This deep dish apple pie comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum and uses a pate brisée shell for the crust and a concentrated apple syrup.
Not too long ago, my family and I went apple picking for our annual fall tradition. My husband and daughter both happened to have the day off, so we took the opportunity to visit the apple orchard during the week.
I was hopeful that we would be able to about the crowds, but when we arrived, we saw several large school buses in the parking lot. Yes – we had arrived just in time for several school field trips. As a result, we had to wait in a long line to receive our instructions and take-home bag.
However, the next 30 minutes was pure bliss. What I didn’t expect was that there would be literally NOBODY in the Fuji apple section. All of the kids and their families remained at the bottom of the hill to pick other apple varieties. I was only interested in Fuji apples, and I should have bought a lottery ticket that day because we were the only ones that climbed up the hill. It was a strange feeling, being the one family on top of the hill and overlooking the entire grounds.
Since it was still early in the apple season, we had a plethora of apples to pick. Normally, we go later in the season and have to hunt for apples by trekking to the very top of the hill. On this day, however, the hill was ours and ours alone.
We picked a peck of apples and returned home excitedly. Naturally, my husband asked for one of his favorite desserts – apple pie. I happened to see this recipe earlier in the week and was intrigued with the technique.
Rather than use a traditional pie crust, Rose Levy Barenbaum uses a pate brisée pastry crust. In addition, she uses the macerated apple syrup and cooks it on the stove top for a more concentrated apple flavor. It’s nothing short of brilliant. Word of warning: this pie is a labor of love and takes a lot longer to make than a traditional apple pie. But, it’s totally worth it.
My husband enjoyed this deep dish apple pie so much that he gave it a perfect score. Addie and I were slightly more picky and gave it a 4.5. I thought that the pastry crust was a tad on the dry side and would have liked it if it didn’t bake quite as long. But, it was a great pie and definitely better than the ones with the traditional butter crusts, which I always find is too thick for my preference.
Husband’s rating: 5 out of 5 (a rare perfect score!)
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Deep dish apple pie
Pate brisée (crust)
- 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter chilled and cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3-5 Tablespoons ice water
- ⅓ cup apricot preserves melted (I warmed mine up in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds) and divided
- 3 pounds apples peeled, cored and sliced thinly (I used 5 large Fuji apples)
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons corn starch
Make the pate brisée
- In the bowl of a food processor or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, combine the flour, butter, and salt and pulse about 8 times or until the mixture looks like small peas.
- Add 3 Tablespoons of the ice water and pulse about 3 seconds. The dough should hold its shape when you pinch it together. If it appears too dry, add more ice water, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly flour surface and knead until everything looks well incorporated. Roll it out to a 6 inch disc and cover in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
- Thaw the dough on the countertop for about 10 minutes and roll it out to a 16 inch circle. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Then, transfer the pan to your freezer and chill another 15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven o 425°F. Line your dough with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Add pie weights on top and bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Then, using a fork, prick holes in the bottom and on the sides of your pie dough and bake in your oven for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the crust starts turning golden brown. Turn the oven off but crack the oven door open. Let your crust sit in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
- Allow your crust to cool before moving to the next step.
Make the apple filling
- Brush about 2 Tablespoons of the apricot preserves on the bottom and sides of your cooled pastry shell and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Allow it to rest and macerate for 1 hour.
- Strain out the liquid and pour it into a small saucepan. Heat it over medium high heat and add the butter. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes. You should have about ⅓ cup of liquid. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Toss the apples with the corn starch. Using about half of your apples, arrange them on top of your baked crust. Then pour about half of the apple syrup on top.
- Arrange the remaining apples on top of the syrup layer. I layered the apples on top of each other in a circle in order to fit them all on. Drizzle with the remaining syrup.
- Cut a piece of aluminum foil and cover the top of the springform pan. Tent the top so it looks like a dome. Bake the pie in your preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the apples are tender.
- Remove the aluminum foil and bake another 5-8 minutes or until the apples are browned.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining apricot preserves on top of the apples and let the pie rest and cool slightly before serving.