Skillet Apple Pie

Autumn, Desserts, Pie / Monday, October 26th, 2009


When I think of apple pie, I think of that first bite of warm-from-the-oven apples mixed with buttery crust and freshly whipped cream. The smell of cinnamon. The zen of trying to peel each apple in one continuous motion.

Unfortunately, Jeff does not share this love. I might as well be offering him a tall glass of terlit water. But that’s OK, because he’s hot and he gives me free tech support.

So, when I need to get my apple pie fix – but I don’t want to waste the time and ingredients on a full-size, double-crusted, deep-dish, apple pie for one – here’s my solution: Skillet Apple Pie.

It has a simple crust that comes together quickly in the food processor and needs just 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

The filling is made by caramelizing the apples inside a large oven-safe skillet for about five minutes and then adding a cider mixture to thicken the filling and boost the flavor of the apples.

And assembling the pie couldn’t be easier. Just roll out a circle of dough and lay it over the apples in the skillet. No lattice to lace. No edges to crimp. You don’t even have to cut vents in the dough. Instead, take a knife and gently slice the dough into six squares. Then slide the skillet into the oven for 20 minutes.

Once the pie cools a little, you’ll be free to heave a slab of tender apples and golden-brown buttery crust onto your plate and dig in. And, if you can’t wait for the cooling, there’s always God’s gift of ice cream. Created to cool piping hot pie and appease cooked fruit-hating husbands everywhere. Amen.

Skillet Apple Pie

Adapted from “America’s Test Kitchen TV” (from the episode “Easy Apple Desserts”)

Serves: 6 to 8


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces), plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 6 tablespoons, (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water


  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds sweet apples and tart apples (about 5 medium), peeled cored, 1/2 halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

1. For the Crust: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add shortening; process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about ten 1-second pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until crumbs are no larger than peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Pulse until dough comes together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if necessary. Turn dough out onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 4-inch disk. Wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling out. (If dough is refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)

2. For the Filling: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (between 7 and 9 inches from heating element), and heat oven to 500 degrees F. Whisk cider, syrup, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon (if using) together in medium bowl until smooth. Heat butter in 12-inch heatproof skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add apples and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times until apples begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add cider mixture, and gently stir until apples are well coated. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. To Assemble and Bake: Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface into 11-inch circle. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin, and unroll over apple filling. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. With sharp knife, gently cut dough into 6 pieces by making 1 vertical cut followed by 2 evenly spaced horizontal cuts (perpendicular to first cut). Bake until apples are tender and crust is a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes; serve.

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16 thoughts on “Skillet Apple Pie

  1. I am digging this recipe. One could substitute almost anything for this, right? Nectarines, pears, or any other hard stone fruit would work in this as well. Great job!

  2. This is just the type of dessert I need in my repertoire, something that can bake up on its own while eating dinner. Apple desserts are always my favorite anyhow, so this seems like a match made in heaven.

  3. Sounds yummy and certainly easy enough for those of us who are pastry challenged.

    Btw, my honey gets away with a lot due to his sexy blue eyes. :)

  4. oh my, I can definitely get my fix of apple pie this way. This might actually work out better because I love apple pie filling more than the crust.

  5. Ha. Another hater of the dreaded cooked fruit! But, this looks good enough to make me change my ways – almost.

  6. So this is essentially an Americanized tart tatin, but with more fun stuff in the apples. And one doesn't have to suffer the pain of neatly arranging the apples or flipping the damned thing over.

    It's a stroke of genius that will benefit the lazy among us– myself included.

  7. This looks amazing! I love apple pie but I'm lazy and don't always want to deal with the hassle of making 2 crusts and forming a pie. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. This looks really good. I better forget about it right away. If I don't, there is just not enough time between completion and depletion…am thinking one girl should not be left alone with one skillet pie. Unless, of course, one skillet pie requires the rule that it ONLY be made when a teen or two and a husband are around to swoop down before the girl gets much of a chance. Yep, stealing this one and the new rule accompanying it for here.

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