Updated: Oct 5, 2020
I have always loved apple pie. I tend to veer towards flavors that are fun and interesting but there are times when the classics are called for and comforting. With the global shutdown for coronavirus confining us to our homes and lending an air of anxiety to our daily lives, I decided to bake up a few farewell pies.
Every September, a group of friends would head out to a farm in New Jersey and pick apples, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, beets, potatoes, and sunflowers. The days following would be filled with soups and pies. This year's apple harvest consisted of Jonagold, Honeycrisp, and (my new favorite!) Zestar apples.
The recipe is based on classic apple pie with a flakey butter crust and a spiced filling full of apple flavor. Cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, clove, and ginger are typical additions to apple pie, but I love to add some cardamom too for an extra layer of flavor. I use powdered freeze-dried apples which adds a vibrant apple flavor to the pie.
Freeze-dried apples in apple pie was something I came across in my browsing of recipes and was a bit of a revelation! It adds a vibrant apple flavor with just a hint of tartness. There is no alternative but freeze-dried apples can be easily found at supermarkets or drugstores. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Stella Parks. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the pie dough:
300 grams all-purpose flour
6 grams granulated sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
225 grams unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/4" pieces
6 tbsp ice water
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
Ingredients for the apple pie filling:
1 1/2 ounces freeze- dried apples
3 1/2 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 medium apples
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 ounces unsulfured molasses
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Instructions for the dough:
Combine flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
Add cold diced butter and pulse the mixture until coarse crumbs form with some pea-sized pieces then stop mixing.
Add ice water and pulse just until moist clumps or small balls form.
Transfer dough to a clean work surface, and gather dough together into a ball. Do not knead the dough!
Divide dough in half and flatten to form 2 disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
Instructions for the apple pie filling:
Combine freeze-dried apples, sugar, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cover with a sheet of plastic to contain the dust, and grind until powdery and fine, about 1 minute.
Peel, core, and dice the apples into 1/4-inch cubes.
Toss apples and apple-cinnamon powder together with a flexible spatula, then add melted butter, molasses, and lemon juice.
Instructions for assembling the apple pie:
Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out bottom pie crust to a 12" diameter circle. Wrap it around your rolling pin to transfer it to the 9" pie plate.
Add apple pie filling, being careful not to get the filling on the edges which would make it difficult to seal.
Roll second crust into an 11" round and cut into 10 even thickness strips using a pizza cutter. Arrange strips in a woven lattice pattern over the top.
Beat together 1 egg and 1 Tbsp water and lightly brush the pie with egg mixture.
Bake at 425˚F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350˚F and continue baking another 45 minutes or until apples are soft and filling is bubbling through the vents. Rest at room temp 1 hour before serving.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 1 hour minutes before serving.
Storage: Eat within 2 days if stored at room temperature.