In case you were wondering, I am a sucker for slightly fussy things. Not fussy like little paper wrappers on the ends of bones, but more fussy like process-intensive ways of cooking things for the ultimate in reliable and great end result. As such, I use the Serious Eats apple pie recipe. The trademark of this recipe, besides using the right kind of apples, is parcooking the filling to set the apple’s pectin, resulting in a firmer and more robust filling. It works. Their base recipe calls for pouring boiling water over the apples to bring them to 160 degrees, but I’ve never been much for adding water to my pie fillings, and I have the equipment to hold the apples at a steady 155 for an hour, so I vacuum packed my apple slices with a little apple cider, and sous vide cooked them for an hour at 155. After draining the extraneous cider off of them, I mixed in the other filling ingredients (I made 2 pies worth, I hate going to all of the effort and mess of making pies only to make one, so I made a second one for the freezer), and filled the crust, baked off the pie, and we ate it for Thanksgiving the next day. As you can see, the filling did not shrink, I don’t have a big gap between my top crust and the filling, and the apples are firm, appley, and bright.