It's not a legend. The Chopping Block's Apple Pie recipe was the first recipe ever created and taught here. Needless to say, I am a bit sentimental about our apple pie.
We opened the first week of April 1997 but did not start offering cooking classes until the second week. Even today, our customers are still not so enthusiastic about classes on beans, grains and quick breads. In fact, they were our first two classes that had to be canceled. But on Thursday April 10, 1997, I taught the very first cooking class called "Desserts 1: Sweet and Savory Pastry Doughs and Fillings". Our class titles and subjects have certainly improved, but the quintessential The Chopping Block Apple Pie recipe is exactly the same.
We had one customer that night, I remember her first name was Liz. It's sad to say after all these years I cannot recollect her last. The other two guests were my father Leroy and my mother Irene whom I’m sure many of you have met over the years. I was a bit nervous to make a pie for my father since my grandmother was a spectacular baker of pies. When my father tasted my recipe and declared that it was in fact the best apple pie he had ever tasted, I truly beamed with joy.
Our apple pie is so special to me, to my family and to The Chopping Block itself. Whether you choose to recreate the recipe at home or simply pick one up from us at Lincoln Square's Apple Fest or during the Thanksgiving holiday time, we are thrilled to be a part of your friends' and families' holiday tradition.
The Chopping Block's Famous Apple Pie
One 10 1/4” pie in a cast iron pan or one 9" pie in a ceramic pie dish
2 1/2 pounds Apples (Granny Smith or Pippin), peeled, cored and cut into1/2” wedges (approx. 3# before peeling)
1/3 cup All purpose flour
3/4-1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Fine sea salt
1 recipe Pie or tart dough
2-3 tablespoons Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
As needed Heavy whipping cream, for garnish
As needed Sugar, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375º (or 350º convection).
- Toss apples, flour, sugar (vary amount depending upon taste of apples), cinnamon and salt in a large bowl to mix. Let sit while rolling dough.
- Divide chilled dough into two unequal parts (about 2/3rds for bottom crust and 1/3rd For the top) Place the smaller portion of dough in the refrigerator. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll out bottom crust to ~1/8” thick, being certain to lift and turn the dough occasionally to ensure it does not stick. Roll dough onto rolling pin, lift, and place into the pie dish. Gently push the dough to fit the pie dish, allowing excess to hang.
- Add filling to the pie. Sprinkle pieces of butter on top of the filling. Remove smaller portion of dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 1/8” circle. Insert a knife in several places through the top crust to create vents. Place top potion of dough over filling and trim excess crust, leaving about 1” excess. Close crust by folding over and pinching excess or using a fork to crimp. Brush top of pie with heavy cream and sprinkle generously with sugar.
- Place pie on a baking sheet covered in parchment and bake until filling is bubbly in the center, apples are tender and top crust is golden brown, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Allow pie to cool before cutting and serving.
Pie or Tart Dough
Makes one double crust apple pie
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 2 tablespoon sized pieces
1/4 cup shortening, cold
1/3 cup cold water
- Put flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter to the processor and pulse mixture until crumbly and butter is in small pieces throughout the flour. With the machine running slowly add the entire 1/3 cup of cold water. Process until the dough just forms a ball.
- Turn out dough onto a work surface and form into an oval. Cut the oval in half and press the cut side of each disc down to form a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.