Dutch Apple Pie

14 Oct

Before apple-picking season winds up, I’d like to share my favourite recipe for apple tart. This is the one I just did for Thanksgiving–the one I make every year for Thanksgiving in fact, because I’ve never been tempted to cheat on such a perfect pie.

Thick slices of Cortland or McIntosh apples give this deep pie a wonderful firm and tart filling, and cinnamon-laced butter and brown sugar make it rich and saucy.  The shortcrust pastry is as buttery and melt-in-the-mouth as shortbread.

The original, from The New Cranks Recipe Book, has a latticed top that never fails to draw oohs and ahs–even though it’s pretty easy to pull off. This year, though, I took inspiration from the “Fourth of July Blueberry Pie” in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and topped the pie with cut-out pastry stars. It would be beautiful with maple leaves too, or even overlapping hearts.

Let us know in the comments section if you have any other creative ideas for apple pie lids and decorations.

Dutch Apple Pie

2 kg/ 4 1/2 lbs tar apples, such as McIntoshes, Cortlands or Cox’s
50 g/ 2 oz butter
250g / 8 oz soft brown sugar

400 g / 16 oz plain flour, sifted
250 g / 10 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
50 g / 2 oz caster sugar
ice cold water

1 egg yolk
2 tsp water

1 heaped tbsp apricot jam, mixed with a little boiling water

1. Peel and slice the apples no thicker than 5 mm / 1/4 inch. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar (reserving 1 tbsp for later use), apple slices and cinnamon. Cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until some of the apple has dissolved but most is still intact. Remove from the heat and drain any excess liquid.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.

3. To make the pastry, place the butter, sugar and flour in a bowl and work lightly with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Bring the pastry together by adding a little ice-cold water. Set aside in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

4. Roll out pastry and generously butter a 30-cm / 12-inch round high-sided tin,and lightly sprinkle with flour, tapping gently to coat the tin evenly.

5. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry no thicker than 2.5 mm / 1/8 inch. Lift onto a rolling pin and lower into the tin, pressing well into the sides and leaving a 1-cm / 1/2 inch overhang. Prick all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until pale gold. Allow the part-baked pastry case to cool.

6. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out stars.

7. Add the cooked apple to the prebaked pastry case. Top with overlapping pastry stars arranged in circles from the outer edge inwards, brushing with water and egg yolk, beaten together, to stick.

8. Lightly sprinkle with the reserved brown sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven.

9. Immediately brush with apricot jam and water glaze, and serve hot or warm with vanilla ice cream.



3 Responses to “Dutch Apple Pie”

  1. Tihana October 15th, 2011 at 7:14 AM #

    Absolutely delicious pie! Excellent apple-crust ratio, the crust’s texture was soft yet chewy enough, and you used real butter! (says The Dessert Snob who had the honour to eat it a few days ago and who may try her own version decorated with fleur de lys or bauhinias! 🙂 )

    • Mira October 15th, 2011 at 10:11 AM #

      I am so jealous!

  2. signe October 15th, 2011 at 12:52 PM #

    Beautiful!!!! Starry, starry, Thanksgiving night!

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