If there is anything I love about fall out other than cozy outfits, it’s FOOD. Don’t get me wrong – summer barbeques are fun and all… But no season has food that brings a sense of comfort and warmth into your home like the fall does. Maybe winter, but that is besides the point. The point I am making is fall is the best season because of one of it’s most iconic food… Apple pie.
You could argue that pumpkin pie is more iconic, but to me, that is more of a Thanksgiving dinner recipe. Plus, pumpkin pie doesn’t even have actual pumpkin in it! If you didn’t know that and this blew your bubble, I apologize. On the other hand, apple pie has… Well, apples.
Today, I am going to share with you not just any apple pie recipe, but one with a Tejada twist. A twist that is so unique that you may be skeptical of some of the ingredients. But trust me, this will change your life (for the better, I hope).
The Apple of My Pie
Traditionally, apple pie is made Granny Smith apples. Some may argue they are supposed to be made with Jonagolds apples or Golden Delicious apples… I say choose whatever you like because this is a free world, am I right? All jokes aside, it is best to choose crisp apples that have a sweet-tart to tarty flavor.
In my case, I like to choose whatever is available at the local farmer’s market or apple picking orchard. Here in Northern Virginia, Mike and I picked out these Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples at Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse in Timberville, VA. If you aren’t sure what to choose, I recommend asking a staff member at your local market or orchard. They would definitely know better than I!
Baking tip: Make sure to choose uniform size apples as well as slices that are 1/4 inch thick. That way, you will have a consistent crunchy, soft texture throughout your pie. Also, make sure to use a lot of apples – apple pies can surprisingly hold more than you think.
The Pie Crust
If you’re like me, you like to keep things easy and simple. For example, the pie crust in this recipe is actually going to be store bought. Why? Cause homegirl ain’t got time!
Now don’t get me wrong, homemade pie crust is definitely better. However, for the sake of time and simplicity, I will be using store bought crusts. If you want to make a homemade pie crust, I highly recommend using Sally’s Homemade Buttery Flaky Pie Crust. Sally is an all-time favorite baker of mine since middle school and her recipes have yet to fail me.
Baking tip: Take our your store bought crust out of the fridge while you prepare everything! If it is too cold, it may break while you roll it out.
Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice
For my recipe, I have the usual apple pie ingredients like brown sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon for spice. So what exactly am I adding that is going to make you cock your head?
Yes, you read that right. Black pepper. This came from a peach cobbler recipe I adapted for a potluck dinner last year during Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint where I got this tip, but this tip changed the game for me. Since then, I’ve been using black pepper in baking recipes to bring out a tasteful smokiness that is absolutely delightful.
Before you call me crazy, I’ll have you know that you will not use an insane amount of black pepper. You’ll use just enough to create a more complex tasting profile that enhances this iconic baked good. So fret not, you will not destroy this fall favorite.
Apple Spice Pie Recipe
Apple Spice Pie Ingredients
- 6 medium Granny Smith or Golden Delicious Apples, sliced (if you are working with a smaller pie dish like 9″, you may only need 4)
- 2 tbsp of cornstarch
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (try to avoid pre-ground pepper)
- 1/2 stick of butter, cubed and room temperature (cube while cold)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 store bought pie crusts
Apple Spice Pie Method
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Once heated, roll out one pie crust in the bottom of your pan and trim accordingly. Place a weight on top and bake in the oven.
- Take out the second pie crust and leave at room temperature while preparing the filling.
- In a large bowl, combine apples, cornstarch, brown sugar, honey, lemon juice, allspiace, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, black pepper, and salt.
- Once combined, add in butter and evenly distribute throughout the mix.
- Take out the crust from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Gently place apple pie mix into the crust.
- Roll out your second crust, lay it on top of your pie and trim. Or have fun with it and make a messy lattice like I did as seen in my photo!
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Afterwards, remove the foil, bring down heat to 350°F and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the apples are nice and soft.
- Let it cool before cutting and enjoy with vanilla bean ice cream!