The BEST Chai Apple Pie
Oh pie, it may even be one of my favorite desserts! Believe it or not, I actually used to really hate pie when I was younger. What was I thinking?? The flaky, buttery crust, warm filling, and topped with all sorts of garnishes. I have made a few pie recipes in my day and can definitely tell you the do’s and don’ts.
Most pies take time, but in the end it’s all worth it, so make sure not to rush it! You could end up with pie pile.
What’s special about this chai apple pie?
Pie is a showstopper no matter the occasion, but this pie is more special than most. There’s homemade chai spice! Just imagine the best apple pie and then filled with a warm and spicy chai spice.
Not only is the filling super special, but the buttery and flaky crust is what holds it together.
Having a pie taste good is one thing, but having it look good may be just as good. I know what you’re thinking, “How am I supposed to do that?” Making lattice on pie is easier than it looks and all the fanciness is just extra.
How to make the pie
- Make the crust. Let it chill.
- Slice apples and add your filling ingredients to a large pot.
- Roll the crust, and press into your pan. Freeze the crust for 20 minutes to keep it chilled.
- Par-bake the crust for 15 minutes until just golden.
- Let the crust fully cool before adding the filling.
- Next, add the filling and chill again.
- While the pie is chilling, roll out your extra pie dough and cut strips for the lattice. You can also braid some strands too.
- Place the strips over the pie, overlapping. Chill again for 15 minutes. During this time, pre-heat your oven.
- Brush the pie with a whisked egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar or Turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crust is dark golden.
Make Your Own Chai Spice
You’re probably like, “Another chai recipe???” Yes! Chai may be one of the best fall ingredients and this homemade spice is perfect in everything (almost 😉). Add it to cookies, pie, cake, muffins… literally anything!
Mix together these spices and add to a bag or jar to save for other bakes.
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 tbsp ground ginger
Now featuring: You vs. Crust
Sometimes it may feel like you’re in a battle with pie crust and always lose, but take it from me the “not so expert,” I have learned a few things over the years.
When it comes down to pie success, 70% of success comes from the crust because there are so many things that can go wrong. 30% is the filling because there are a few things to keep in mind, but overall, easy. I know right, who wants to make this now? Don’t worry, with these extra tips, you’ll be just fine.
- It is so so so important to keep your pie crust chilled at all times. Chill after you make it. Chill in the pan. Chill after you add filling. Chill after adding lattice. Sounds like a lot, but you seriously can’t skip it!
- Freezing your crust after pressing it into the pan will help it to keep the shape and not shrink in the oven. Believe me, we’ve all been there and then try to hide it.
- Brushing your crust with egg will help to achieve that perfect golden color.
- Keeping your ingredients cold is very important. Having cold butter and water will help the crust to form and keep its shape. You are going to mold it with your fingers, which will naturally warm it up.
- Par-baking is another very important step! After you brush the edges and bottom with egg, bake the crust for 15 minutes until just golden. This step just barely cooks the crust so that the edges will be firm before adding the filling. Don’t worry, it’ll bake again when we bake it later.
- Adding a few tsp of apple cider vinegar actually helps the crust to be extra flaky once baked.
When it comes to apples, there are so many different kinds. Gala, fuji, Granny Smith, Honey crisp, Pink Lady, Ambrosia, Golden Delicious… ok that’s enough. You can add any kind you like to a pie, it just depends on the flavor you are going for.
- For a tart apple pie add Granny Smith apples.
- For a tart/sweet apple pie add a combination of Granny Smith and Gala.
- For less sweet apple pies, lean more towards Ambrosia or yellow apples.
Perfecting the filling
There are a few different apple pie consistencies, gooey and thick, runny and sweet… I tend to like a more thick filling that keeps its shape, but I do like a little “sauce.”
For thinner fillings use more of the apple juices. For thicker fillings, you can briefly cook them on a pot with cornstarch or flour to help thicken it.
Keep in mind, you are going to bake the filling again in the oven, so you don’t want to cook them too long.
Secrets to a perfect pie
- Brush the bottom part of the crust too! This will help create a crisp barrier between the filling because nobody wants a soggy crust.
- Keep a few small chunks of butter when making the crust. I like to keep a few chunks of butter in the crust because when it bakes, it will be flaky, crispy, and buttery.
- Carefully placing the apples in the pan is a tip they never tell you. You will be pleased if you take a little extra time to carefully place the apple slices in the pan. Once baked, there will be fewer gaps and more thick goodness.
- Try to slice your apples as even as possible. You don’t want to have thick slices and paper-thin slices, otherwise, they could bake differently.
- Keeping your ingredients cold, especially in the crust, is VERY important! If your butter gets too warm when rolling the dough, pop it in the fridge. If you don’t, the butter won’t stay in the crust, it’ll just bake off and create a pool when baking.
- If your crust and extra details get too brown when baking, lightly cover with aluminum on the edges.
Patience is key
I know, you’ve been waiting all day for the crust to chill, filling to cook, and now you have to wait for the pie to chill too? Yes!
Let the pie cool after baking, then let it set in the fridge for a few hours. This will help the filling to thicken and everything to set up. If you cut it too early, the whole thing could fall apart and turn into a mess.
