Last Updated on December 7, 2022
Today, we look at the best way to cut apples for apple pie. We'll also look at the benefits each cut offers to the overall texture and flavor of the pie!
This will enable you to choose the best option for your preference or need. So, read on to learn exactly how you should cut apples for pies.
Why We Use Fresh Apples For Apple Pie
Fresh apples are hands-down the best option to use for making apple pie. Many people like to use apple puree or canned apple pie filling. But, neither of these gives you a fresh apple flavor or similar crisp cooked texture.
Fresh apples also allow you to choose exactly how you want to cut them. You can make a big chunky apple filling, beautifully stack apple slices to make a more decorative pie, or make a juicy half puree, half-mashed apple creamy pie filling.
It is entirely up to you. But, it's all possible when you use fresh apples. It's the first step in the process of choosing the best way to cut apples for apple pie.
You can have a look here at which apples have been voted best for making apple pie.
What Is The Best Way To Cut Apples For Apple Pie?
Now, luckily, there is no best way to cut apples for apple pie. Any shape, size, and even form of apples will work perfectly fine when baking these sweet treats. However, the shape and size of the apples will naturally affect how the pie bakes. It will also play a role in the overall texture and juiciness of the apple filling in the pie crust.
So, let's break down the various shapes you can cut fresh apples into and how they will affect the final pie. Keep in mind, that these are only the most common cuts for apple pie fillings. But by no means should you feel limited to these options.
1. Small chunks
Small chunks of fresh apple in a pie filling will give you a little bit of soft cooked apple texture and very sweet sticky sauce. This pie tends to be easier to eat and won't break apart as easily.
Because the surface area of the apples is large, more juice can escape the pieces. When it does, it blends with the sugar and flour mixture to create a very sticky sweet sauce during baking.
Small diced apples also allow you to get more apples in the crust and will help intensify the overall flavor.
2. Large chunks
Larger chunks are also commonly used. But, in our opinion, they aren't very functional. The benefits are that each bite of pie will be filled with a juicy cooked piece of apple. It also means you need fewer apples to cover the entire crust.
But, the downside for us is that it is a messy treat. The larger chunks prevent you from cleanly slicing through the pie without tearing the crust apart. It's also less flavorful and takes longer to cook fully.
3. Thick wedges
Thick apple wedges work better than large apple chunks. And, they give you the same benefits that the chunks do!
Because the wedges can be better stacked inside the pie crust, you can fit in more apple pieces. This ultimately means, more flavor! And, wedges also release apple juice much better, so can aid in creating a delicious caramelized sauce.
Another small benefit wedges offer is that they can create beautiful apple pies if you stack them right. They may not look as pretty as thin slices, but they are still visually satisfying.
4. Thin slices
Now, this method in our list of the best way to cut apples for apple pie is quite labor-intensive. It can be made easier with the use of an apple slicer for pie. But, it still takes time to manually slice so many pieces and stack them too.
Then why do people do it? Because this technique gives you the best an apple has to offer. It cooks quickly and releases a ton of juice to create that classic sweet sauce. It also keeps some texture even after it has been cooked, and naturally has a ton of juices too.
And, probably the main reason so many people love this cutting technique, is that it creates a very visually appealing apple pie. You can stack the apple slices in a circular pattern, in lines, or create other beautiful intricate shapes.
Now the next question is, how thin to slice apples for apple pie? This is also up to your preference. We prefer slices between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch (3-5 mm). Thinner slices will be softer, but juicier. Thicker slices will be crisper (more textured), but less juicy.
5. Mashed apple chunks
When talking about how to cut apples for apple pie, many people forget that some recipes call for pre-cooked apples. In this case, you can cut the apples into chunks and then alter their texture.
Mashed apple chunks are another favorite for people who love very juicy and soft apple pie fillings. Or filling recipes that contain some type of batter.
This is another method to consider as the best way to cut apples for apple pie. Even though it technically is an altered method.
How To Cut Apples For Apple Crisp
Apple pie and apple crisp aren't the same desserts. And unfortunately, for apple crisp, some cutting methods do work a lot better than others.
Apple crisps should be very textured, So, the best way to cut apples for apple pie doesn't apply here. This dessert needs chunky apples. And we'd recommend cutting them into ¾-inch blocks.
If the blocks are too small, you won't have enough texture. But, if they are too big, the apple crisp won't be easy to eat at all. So, something in-between is best!
We're sure that you learn a thing or two about the best way to cut apples for apple pie. And if you enjoyed this educational article, go have a look at our other informative articles.
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Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.