Happy Pi Day!
Hands down one of the best holidays, we eating pie all day. A slice of pizza before work, coming home to eat a slice (or two) of this delicious apple honey pie.
Honestly, I’ll eat pie over cake more. I KNOW, I sound crazy but you can make pie savory or sweet endless flavor options. I mean have you ever heard of Shepherd pie or chicken pot pie?
My number one craving is always hands down apple pie, cherry is great, but I like it when delicious cherries are in season. Apple is fun because you can combo the fruit any way you like, I always mix sweet with tart, greens with reds. In this case, I got some delicious Jonathan’s apples with light red skin and a mix of sweet-tart flavor. Paired these with some Fuji to make the apple flavor bold and a little sweeter. You can use whatever mix you want, whatever is in season.
To make the apple flavor really shine in the pie, I used a little bit of applejack because why not? A favorite trick I learned when I was 21 working in a pie shop. Making apple pies at 4 am, a whiff of that would wake me up. A little goes a long way since it is quite sweet. If you’re worried about using alcohol, you can sub in apple cider vinegar or go without any extra apple enhancement.
I hope you all have a lovely Pi day. Go out and eat all the pizzas and pies, make a pie for someone you love, or eat that whole bad boy straight out of the pan with a scoop of ice cream (I’m sure some of us have been there).
Pie Crust (makes 1 double crust)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, really cold or frozen
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 - 6 tbsp ice-cold water *
- 6-8 medium/large apples (your preference, mix or match all apples, I used Jonathans and Fuji)
- Half a lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp honey (I used Bee Local because it's my favorite)
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp applejack
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg, whisked
- Sparkling sugar (optional)
- For pie dough, in a food processor or large mixing bowl, put in flour, salt, and sugar and briefly mix.
- Scatter your butter cubes throughout the dry mixture and push the pulse button 10-15 times or until butter resembles the size of peas. Hand mixing, use a pastry blender and break it up until the same size.
- Slowly add in 2 tbsp of water at a time and mix your dough, add the remaining water and mix again. If it's still feeling dry, add 1 tbsp at a time. You should be able to gently squeeze and have the dough hold together.
- On a lightly floured surface, try not to knead the dough too much, we are looking to shape it together into a disk. Wrap it up in a plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to rest for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat and place it on the middle rack in the oven.
- Cut apples into thin slices and place in a large bowl.
- Juice half lemon over the apple slices and mix really well with hands or a wooden spoon.
- Add honey, vanilla bean paste, and applejack and mix until fully coated on apple slices.
- Add brown sugar, all spices, and flour, mixing one last time. Letting it sit for 10 minutes to soak up all flavor.
- Pull out pie dough and have a counter floured to roll out dough. Cut your dough disk in half, wrapping one half back up, and put it back in the fridge. The other half coated lightly in flour.
- Taking a rolling pin, start from the middle and roll up and down twice. Stop, taking a bench scraper, or quickly using your hands (they warm so don't use them too much) rotate it 90 degrees, and repeat the rolling. If you rotate it every couple of rolls, it'll spread out into a more even circle.
- Take your pie pan and turn it over, laying over the dough, it should have an inch or two of overhang. When the dough is large enough, gently roll it up over your rolling pin and lay it on top of your pie pan, gently and quickly using your fingers to press it in, no air gaps near the bottom of the pan.
- Trim any long excessive overhang of dough, leaving close to 1/2 inch of hanging dough. If this dough has softened up, put the pie plate into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool the dough.
- Place pie filling into the pie dough-lined pan and make sure it's laid in evenly, with no large gaps. Place pie back in the fridge to cool while you pull out the remaining unrolled dough and roll out your top crust.
- Once you've rolled out your top crust large enough, take your cooled uncooked pie out and roll the top crust on top. You can trim off some of the excess top crust.
- Pinch the bottom crust ends with the top crust to seal together then tucking it underneath right at the edge of the pie pan. You can do a crimping style or take a fork and seal it all around for a little extra design.
- Cut a couple 1" vents on your top crust, however you want it designed, this helps ventilate the filling so your pie won't burst or get too soggy.
- Whisking your egg, take a silicone brush and lightly coat your crust with the egg wash all over the top crust and edges. Top with some sparkling sugar.
- Place on the hot baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes. After that reduce your oven to 375 degrees and finish baking for 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden. When I reduce the temperature I also make some DIY pie crust edge covers to prevent the edges from burning. Use some tin foil strips and cover the edges.
- Take out and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
- Eat while it's freshly warm with whip cream, ice cream, caramel sauce, whatever floats your boat.
Pie can be very thirsty, depending on the freshness of your flour and the weather, you may need more or less water than what a recipe calls for, so add a little at a time, prepare to have more water near by just in case.