A Modern, Shortcut Take on Apple Pie

Making homemade apple pie is a right of passage. The trouble is, it takes hours and hours to make – most recipes require you to wait 4 hours before slicing into it.

Enter my shortcut: The open-faced, rustic pie better known as the crostata or galette. Both names refer to a free-form style of pie where the dough is folded up over the sides.

I personally love making this style of pie for a few reasons:

  1. It’s easier – No skill is required here to make a fancy lattice top or crimp the sides. It’s a simple foldover situation that looks gorgeous even if it’s imperfect.
  2. It’s faster – In addition to the extra step of having to put a second layer of dough on top, many traditional pie recipes require you to wait several hours before cutting into the pie. The free-form pie takes less time to put together and can be enjoyed shortly after baking.
  3. The crust-to-filling ratio is better – Most people like the crust the best, right? The crostata/galette offers a much better ratio of crust-to-filling, so it’s perfect for pie crust lovers.
  4. It works with any fruit – It’s so easy to swap out with any type of fruit for any season. 
  5. It takes well to toppings – It wouldn’t really make sense to drizzle a traditional pie with salted caramel, but it definitely works here.

In the video, I share how to make this shortcut apple pie from scratch, including the crust – which we all know is the best part! I find making pie dough to be so therapeutic, and I love making it 100% by hand with a pastry cutter. Meaning you don’t need any fancy tools or equipment, like a food processor.

I also share a few more tips for getting that deliciously flaky homemade pie crust we all love so much. I created this dough recipe to be around 1.5 times the size of a traditional recipe because I find that a more generously-sized dough works better for a free-form pie. This recipe will yield two generous discs of dough; you can freeze one to use later if you’d like. For more essential crust tips, click here.

And, one last idea for serving at the end that truly takes this one over the top. I hope you’ll give this a try – I promise, you’ll love it!

Shortcut Apple Pie

Shortcut Apple Pie (Apple Crostata) - Salt House

This is a free-form, rustic apple pie – also known as apple crostata (the Italian version) or apple galette (the French version).


  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, (cut into small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup organic vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, (cold)
  • 8-10 tablespoons iced water


  • 4 large honeycrisp apples, (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly-grated or ground nutmeg
  • A few grates of lemon zest
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, (beaten with a splash of water)
  • 1/4 stick cold butter, (diced)
  • Raw or turbinado sugar
  1. Make the dough: Place cut-up butter and pastry cutter in freezer to chill for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in butter and shortening using pastry cutter. Add vinegar and water and work with your hands until a smooth dough starts to form. (Use only as much water as you need to help the dough come together; adding too much will make your dough tough.) Cut into two equal pieces and pat into discs, covering each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl toss together sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes until pliable. On a lightly-floured sheet of parchment paper, roll the dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer parchment paper and dough to baking sheet and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove baking sheet from refrigerator and let soften for 2 to 3 minutes. Arrange filling evenly in the center of the dough, leaving a 4-inch border around the edge. Fold dough up over fruit, making pleats every couple of inches. Brush dough generously with egg wash. Dot filling with butter; sprinkle dough and filling generously with raw sugar.
  6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove and let cool before serving.

This dough recipe yields two very generous crusts, perfect for baking galettes or crostatas.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce.



A Modern, Shortcut Take on Apple Pie

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