When you’re a beginner baker, differentiating between multiple types of pastries can be overwhelming.
Which pastry should you use for apple pie? Well, that’s a question many beginners struggle with, and the first step is to know the basic pastries.
Once you know more about them, you can have fun switching crusts and putting new twists on the traditional dessert!
In today’s post, we’ll go over the types of pastry that go well with apple pie.
Shortcrust, puff, flaky, choux, and filo are the main five pastry types to cover.
All of these call for three basic ingredients, which are flour, butter (or any form of fat), and water. Depending on the texture, some of them make the perfect crust for apple pie, while others don’t.
Let’s take a closer look!
Shortcrust pastry is versatile and works for savory (traditional shortcrust) flavors and sweet variations (Pate Sucree).
Not only is it made with basic ingredients, but it’s also made in a few easy steps that are hard to mess up, even if you’re a beginner baker. In addition, the dough is sturdy and can handle long exposure to heat.
So, whether you’re making an apple pie or tart, shortcrust is a safe option, but we’ll get to the details in a minute!
Puff pastry is a popular option, but it’s trickier to make than shortcrust. It’s made with thin layers of dough separated by a layer of butter, creating a flaky and light pastry that’s similar to croissants.
Despite being difficult to make from scratch, it’s easy to find in stores. Then, you can use the store-bought puff pastry to make turnovers, puff pastry cinnamon rolls, sausage rolls, or even apple pies in a pinch!
Flaky pastry has a texture in between shortcrust and puff pastry. In terms of preparation, it’s harder to master than shortcrust, and there’s one main risk.
The pastry can harden and become less flaky than intended. To get it right, you have to avoid overworking the dough.
Once you master the technique, you’ll be able to use it for pies, quiches, and turnovers!
Choux pastry is a different type of pastry and it has eggs on its ingredients list instead of just flour, butter, and water.
Plus, the dough is cooked twice, once while mixing the ingredients, then again in the oven or frying pan.
This process creates a puffy texture inside a crispy outer layer, which makes it great for eclairs, profiteroles (cream puffs), and chouquettes.
However, it’s not a popular pick for your typical apple pie.
Filo pastry is usually in the form of paper-thin sheets. When cooked, these dough sheets are layered together to make a crispy treat.
The making of filo isn’t simple. So, much like puff pastry, it’s better to get it ready-made from the store.
Typically, people use this Middle Eastern pastry to make baklava, spring rolls, or samosas, but it’s possible to use it for a modern variation of apple pie.
Yes, you can use shortcrust pastry for apple pie.
Both shortcrust pastry and flaky pastry are traditionally used to bake pie. Shortcrust, in particular, is a good fit because it’s less likely to leak or get soggy.
Shortcrust is one of the easiest pastries to make. To get started, assemble the following ingredients:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of cold butter
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup of ice water
After gathering your ingredients, follow these steps:
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and the salt together.
- Then rub in the butter until you reach a crumb-like texture.
- Add water (as needed) to the mixture and knead with your hands.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a disc shape.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for five hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, then press it into a 9-inch pie dish and trim any excess.
- Bake first or add your apple filling and bake for 20 minutes.
- Leave on a wire rack to cool.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The right amount of shortcrust from scratch depends on the dish you’re using.
For instance, for a 9-inch dish, you need to account for the 9 inches bottom and the sides. With this in mind, the pie dish will need about a 12-inch circle of dough or about 300 grams of dough.
You can also use online calculators to figure out the amount of dough and flour you need for any pie size. Just make sure to account for the upper layer if you’ll make a double-crust pie.
Yes, you can make apple pie with puff pastry, but it’ll be different from the traditional pie made from shortcrust. It’ll be flakier and lighter than the original apple pie.
On the flip side, puff pastry is an efficient substitute for pie crust because you can easily find it at the grocery.
First, you’ll need the following:
- A sheet of puff pastry
- Apple filling (which you can buy or easily make from scratch)
- An egg (whisked)
After getting your ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cut the puff pastry sheet in half and place half on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Put the apple filling on the pastry and leave an inch on all edges.
- On the empty edges, brush some of the egg to act as a sealer.
- Add the top half of the pastry and seal well across the edges.
- Then put the pie in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden.
Yes, you can also use filo pastry. However, the texture will be crispier than that of the puff pastry.
Use half of the filo sheets as a base for your pie and layer butter or vegetable oil between every sheet. Then put the apple filling (as in the puff pastry) and brush the eggs on the edges.
Finally, layer the rest of the filo pastry and brush the top with eggs.
No, apple pie crust is neither vegan nor gluten-free. Both shortcrust and puff pastry pie variations contain all-purpose flour and regular butter.
However, you can easily find vegan and gluten-free alternatives to make vegan shortcrust.
Alternatively, you could go another route and make an unconventional yet healthier pie crust like granola apple pie.
So, which pastry is best for apple pie?
Well, the most common answer is shortcrust, but you can also use many alternatives.
One easy alternative is puff pastry because of its availability and versatility. The result will be the same cozy autumnal pie flavor but with a different texture.
You also can use filo in a pinch or make a healthy variation of apple pie crust with granola and vegan butter.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.