When it comes to baking I normally go for a tart or a crostata. Not a pie. Maybe because I’m Italian and that’s just what we do. Or maybe because tarts seem a little easier or a little faster to make than pies. In reality, the difference is only in the extra layer of dough covering the filling, tucked under the bottom crust and sealed with a fun fluted edge. The top is then glazed with a beaten egg, drizzled with crystallized sugar and cut with a few slits that allow the steam to escape the pie while baking. Not too hard!
That’s not all! I added one more step to the traditional apple pie recipe that will turn a great dessert into a mouthwatering delicacy. I saw this on the Joy of Baking some time ago, and thought it was a brilliant idea. While waiting for the dough to chill in the refrigerator, let the apple slices sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, coated in lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar. The apples will release a lot of their juice, so that they will not shrink as much in the oven and won’t leave a big gap in between the top crust and the filling. And wait…do not throw away this flavorful juice. Finish it with two tablespoons of butter and simmer for a few minutes until you get a thick, golden syrup to drizzle on top of the apples and cranberries. Simply delicious!
Here is my video recipe:
Ingredients: to make a 9 inch (23 cm) pie serving about 8 people
For the crust:
- 2.5 cups (375 gr) of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 gr) of sugar
- 6 oz (170 gr) of unsalted butter
- about 8 tablespoons (115 ml) of chilled water
For the filling:
- 2.25 lb (1 kg) of apples – I used two large Pink Lady, and 4 medium Golden Delicious
- 1/4 cup (50 gr) of brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (65 gr) of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- juice of half lemon, about 1 tablespoon
- 6 oz (170 gr) of cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 egg for wash
- crystallized sugar (for decoration – optional)
Preparation time: 45 minutes to prepare, plus about 2 hours inactive
1. Let’s start with the dough: In your food processor add the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse a couple of times until the ingredients are mixed together.
2. Add the butter (right from the refrigerator), cut in pieces. And pulse a few more times until the butter is cut down in small pea-size pieces.
9. Add the cornstarch and the cranberries to the apple slices, and mix.
10. Pour the apple/cranberry mixture onto the pie crust. Pack it with your hand and even it out. Drizzle with the syrup that you just prepared.
11. Helping yourself with the rolling pin, pick up the top pie pastry. Cut any excess pastry from the edges, making sure you have enough to tuck under. Fold the top dough under the bottom crust. All around the pie.
12. Seal the edges by decorating with a fluted patter. Using your index finger on one hand, push the dough through the index and middle fingers of your other hand, as shown in my picture.
13. Beat one egg, and brush the egg wash on the top and edges of the pie. Sprinkle with crystallized sugar if you like.
Serve warm or a room temperature…. maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream!
You can store at room temperature for up to a day, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.