9011 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63144
Ph: 314-862-COOK (2665)
Store Hours
Mon-Sat 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sun 12 to 5 pm

Ask The Chef

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Yesterday, a customer called to ask how much flour she should add to canned apples to make apple pie filling. There is a better way. Here are some tips to make a scrumptious apple pie:

1. Choose a fresh apple that is good for baking. I like jonathons, jonagolds, or macintosh.

2. Do not overfill the pie plate; measure the fruit by filling the pie plate with the raw fruit. Do not prep more fruit than the pie plate can accommodate (otherwise, the fruit juices will bubble over and burn in your oven). My favorite pie plate is made by Emile Henry, because the unglazed bottom produces a crisper bottom crust.

3. Peel, core, and slice the apples. I like to use the apple peeling machine, which peels, cores, and slices in one feel swoop!

4. Sugar the sliced apples. Toss 6 cups of apples with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and let sit for 2 to 3 hours in order to draw out the water and juices. Strain and place the liquid in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the juices to 2-4 tablespoons. Fold the concentrated juices back into the apples. By concentrating the liquid in the fruit, the pie will be less watery and have a much more apple-y taste.

5. Thicken the pie. Please do not use flour as a thickener, which always tastes pasty. I like to thicken with 3 tablespoons of potato starch, which has a fine texture that does not mask the flavor of the fruit.

6. Finish sweetening the pie with 1/2 cup brown sugar. The color of brown sugar is important for the appearance of the pie.

7. Flavor the pie — cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg are popular spices. I like to add a tablespoon of apple liqueur.

8. After the pie filling is place in the pan, top with dots of butter. It’s always better with butter!

9. Be sure to brush the top crust with an egg wash (one tablespoon egg yolk mixed with one tablespoon water). The egg will make the crust brown and shiny and more appetizing.

10. Bake the pie until the top crust is brown and the filling is bubbling, which means that the starch has combined with the fruit juices. I bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let the pie cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Our next apple pie class is on November 23 at noon.