Creating the gorgeous lattice
I know, the lattice looks a little intimidating, but with just a few steps, you’re on your way to a showstopper!
Make sure your crust strips are chilled before adding to the chilled pie.
- Place strips across the pie going vertical. You can use different shaped strips or the same. I used some thick and thin strips.
- Fold back every other strip on the pie. Fold it to the bottom so you can start the lattice on the bottom.
- Add a strip going horizontal on the pie. Cover with the folded pie strips.
- Now, fold back every other strip, but the ones you didn’t just do. Add another horizontal strip and cover. It should look like every other strip is cover or not.
- Once the entire pie is covered, use the last little bit of dough to cut out shapes for the edge. I used flowers and leaves. Place the shapes on the edge and brush with egg and sugar before baking.
You can also braid some dough strips and add that as a strip to your lattice.
Here is a good tutorial video.
Troubleshooting the Pie
It sounds like there are a lot of things that can go wrong, but I’m here to help!
- My crust shrunk in the oven! – Your crust was most likely too warm before baking, you want to make sure it’s firm and cold. Don’t worry, you can cover the edges with some extra details.
- My crust is soggy! – Your filling most likely sank into the crust. Make sure to keep your crust chilled. Also, brush the bottom and edges with egg to seal it in and keep it crisp. Next time, you can also try par-baking the crust for a little longer.
- My filling is soupy and thin! – When you cook the filling, it will be thin at first but thicken as it cooks. Try adding an extra 2-3 tsp of cornstarch or flour to the filling as you cook it in the pot.
- My lattice is a disaster! – If you’re really struggling with the top of the crust, don’t worry about it. Roll out a 9″ circle, cut out some small shapes to create “breathing holes,” and lay over the filling instead of the lattice. Still brush with egg and coarse sugar.
Can I make half of it today and the rest tomorrow?
Yes! You can prepare the crust and filling one day ahead. Here’s what I’m saying:
- Make the crust. Chill. Press into the pan and chill overnight.
- Prepare the filling. Place in a Tupperware or bowl to store overnight. Store in the fridge.
- The next morning, par-bake the crust.
- Add the filling and continue directions as usual.
Bonus tip: If you have a little apple pie filling leftover, add it to ice cream, toast, pancakes, you name it!
For more of our favorite Pie recipes visit our:
- Key Lime Cream Pie
- Strawberry Jello Pie
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Slab
- Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Did you make this recipe? Let us know below or on Instagram @tuesday.treats or use #tuesdaytreats2016
The BEST Chai Apple PieCourse: Favorites, Pies and TartsCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Intermediate
There’s nothing more inviting than warm pie that you know is homemade. Warm filling, crisp buttery crust, and topped with a big scoop of ice cream; this is just what your holiday needs.
- Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup very cold water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups cubed butter, very cold (2 1/2 sticks)
1 whisked egg for brushing
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (raw sugar)
- Chai Apple Filling
6 apples, peeled and sliced (I used Granny Smith)
2 tbsp homemade chai spice *Notes
2 cups water
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
- Pie Crust
- Start by adding your flour, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Add the cubed butter chunks and use a fork or your fingers to mush the butter into the dry ingredients. Mix until a few pea-sized pieces of butter are left.
- Press the dough into 1 disc and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 1 1/2-2 hours until the dough is firm.
- Once the dough is done chilling, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/4″ thick. Roll the dough into a 10″-12″ circle. You want it to be a little larger than your pie pan.
- Lay the dough in your pie pan and gently press into the edges. Trim the overhang to leave 1″. After it’s trimmed, fold the excess underneath the edge to create a thicker rim. Pinch the crust edge to your pleasing. Chill for 30-45 minutes in the freezer until firm again. Save some extra dough for the lattice + decorations.
- Chai Apple Filling
- While the crust freezes, let’s make the pie filling. Add all your pie filling ingredients to a large pot and cook over medium heat until a small boil begins. Stir to combine.
- Once the mixture is bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cover for 5-7 minutes to thicken.
- After 5 minutes, your filling should be thicker than before. Let it sit uncovered at room temp and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 F.
- Assembling the Pie
- Once the crust is chilled again, brush the sides and bottom with the whisked egg. bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are just golden.
- Once baked, let it completely cool. Once cooled, carefully pour the filling into the pie and gently settle so there are no gaps. You can also individually place the apple slices in the pie and then pour the liquid on top.
- Chill the pie with the filling while you prepare the lattice.
- Slice the remaining pie dough into strips. I did a variety of thin and thicker strips. You can also braid some strips.
- Remove the pie from the fridge and begin to overlap your lattice crust. Add extra details on the border.
- Brush the top and edges with the remaining egg and sprinkle the sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for another 25-30 minutes. When it’s done, the crust will be dark golden and the filling bubbly.
- After the pie is baked, let it sit at room temp to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This will help the filling to set and not leak everywhere.
- To make the homemade chai spice, mix together 2 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp ground allspice, 1 tbsp ground cardamom, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 3 tbsp ground ginger. Reserve the remaining for other bakes.
- It is very important you don’t skip any of the chilling times. This could completely ruin your crust and pie!