Apple Pie with a Twist
I have had a craving for a classic apple pie for weeks, so I finally hunkered down for an evening of baking. I should start off by saying that I am a crust person. There are two types of people – crust people and filling people. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good filling, but you can’t go wrong with a thick, flakey double crust. I found the crust recipe on a trusty food blog called The Kitchn and only altered the baking directions slightly. This crust is hands down my favorite and most successful homemade crust thus far in my baking adventures. I owe much of this success to the discovery of aluminum pie pans, which was advice also from The Kitchn. The aluminum pan is a better heat conductor, therefore yielding a flaky golden crust and preventing a gooey mess! However, if you do not have an aluminum pan, any other 9-inch pie pan will do.
Ever since my first taste of apple pie with crystalized ginger, I knew I had to incorporate it into my own. The tart cherries and ginger provide a little zing of flavor and the lemon brightens up the sweetness of the apples. Since I am on a mission to decrease my sugar consumption, I decreased the amount of sugar in the filling and I certainly don’t miss it! For more tips on cutting down your sugar intake, check out this post!
As you can see, I am very happy with this pie! It didn’t even make it to the morning for natural light to take pictures…
Crust recipe from The Kitchn and filling adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Makes one 9-inch pie
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter
- 12 1/2 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup ice water
- 5 – 6 tart apples (I used a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp) (about 6 cups)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, not packed (I used sucanat)
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries (i.e. Montmorency cherries)
- 3 Tablespoons chopped crystalized ginger
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and put in freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Pulse flour and salt in food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until butter is the size of small peas.
- Add 1/2 cup ice water and pulse until just combined. Then add ice water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between, until the dough begins to clump together. Most of the dough should hold together when pressed between fingers.
- Take dough out of food processor and form a ball. Divide in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Flatten each mound slightly so the dough will cool faster. Place in freezer for at least one hour.
- Peel, core, and slice each apple into thin slices.
- Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Mix apples, flour mixture, cherries, ginger, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. I like to use my hands for this part as it’s easier to combine everything evenly.
Put it all together!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll out one of dough mounds on a floured surface until it’s several inches wider than the pie pan. Line pie pan (preferably a 9-inch aluminum pan) with dough.
- Roll out second dough mound. Fill pie with apple filling and cover with dough. Crimp edges with a fork and cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender.
*For a top crust only, make 1/2 the crust recipe