Chatelaine Kitchen

How to make the perfect pastry for an apple pie

apple pie slice on blue plate

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We asked Chatelaine’s food editor, Claire Tansey, to show us the secrets to making the perfect pastry. There are quite a few tips, tricks and techniques to creating a fantastic pie crust so get your pen and paper and watch our video with Claire. She demonstrates her secrets with a truly Canadian apple pie, get the recipe below.

To watch Claire make the perfect pastry, click here

Apple pie with nutmeg-scented crust recipe

Rules were meant to be broken, even with Mom’s classic apple pie! We’ve embellished our ample apple filling with dried fruit and added a coating of maple syrup. Then, we enveloped the whole thing with a flaky crust that has a distinct flavor of its own.

Preparation time 40 minutes
Standing Time 30 minutes
Baking Time 1 hour10 minutes
Makes 8 to 10 slices


2-1/2 cups ( 625 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ( 30 mL) granulated sugar
3/4 tsp ( 4 mL) grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ( 1 mL) salt
1 cup ( 250 mL) shortening or lard
1 lemon
1/2 cup ( 125 mL) ice cold water
6 to 7 apples
1/3 cup ( 75 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup ( 50 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ( 2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 cup ( 125 mL) dark raisins or curants (optional)
1/4 cup ( 50 mL) dried cranberries, apricots or blueberries (optional)
1/4 cup ( 50 mL) maple syrup
1 tbsp ( 15 mL) granulated sugar


1. In a large bowl, stir 2-1/2 cups flour with 2 tablespoons sugar, nutmeg and salt. Cut shortening into cubes and work into flour until coarse crumbs form. Finely grate 2 teaspoons lemon peel. Sprinkle over flour mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Squeeze out 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir with cold water. Make a well in flour mixture and pour in lemon-water mixture. Stir just until dough forms a ball. Divide into 2 parts. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing apples or until ready to use, or up to 1 week.

2. Place oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 425F (220C). Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch (1 cm) wedges. You should have about 8 cups. Place in a large bowl. Stir 1/3 cup sugar with 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon. Stir into apples along with raisins and cranberries. Toss well. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate, leaving 1/2 inch (1 cm) overhang. Do not prick. Place apple mixture in pastry shell and drizzle with maple syrup.

3. Roll out top crust. Place on top of apple filling. Trim edges, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) overhang. Fold top edge under bottom edge and crimp. Cut 2 or 3 small slits in top of pie to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle top crust with 1 tablespoon sugar. Place pie on bottom rack in preheated 425F (220C) oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Without opening door, turn oven down to 350F (180C). Continue baking until crust is golden, apples are tender and juices bubble, about 1 hour and 10 minutes more. Cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrients per slice: 3.5 g protein, 19.3 g fat, 52 g carbohydrates, 1.5 mg iron, 18 mg calcium, 392 calories

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