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Susan's Apple Pear Pie

Apple pear pie
Putting dough top on pie

Learn how to make the perfect pie crust!

Freely use this recipe for your enjoyment, but please do not republish.

Pie making in the Wegman's demonstration kitchen at the NYS Fair.

  • I've made many a pie in my day, both professionally and for family and friends. I've also taught many classes on how to do so. We even gave a pie demonstration at the 2013 New York State Fair. I often have people tell me that they just can't make a good crust even though they have tried over and over to do so. My reply is that yes you can, and now I've made this video and accompanying recipe to help those who can't attend my live classes to do just that.
  • You'll notice that in my recipe, I call for pastry flour. This is a low protein flour especially produced for making pastries and other baked goods where you don't want a lot of gluten formation. This is the type of flour that commercial bakeries use to make pies and many other types of pastries and cookies. Because of it's lower protein content, not as much gluten will develop when you are making your dough. Excess gluten development leads to a chewy, less tender and less flaky pastry. If pastry flour is not available in your area, do not use a bleached cake flour as a replacement. However, King Arthur does have an unbleached pastry/cake flour that I think would work well. I give an amount of all purpose flour you may substitute in the comments below the dough recipe.
  • Pastry flour (like bread flour) is best weighed for accuracy. I highly recommend that all home cooks and bakers have an inexpensive kitchen scale on hand. Aldi often has them for around $10.00 and they work great. I have bought several to use in my cooking classes! Happy Baking!
  • I often make individual crostatas (tarts) which can be baked on a parchment lined baking sheet or stone. These were a very popular dessert at Polonaise Restaurant! You can fill them with a variety of fruit - just keep in mind that some fruit, i.e., peaches and plums, have a higher moisture content than apples and may need a little more flour. Here's a video demonstrating how to roll and fill them.

Pastry/Pie Dough Recipe

12 ounces Pastry flour*
1 teaspoon Sugar - optional
Dash Salt (optional - don't use if butter is salted)
6 ounces Cold butter, cut into pieces (1½ sticks)
3 fluid ounces  Cold water (6 tablespoons)
  1. Measure flour (sugar and salt) into a large bowl.
  2. Rub or cut butter with a pastry blender into the flour until pieces are quite small (like little flakes or pebbles). This can be done in a food processor with a cutting blade. Try not to let the butter melt. If using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl and add water as in Step-3.
  3. Add water gradually, while tossing the mixture with fork. If the mixture appears dry, add a little extra water, one teaspoon at a time. If it seems too wet (this is most likely to happen on humid days) don't add all of the water. If necessary, you can add a little more flour, but try to avoid this. On a hot day, use ice water.
  4. Gently shape the mixture into 2 balls of dough and flatten slightly. Wrap well and refrigerate until needed. May be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer for a longer period of time.
  5. This dough is very versatile and may be used for other tarts, crostatas and pastries. Just divide into the size needed before refrigerating.
*12 oz. of pastry flour is equivalent to about 3 cups, if the flour is stirred and gently spooned into the measuring cup (2⅓ cups, unsifted). If using all purpose flour, use the same weight or about 1 tablespoon plus 2¾ cups, measured by stirring first and gently spooning into the measuring cup and leveling off.

Apple Pear Pie

6 cups Apple and pear slices or chunks** (1 lb. 4 oz.)
⅔ cups Sugar (may adjust to the desired sweetness)
½ teaspoon Lemon zest (optional, but I love it)
2-4 tablespoons All purpose flour (depends on fruit moisture content)
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
one recipe Pastry Dough (above)
  1. Mix together all ingredients (except for pastry dough, of course) in a large bowl.
  2. Can precook and cool filling before use as a pie filling. Can also precook (in the microwave) a small amount of filling to test for consistency and sweetness.
  3. Roll out one ball of pastry dough and line an 8-9 inch pie plate as demonstrated in the video. Trim dough even with the edge of the pie plate. Fill with fruit mixture. Roll out second piece of dough and place on top of the filling. Trim to about ½ -¾ inch past the edge of the plate.
  4. Fold top dough under edge of bottom crust. Flute edges and press gently with fork. Make slits in the top crust and decorate with pastry cut-outs using milk for glue. If desired, brush milk lightly on top of crust for extra color.
  5. Bake at 400°F for about 40-45 minutes. Crust should be lightly browned and the filling bubbling through the slits.
**Use at least 50% apples for the fruit mixture.

© 2015 Susan's Cooking School