I love it when I get invited to a dinner party because it means I can make the dessert for the evening and it is so much more fun to make a pie when you can share it with many people!! I hadn’t baked anything in a while, with trying to eat healthier and all and I was so excited to make something with apples. I think apples are the perfect fall fruits (and pears of course!) There is just so much you can do with them in terms of desserts, and everyone enjoys a good old traditional apple pie.
I like my pie to be sweet with the apples more cooked than the traditional apple pie (or the American version of it). So, for my apple pie, I went with a more British version and I cooked the apples with sugar before adding them to the crust and baking the whole thing. I did not peel the apples just because the skin contains so many nutrients and I wanted the filling to be all “festive” with bright colors.
This sweet crust recipe by Jamie Oliver would work even better with sweet pies, I wanted to make my pastry without eggs so I used a more simple reipe. I thought the lattice top would take me a while to make but it was so quick, just 5 minutes and I was done. It wasn’t perfect but it looked really pretty! There are many different things you can do to decorate the pie, Martha Stewart has some great ideas here.
I also added some walnuts to the base before adding the apples. This was to make sure the bottom crust doesn’t get soggy and also because I love walnuts 🙂 They gave a delightfully nutty flavor and added a crunch to every slice, the next time I would toast them a bit, just to enhance the flavor even more!
I did not have time to click pictures of the pie so I asked G to do it and even though he claims to be a better photographer than me, I did not have even one decent pie picture (I might be exaggerating here ;)). Anyways, we also took pictures of the single piece of pie left over after the party. The host graciously let us have it for next day breakfast! Why is it that the last piece of anything is always the best?
Apple pie recipe
For the pastry (Makes two 9 inch circles)
- 12 ounces flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) ice cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoon ice water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
For the filling
- 6 medium sized apples, cored and sliced into 6 pieces I like to use a mix of tart and sweet like Granny Smith and Fuji)
- 3/4 – 1 cup turbinado sugar/or brown sugar/or any sugar
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and zest
- 2.5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces+ a little more for toasting the walnuts and brushing the pie dish
- 1 tablespoon five spice (optional, you can use cinnamon instead of the five spice)
- 1 cup of walnuts
- 1 egg, beaten
To make the pastry
- Whisk the flour and salt. If you are using a food processor, add the butter, sugar and the flour mix and pulse in second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- If you do not have a food processor, whisk flour and salt and add the sugar and the butter to the flour. Using a pastry blender( or your hands) evenly distribute and reduce the pieces of butter to pea sized pieces. Again, the mixture should resemble a coarse meal. The little pieces of butter melt and make the crust is nice and flaky.
- Drizzle the ice water, a little at a time, over the dough (not the ice!) and pulse in 1-second bursts until it just comes together. (Use a spatula or wooden spoon to bring the dough together if you are not using the processor).
- Turn the dough out onto a flat surface. Gather all crumbs and gently knead, just long enough to bring the dough to a ball. Do not over knead.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces and press the halves gently into discs. Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1-2 hours.
To make the filling
- In a pan, melt the butter. Add the sugar to the melted butter and bring to a simmer.
- In a bowl, combine the apples with the five spice (or cinnamon). Add the lemon juice and the zest and toss well.
- Add this apple mixture to the pan with the butter and sugar. Cover the pan and let the mixture cook on medium heat for about 10 mins. The apples should be soft but should still retain their shape.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
- Meanwhile,lightly toast the walnuts with the butter and then use a food processor to grind them (not too fine)
To bring the pastry+filling together
- Remove one dough half from the refrigerator. Leave it on the counter top for 3-5 minutes so it can be rolled more easily. Meanwhile, brush your pie dish with some butter.
- Dust your work surface with flour and get ready to work fast, we don’t want the butter int he dough to start melting!
- Remove the cling film and dust the top of the disc shaped dough with flour. Press down with a rolling pin and roll out from the center. The dough might feel a little tough at first, but after a few rolls it will be easier to handle.
- Carefully lift and make a quarter turn to the the dough and roll out again. Continue until you have a 11-12 inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. While rolling dust with flour as needed.
- When done, gentry wrap the dough onto your rolling pin and press it onto the pie dish . The edges will hang over the pie pan, we will take care of them later!
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Add the ground walnuts so they form a thin layer over the bottom crust. Next, place the apples (don’t add the syrup yet) on top of the walnuts. Then pour the syrup over the apples. I used all the syrup I had but if you have a lot left, be careful not to pour too much.
- Now remove the other dough half from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough into a circle in the same way as before. For making a lattice top and crimping the edges, I referred to this video.
- Brush the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle some turbinado sugar on the top.
- Bake the pie at 425 F for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 365 F and bake the pie for 30 minutes more, the crust should be golden brown top and bottom.
- Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool for before serving. This is the hardest part!!!
- Serve with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream. It is delicious even without ice cream
This apple pie is perfect for fall. It is easy to make but still fancy enough for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners, I can’t wait to make it again!!
I am entering this pie in the “love the pie contest” so come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Whirlpool and enter to win a new Whirlpool Range. I would love to see all your amazing pie recipes!!