How Thomas Keller Achieves Mouthwatering Textures In Apple Pie

If you've been searching for the best way to make apple pie, you may want to try to put your ingredients together a little less perfectly. As told to Real Simple, Thomas Keller, founder of The French Laundry and Per Se, thinks variation is key when it comes to the size of the apples you slice for your pie filling. While you might assume uniformly cut pieces of fruit lead to a better bake, using both grated and diced apples will actually create a better-tasting dessert, according to Keller.

For home chefs who have battled soggy, sad crusts, this simple hack could be the answer needed for perfectly baked pies. "The grated apple cooks quickly and consistently, allowing the excess liquid to evaporate and resulting in an applesauce texture with just the right amount of moisture," Keller explains. And it isn't just the combination of the grated apples and bigger chunks of fruit that creates a flakier crust. When mixed together, these two types of apple cuts offer a tempting texture, ensuring your apple pie leaves a lasting impression.

Creating the perfect apple pie filling

When grating apples to include in your sugar cookie crust apple pie recipe, hold onto the core of the apple like a handle and use the larger holes of your box or paddle grater to shred the fruit. Thomas Keller frequently uses Granny Smith apples to make apple pies, as the firm, crisp apple variety offers a delicious tart taste that complements the sweet and buttery ingredients of the rest of the pie. 

In addition to making sure the crust of the pie is satisfyingly flaky, Keller includes an extra ingredient to the apple pie filling. "One technique I use for any pie that has moisture, from apple pies to cherry pies, is to add a little cornstarch to the filling," he revealed to Haute Living. "As the pie bakes, the cornstarch activates to help thicken and set the filling." With diced and shredded fruit, a bit of cornstarch, and sprinkles of cinnamon and sugar to your heart's content, your apple pies may never be the same again.