For a lay cook, this pie rocks, right? I mean, look how awesome it looks? I thought beings I am going to make a Williams-Sonoma pie, I might as well go all out and purchase their pie crust cutters, too. I felt all pro-like as I laid each pastry cut-out on the pie. I used the leaves and then I thought the turkey would look so cute on it, too. Oh, and how about that acorn? Ya. I know. It makes me look like a pro! Pat-pat-pat (that’s me patting myself on the back).
But we all know the secret to pie is how it TASTES! I mean, a pie can look all gorgeous, but it’s the taste that’s the clincher. I tweeked the recipe slightly to my own liking–I used a mixture of apples to provide a tart and sweet balance to my pie…Granny Smith, Fuji, and Pink Crisp and I added more spices.
Can I just say that this pie crust recipe uses the most butter I have ever used in my life? I mean, it’s butter, butter, butter and when I thought I was done using the butter, it called for more butter. With all that butter, it has to taste good, right? I was soooooo right. The crust is to die for! Case in point…I was off running an errand and when I got home, nearly all of the pie crust was eaten off the top of the pie!! I was so freaking mad. I mean. Who would eat just the crust and leave the rest of the pie? Hmmmmm. No one fessed up to eating it. I guess the good part is, I KNOW t he crust is great!
Yields: 8 servings
For the Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dices
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 Pink Ladies or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
For the Dough
- Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together until well combined.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture and with a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal.
- Add 3 tablespoons of ice cold water and incorporate with the pastry cutter. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time incorporating with the pastry cutter as you go.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into two. Wrap each half of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 hours or overnight.
- Remove from fridge. The dough will be hard. Let it soften for about 5-10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the first half of dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inches thick. Fold the dough in half and then into quarters and transfer it to a 9-inch deep-pie dish. Unfold and gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Set remaining dough aside to use for leaf pie crust cutters.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other half of the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inches thick. Set aside.
For the Filling
- Meanwhile, make the filling in a large stock pot. Stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the apples are just tender but not mushy–about 20 minutes.
- Uncover and cook until the liquid has thickened and becomes glossy–about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature–about 30 minutes.
- Position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven, place a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the pie shell from the fridge. Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell; scatter the 2 tablespoons of butter pieces on top and gently lay the top half of dough over the top.
- Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and press the top and bottom crusts together to seal.
- With the remaining dough from both shells, on a large sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll out the remaining dough. Using a leaf pie crust cutter, make rows of cutouts in the dough.
- Brush the underside of the leaf cutouts with egg wash and gently press them onto the edges of the pie crust, overlapping the leaves slightly. Decorate as desired with the remaining leaves. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown–about 1 hour. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they become too dark.
- Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1-1/2 hours before serving.