Apple Pie with Plaid Lattice Leaf Crust

apple-pie-with-lattice-leaf-crustSometimes, I use canned pie filling. Yes! You’re shocked, I know…unless you’ve already read my posts on cherry pie and peach pie, of course.

Here’s the thing: fully scratch-made pies are awesome, but I’ve already made apple pie from scratch. And today, on Thanksgiving Eve, I wanted to spend time focusing on my crust, creating a beautiful, fancy lattice and interesting edge.

Behold, fancy lattice and interesting edge! I’m not the best crust designer, so each time I make pies now, I practice a new design. This time, I chose a thin plaid lattice of one-half and one-inch strips, then added a leaf border around the edge. I’m very pleased with the end result.

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts*
  • 1 20-ounce can apple pie filling
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg

*My pie crust recipe, which I learned from my mom, yields 3 crusts. If you’re not sure what to do with the extra crust, consider apple crumb pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, or pie crust rolls

Preparation

Mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and pie filling; set aside.

Prepare crusts; line an 8-inch pie dish with one and reserve the second for the lattice leaf top.

Roll your second crust into a rectangle at least 9 inches tall. Cut one-half and one-inch strips; you’ll need 5 one-half inch and 7 one-inch strips for this design, plus more for the leaves, and you should have plenty. I had a bit of dough left over that I’m going to turn into pie crust rolls later.

Pour filling into pie dish, then top with 7 strips of crust; start from the outside edge and alternate the one-inch strips with the one-half-inch strips.

Fold back every other strip halfway; place a one-inch strip, then a one-half-inch strip, in the opposite direction and fold the other strips back so they cover the new ones. Repeat as necessary; if you need video help for latticework, check out this video from Southern Living. Once your lattice is complete, trim your edges and fold them over to secure them.

Using a small leaf cookie cutter (I chose a teardrop-shaped leaf), cut leaves for your edge; re-roll your scraps if necessary. My edge used 24 leaves.

Gently press the leaves onto the edge of your crust, making sure they stick to the crust below.

Place a pie guard or foil around the edge of the crust; bake for 25 minutes, then remove the guard and bake another 25 minutes.

Cool pie completely, or serve warm.

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Apple Crumb Pie

applecrumbpie1Confession: as much as I love to bake apple pie, I don’t eat it. I’m not a fan of cooked fruit, except for my Aunt Liz’s skillet apples, which are kind of like apple pie filling. But when it comes to this traditional, all-American dessert, I always pass.

I’ve never made a crumb-topped pie before, but they’re a great solution if you don’t want to get fancy with your crust. This pie went into my office, and it was a big hit, especially around 2:30 p.m., when the post-lunch need for sugar kicked in.

Ingredients

For the crust

For the filling

  • 6 medium-sized apples, preferably a mix of green and red, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • About 1 tablespoon honey

For the crumb topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare pie crust; line a 9-inch pie plate with crust. I left my edge plain, but you could flute yours if you like.

Prepare the filling; in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add sliced apples and toss to coat.

Pour filling into pie shell and drizzle with honey.

Prepare the crumb topping; combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Rub in the butter (or cut in with a pastry blender) until the mixture appears as small crumbs. Cover filling with crumb topping.

Place a pie guard (or aluminum foil) around the edge of your crust to prevent over-browning; bake for 20 minutes, then remove guard and reduce temperature to 375. Bake for another 40 minutes, until apples are tender.

Cool completely, or serve warm.

Below, the pie is being divided up for my coworkers (next to some expense forms). 

applecrumbpie2

Apple Pie

This summer Mike made a huge career change, leaving the office world behind for the fresh air at Soergel Orchards, a local, family-owned farm market. Soergel’s is a fun place for both kids and grown-ups; if you live in the Pittsburgh area and have never been, you must go—not just for the experience, but for the produce.

Soergel’s has helped me realize why locally-grown produce is the best choice, both gastronomically and economically. Because local fruit and vegetables spend no time in transit, they don’t have to be preserved and waxed like their commercial counterparts. Taste-wise, there is no comparison—you haven’t tasted an apple, or a strawberry, or a butternut squash until you’ve had one from a local field. Economically, buying local keeps money in your community and supports families who work incredibly hard, doing what they love, in order to bring fresh, nutritious, high-quality food to your table.

The apples in this pie are Jonagold and Mutsu from Soergel’s orchards. Using two different kinds of apples, one tart and one sweet, adds an interesting dimension of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 9-inch pie crusts, unbaked
  • 6 medium to large apples, preferably a mix of red and yellow or green, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9-inch pie dish with crust and place on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflow.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Add apple slices and toss to coat.

Pour into prepared pie dish; cover with top crust and trim edges. Gently prick the top crust with a fork to allow steam to escape.

Cover the edge of the pie with a guard or foil to prevent over-browning.

Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover the edge and bake another 25-30 minutes, until crust is evenly browned.

Serve warm or cool.