I used three renowned chefs’ recipes to make apple pie, and the simplest was the best.

To make the perfect apple pie, I experimented with recipes from Gordon Ramsay, Ree Drummond, and Alton Brown. Compared to Brown’s, which required a full day of preparation, baking, and chilling, Ramsay’s was the most straightforward to create. My favorite pie was Drummond’s creamy caramel-filled pie, which is ideal to prepare for Thanksgiving and the fall. Join Morning Brew to receive the greatest tips for living more wisely. Thank you for registering! Since I don’t have a go-to apple pie recipe, I chose to test some from Alton Brown, Ree Drummond, and Gordon Ramsay.

APPLES CARAMELIZED IN RAMSAY’S PIE RECIPE

For many pie recipes, you may just add the raw apples on the crust after tossing them with spices, lemon juice, some flour, and sugar. As they bake, the apples will soften. But by first caramelizing the apples, Ramsay’s apple pie gives the filling depth.

It has a straightforward pastry crust with a sweet-tart flavor, as well as bitter apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and egg wash.

THE CRUST GAVE ME SOME PROBLEMS, BUT THIS WAS THE EASIEST PIE TO MAKE

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All of the ingredients for the pie are common household items, and it came together quickly.
In a food processor, I first creamed butter and sugar together. To make the crust, I combined an egg and all-purpose flour.

I put the dough onto a floured cutting board to knead it once it began to stick together. I gave it a light roll and covered it in plastic to cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

I worked on caramelizing the apples for the filling while the pie shell chilled. I sprinkled them with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg before heating some butter in a pan.

To prevent the pan from getting too full, I fried half the apples at a time.
I cooked them in batches for around 10 minutes. They had a wonderful scent that permeated my entire apartment.
I took the dough out of the refrigerator after 30 minutes, divided it in two, and rolled out one portion on a floured surface.
The crust broke when it was time to lift it into a tin.
Fortunately, the top crust rolled out and wasn’t too spotty or damaged once I was able to patch it up.
The pie was then baked for around 40 minutes after the top crust was sugared and egg wash was applied.
THE PIE WAS GREAT AND LOOKED BETTER THAN I EXPECTED, DESPITE THE CRUST PROBLEMS

Although the caramelized juices did spill out a little along the edges, making some areas especially crunchy and challenging to cut through, the crust was crisp and flaky overall.

The apple filling had a great flavor and was oozy and thick.

The only thing I would change is to add additional apples to the filling. The other recipes I tested contained seven or eight apples instead of the four that Ramsay’s recipe called for.

DRUMMOND’S APPLE PIE HAD A LONG LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND A CRUMBLY TOPPING.

The crust, filling, and topping of Drummond’s recipe for caramel-apple pie each have a lengthy list of components.
The filling in this recipe is made with Granny Smith apples, but the amount of butter and shortening required stands out.

Twelve tablespoons of butter and almost a cup of vegetable shortening, sometimes known as lard, are used to make the crust dough. An additional stick and a half of butter are used for the topping.

THE MAKING OF THIS PIE TOOK A COUPLE OF HOURS

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Despite the lengthy ingredient list, making this pie was rather simple and quick.

I started by making the crust, and as I didn’t have a pastry cutter, I had to use my fingers to incorporate the butter and shortening into the flour and spice mixture.

I divided it in half, made two dough balls, and placed each one in a plastic bag before storing them. I slightly rolled each ball out to make it simpler to handle later. While I made the filling, I placed them in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

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Making the filling was simple. It only required that I mix the diced apples with the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon juice.

One dough ball, which was simple to roll out, was taken out of the freezer. It transferred effortlessly to the pie tin and didn’t stick to the cutting board or rolling pin.

I kept the remaining pie dough in the freezer and subsequently made a second pie because the recipe creates enough for two pies.
The pie filling was next added, and I got to work on the crumble topping.

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Again, I had to use my hands to incorporate the butter into the flour for the topping before adding the brown sugar, a tiny bit of salt, and the oats.

The pie received the topping, and I baked it for an hour.

