Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Apple Pie Covered with Leaves

Apple Pie Covered with Leaves

For this pie, use Braeburns, Empires, Jonathans, Jonagolds, or Northern Spy apples.

Serves 8

2 disks Butter Pie Dough
5-6 firm, tart apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. table salt
1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut up

To make pie crust and decorative top:

On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough disks into a 12-inch round that's 1/8 inch thick (trim and edge to check the thickness). Fold the dough in half, ease it into a 9-inch pie pan, and unfold it. Press the dough up the sides and over the rim of the pan, and trim it to the outer edge. Chill the dough while you cut out the leaves.

Pat the scraps into the bottom of the second disk and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick (the shape doesn't matter). With a paring knife or a leaf cutter, cut out as many 2x1-1/2 inch leaves as you can, veining them with a dull edge paring knife, if you like. Pat the scraps together, roll out the dough again, and cut out more leaves. You will need 45 to 55 leaves to cover the pie ( You can make smaller or larger leaves, if you like; you'll need more or fewer leaves accordingly). Set the leaves aside in a cool place (but not the refrigerator).

To make the filling and bake:

Peel, quarter, and core apples. Cut them into 1/4-inch slices to get 7 cups. Put the apples in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss gently and layer the apples into the pie shell, tucking in any apples to create an even, smooth dome. Dot the apples with large flecks of butter. Starting at the rim of the pan, stick the dough leaves on the crust and apples, using a little water on the bottom of the leaves to help them adhere. You needn't press the leaves together; they will seal during baking. Continue to overlap the leaves in concentric circles towards the middle of the pie, minimizing the overlapping areas.

Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 15 min. Meanwhile, position two racks to the lower third of the oven, set a foil-lined baking sheet on the lowest rack (to catch any drippings from the pie), and heat the oven to 350.

Bake the pie on the second-lowest rack until the crust is deep golden all over and the apples are tender when pierced with a long thin knife blade, 60 to 80 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before serving so the juices have a chance to set up and the filling won't be runny. Serve at room temperature or refresh briefly in a 400 degree oven to warm the crust.

This pie was time intensive but made a beautiful and delicious pie. The butter crust with the tart apples was a wonderful combination. It didn't last longer than 2 days in my house! If you don't want to get that involved, just make a plain crust....you will not be disappointed!

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