Apple-Shaped Apple Pie
America’s iconic dessert is even more special when baked in Le Creuset’s bright red apple-shaped dish. Here we use a mix of crisp Granny Smith and tart-sweet Pink Lady apples for the best flavor and texture.
For the dough:
- 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
- 6 to 7 Tbs. ice water
For the filling:
- 3 lb. (1.5 kg) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
- 3 lb. (1.5 kg) Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
To make the dough, in a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and granulated sugar together until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 6 Tbs. of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other, and shape each piece into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger dough disk into a 15-inch (38-cm) round. Fold the dough in half and then into quarters and transfer it to a Le Creuset apple tart tatin 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.
On a large sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch (30-mm) round. Using a ruler as a guide, cut 10 strips of dough of varying widths, from 1/2 inch (12 mm) to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide each. Using a paring knife or leaf-shaped piecrust cutter, cut out 3 or 4 leaf shapes from the remaining dough. Refrigerate the lattice strips and leaf cutouts until ready to use.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large Dutch oven, 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 become glossy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Let the pie shell, lattice strips and leaf cutouts stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell and scatter the butter pieces on top.
To create the lattice, lay 5 strips of dough spaced evenly apart on top of the pie filling. Fold back every other strip halfway and lay down a strip perpendicular across the unfolded strips. Repeat to place 5 strips of dough evenly across the top, folding back the alternate strips each time. Pinch the lattice strips onto the dough on the rim of the pie dish to make sure they bake together. Brush the underside of the leaf cutouts with egg wash and gently press them onto the piecrust as desired.
Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 8.