We’re moving into apple season and superstar chef Thomas Keller has some tips!
His hot tip for baking the perfect apple pie is controversial. Keller says to incorporate both diced and grated apples into your filling. “The grated apple cooks quickly and consistently, allowing for excess liquid to evaporate and resulting in an applesauce texture with just the right amount of moisture. Alternatively the diced apple provides a textural contrast.”
When you consider how prone the bottom crust of apple pie is to getting soft and soggy from water leaching out from the fresh apples, this trick makes a lot of sense. Grated apples have significantly more surface area exposed, which means moisture inside the fruit is able to evaporate at a higher rate in the oven compared to larger-sized apple pieces. Combining the two sizes helps preserve the textural contrast between the crust and filling (and we all know a grated apple pie would be less than ideal). You’ll still be biting into a sweet, tender-cooked apple chunk—it just won’t be encased in mushy, limp pie crust. Keller recommends using a 1:1 ratio of grated to diced apples.