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The pie dripped quite a little while it baked, so I’m glad I placed a baking sheet on the lowest shelf of my oven.

I covered the crust with pecans after an hour and cooked it for an additional five minutes. I drizzled a quarter of a jar of prepared caramel sauce over it after it was removed from the oven.

I made a second of this delicious pie because it was so buttery and sugary.
Unfortunately, the warm pie completely crumbled into an apple crumble when I cut into it. Still, it had a fantastic flavor.

Although the bottom crust wasn’t at all mushy, the apples couldn’t be supported by it because of how flaky it was. When I sliced cold slices of the pie that I had chilled, each piece remained intact.

The crust included additional spices that kept it delicious and made it very buttery and flaky.

The crisp topping stood in wonderful contrast to the softer apples. For my partner, who is allergic to nuts, I baked a second pie with the leftover crust; the topping was still quite crispy.

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This pie may be a little bit too rich thanks to the additional caramel on top, but it’s still really, really excellent.
I liked it both basic and dressed up. It always satisfied my needs.

A DIFFICULT TO FIND SPICE AND A SHORTCRUST ARE BOTH FEATURES OF BROWN’S SWEET AND SPICY PIE

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Although the ingredients for Brown’s apple pie are fairly commonplace, I did had to order the grains of paradise for the filling online because none of the grocery stores in my area sold them.

Butter, shortening, flour, sugar, salt, and one unexpected ingredient—apple brandy—make up the crust.
Various kinds of apples, salt, sugar, apple jelly, apple cider, lime juice, and tapioca flour were also added in the filling.

7 THIS PIE IS AN ALL-DAY EVENT
The brandy, butter, and shortening for the pie crust were first chilled for an hour in the refrigerator.
After it had cooled, I followed the recipe’s instructions and began preparing the crust in the food processor.

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I cut the dough in half when it was done, wrapped each piece, and chilled them for a few hours in the refrigerator. The dough should be chilled for at least an hour and possibly all night, according to the recipe.

I cut the apples into wedges and added sugar to them.

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It took me an hour and a half to let them drip over a basin. The juice was reduced to around 2 tablespoons by cooking it on the stove.

The top crust was torn by this combination, which was intended to take the place of an egg wash but was too sticky. I could only apply a very small quantity to the pie’s top.

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I combined the apples with the newly ground grains of paradise, which were difficult to crush, tapioca flour, sugar, apple jelly, apple cider, lime juice, and the draining apples.

Rolling out the dough was fairly easy, and it held together as I put it in the pie tin. I positioned a pie bird in the middle and then arranged the apples inside.

The second piece of pie crust was used as the top, and I crimped the edges.
The reduced apple juice was breaking the crust when I tried to brush it on, so I abandoned up.
After 20 minutes on the lower rack, I baked the pie for another 30 minutes on the bottom of the oven.
Midway through baking, I had to cover the sides with foil since they were browning too quickly.
The hardest aspect was waiting at least four hours before cutting into the pie.
I felt that the filling and the crust were both a little bland.

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I was prepared to enjoy the pie after spending hours chilling the dough, draining the apples, and cooling the pie.
But it fell short of my expectations. The crust was a little bit overcooked and dry.
The apple flavor in the core was the only flavor present. The grains of paradise gave no indications of being spicy.
For additional flavor, I would have enjoyed more spices like nutmeg or cinnamon.
This pie was the most time-consuming overall, and I wouldn’t make it again.

RAMSAY’S RECIPE IS MY NEW GO-TO, BUT I’D MAKE DRUMMOND’S APPLE PIE AGAIN.

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Drummond’s caramel-apple pie is undoubtedly excellent because it is made with a lot of butter and sugar. I intend to prepare it for many Thanksgiving and fall dinners in the future because it is rich and decadent.

I would use Ramsay’s recipe once more, although I would double the amount of apples for the filling if I wanted a traditional pie with crust rather than a crumble topping.

Both of these pies came out really well for handcrafted works of art and were rather simple to make.
Click to view the other celebrity chef recipes we have so far compared side by side.

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