Back on topic: Take the store-bought crust out and lay one of the crusts down into the dish. I believe the box says to allow the crust to get to room temperature before handling but I take it out as I get my ingredients ready and just use it when I need it. I’ve never had a problem doing it this way!
With your thumbs, press the edge of the crust dough into the side “dimples” without making the crust too thin.
Add the apple mixture and spread smoothly on the store-bought crust, which is another reason to slice the apples thinly.
As a last touch even though it’s naughty, dab small bits of butter over the apples. Don’t worry about the health aspects, it’s apple pie and there’s sugar and dough and butter and you’ll eat it with ice cream … and then you’ll exercise. This is the circle of life!
The Magic of store-bought crust design
I haven’t attended culinary school (haha, clearly) or even taken a baking class beyond middle school (although I’d love to one day) so I don’t know if I’m breaking any rules here. What I’m doing just makes it easy to make a fancy looking pie crust … even out of a store-bought crust.
What I know, is that a 1″ x 2″ piece of pie dough is easier to work with than a 1″ x 12″ piece.
So I chose a design that works with a bunch of 1″ x 2″ pieces. Today that pattern is herringbone. You can certainly do a lattice look in the same manner. Herringbone is simply trendier at the time I’m writing this post.
This means you first need to cut your second piece of store-bought crust into a bunch of 1″ x 2″ pieces.
I use my grid ruler in crafts, baking, and sewing!
It’s an essential part of my home toolkit,
definitely consider picking one up for yourself.
Lay your second piece of store-bought crust on top of the parchment. No flour is needed!
Starting roughly perpendicularly in the center, start cutting 1″ columns. The grid ruler and pizza cutter make this super easy.
The beauty of the grid ruler is that you can see right through it to line up each row.
It takes no time to have perfectly spaced 1″ columns with this technique. Just remember NOT to press too hard with the pizza cutter. You can do this on a cutting board if you prefer.
Once you’ve done all the columns, cut 2″ rows perpendicular to the columns. Again, the magic of the clear grid ruler makes this a no-brainer!
This is how it will look when you’re finished.
Assembling your store-bought crust pattern
Once you have all the pieces cut, you need to get a small bowl, pastry brush, and an egg white. The egg white serves as your “glue” in the same way that slip is used in pottery (I know, random analogy).
First, for the herringbone pattern, make an “L” with two pieces of the pie crust brushing egg white between the pieces. Start with full 1″ x 2″ cuts from the center.
Repeat this step, overlapping the ends.
As you get to the edges, you can start using some of the partial 1″ x 2″ cuts and fit them in best. It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle but you’ll figure it out. As they meet the bottom pie crust, press into the dimple.
You’d be in great shape if you decide to stop right here! (Doesn’t this make you think of Charlie Brown???)
IF however, you want to go for the extra points, you can use some of the extra pie crust and make an embellishment to add to the top.
I shaped some triangles into kinda-sorta leaf shapes and stacked them up. Seriously, the store-bought crust is SOOO easy to work into these little pieces.
Then I added some “berries” for the topper.
I’ll be honest, this did make me a little nervous as I was afraid they might burn. (Spoiler alert, they didn’t!)
Top off the entire store-bought crust with one more coating of egg white and pop this baby into the oven!
interactive baking experience
This isn’t one of those, set the timer and leave it, sort of apple pies. According to Mum’s recipe, it bakes at 450 degrees for 15-minutes and then the oven is turned down to 350 degrees. It bakes another hour at this temperature.
The top will start to brown. Keep an eye on it and when you notice it’s starting to brown, put a loose piece of tin foil over the entire pie. Keep it loose, you’re just trying to slow down the browning.
Now you can get a magazine, glass of wine, and enjoy the aroma that is filling the kitchen. Ah, I LOVE the smell of apples and cinnamon baking!
it’s your secret … the shame of a store-bought crust
Now seriously, who would ever think that this is a store-bought pie crust? Not that it couldn’t be. It’s just that anyone who can make such a fabulous looking pie certainly makes their own pie crust from scratch (cross your fingers behind your back).
It’s so good looking, that not a single person will dare to think it’s store-bought. Your creative talent distracts them from even considering this possibility! Genius, right!!??
All you need to do now is wait for it to cool down for about 15-minutes and add some ice cream! I prefer vanilla, although in the photo we used cookie dough. My sister bought it and it wasn’t bad (but not as good as Breyer’s Vanilla Bean).
Just seeing this picture makes me want to make another one!
Make sure you tag @AmericanSchoolofCharm in your Instagram photo. You definitely have to share your pie on Instagram. I know it’ll be that good!
Thinking beyond store-bought pie crust
If you enjoyed this post, you should take a look at some of the other recipes here on ASC.
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- 6 large apples (3 Granny Smith with either 3 Yellow Delicious or 3 MacIntosh)
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 cup White Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Pillsbury Pie Crust
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 Egg (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Peel and slice apples. Mix with vinegar to stop from browning.
- Mix cinnamon and both sugars in a bowl.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar mix and 1 tsp of flour on the bottom of a glass pie dish. (Prevents sogginess)
- Mix cinnamon sugar mix and apples together.
- Put 1 pie crust in the glass pie dish.
- Add apple mixture. Smooth it out.
- Dot with 2 tbsp of butter.
- Top with 2nd pie crust in your preferred design. Make sure there are slits in the top crust.
- Brush with egg white. (Optional for a shiny crust)
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15-minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees for 1 hour. If the top browns too quickly, place a piece of foil loosely on top and continue to bake.
- Take out of the oven and allow it to cool for 15-minutes.
Check out the post to see how to make this herringbone pattern on the top of the apple pie!
Amount Per Serving Calories 210Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 21mgSodium 83mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 3gSugar 28gProtein 2g