I am very confidently not a good baker. In fact, right before I made this pie, I made some really awful chocolate chip cookies. This pie however, was so easy that even I could make it, and it looks like its from a pro baker.
Essentially, this is an apple pie, but pretty. It’s just a pie crust, and instead of just tossing the apples in, they’re cut thin and arranged like a flower. That may sound complicated, but the arranging only took five minutes for me, so it’s really worth it.
First, let’s talk about pie crust. It’s supposed to be really hard, but I think if you can be patient it’s not that bad. Again, if I can do it, so can you. The whole trick is just to keep everything cold, which means a lot of chilling and mixing and going back to chilling. Patience is also not my forte, but luckily there are things to keep yourself busy while waiting, which makes the time go much faster. Also, while I am a firm believer in feeling the proportions of ingredients rather than strictly following a recipe, baking humbled me in this opinion. In other words, be specific. Another tip is that if you have a baker in your family ask them for tips because everyone seems to have a different opinion on what works best.
When it comes to the apples, they look much scarier than they actually are. As long as you can slice them really thin, you’re pretty much set. Also, the ones you don’t use for the pie are delicious uncooked seeing as they’re pretty much just cinnamon apples. Make sure you’re mixing them in their marinade (if that’s the correct word?) throughout the time so they all get cinnamon flavored. Also, don’t get rid of the excess liquid because it’s used later on.
Let’s get to it! I was inspired by a Tasty video, so I will be using some screenshots from there, and I’ll link the video as well. For me, it was too fast which made it difficult to follow, and there was a lot of pausing and rewinding, so hopefully this article will be helpful!
1 and ¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup ice water
4 peeled and thinly sliced apples
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Leftover apple juice
¼ cup heavy cream
To make the pie crust, put everything in the fridge (yes everything) while you cut the apples. No mixing yet, just stick everything in there for a while. (More on the apples later.) Once you pull everything out, try to work somewhat quickly to keep everything cold. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, so the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut the butter and shortening into small cubes or chunks to the best of your ability and slowly start adding them to the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork. Add all butter and shortening in and mix until they are dry chunks. I chilled this for a little while, but that’s probably only necessary if you decide to mix with your hands. Slowly start adding in the ice water by the teaspoon until your dough forms into a ball. Do not knead in like bread or pasta dough, just get it to form together and leave it alone. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for one hour in the fridge or if you’re as inpatient as I am, 20 minutes in the freezer.
We’ll come back to the pie crust, but let’s do the apples first. Once peeled (I used a peeler but a knife works), cut them by chopping off half the apple, avoiding the core, the just going around the apple and chopping around the core, so you have four pieces (the picture makes more sense in this case). Now take each piece and slice into the thinnest possible half moons that you can. While peeling and chopping one apple, leave the others in a bowl of water. Once everything is chopped, empty the water bowl and toss your apple slices in. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients, so all the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix this really well, making sure to separate slices that are stuck together and coat everything in the sugar and spice mixture. Now let this sit while you make the pie crust or wait for it to chill. In my opinion, the longer you leave them, the better. Make sure to mix the apples around every ten or so minutes.
Now take the pie crust out of the fridge or freezer, place a piece of wax paper down on your work surface, or just flour it! Now roll out your dough, beginning from the middle and pushing out to keep it in a circle. You’ll want it to be very thin, so keep on rolling until you feel like it is the thickness you want. Now flip this into your pie tin and center it. Once it is laid fully in the tin, use a fork to poke many holes in the dough.
Now for the fun part, take the apples ut of the bowl and place them on a plate or in a different bowl, whatever you prefer. Squeeze the extra liquid out and keep that liquid! Begin placing your apple slices in your pie dish in the way flower petals look, in a swirl pattern all the way into the center. Bake a 375 for thirty minutes, covered with aluminum foil.
Finally to address the liquid we saved: we’re going to make it into a syrup, so put all the liquid in a pan on low-medium heat and get it to a simmer. Now add ¼ cup of heavy cream, which will cool it, so ge it simmering again for a few minutes until it is reduced. If it cools and you feel like it is to watery, just reheat it for longer. When the pie comes out of the oven, pour as much of this syrup as you want on, slice, and enjoy!
Here’s the pie I made before and after cooking:
This pie was really fun to make and to eat, so I hope you try it out. There’s also only a couple of dairy products, so it’s very easy to adjust if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant (I used vegan butter and heavy cream and it turned out great). I hope you impress yourself or your family with this dish this holiday season, and happy holidays!