Fuzz volunteered my pie making services for a school function next week, and together we have decided on Broiled Apple Pie, a really good apple pie named for the fact the sliced apples are broiled before they go in the pie shell.
Years ago I said this was the best apple pie ever — as if I’d tasted all the apple pies in the world. I am trying to tone down my use of superlatives these days, but I will say it is one awesome pie. The crust is good too, but yesterday when I made it, it kept leaking butter onto the tray below it, and the kitchen smelled like burning butter. So as much as I love that original European style butter crust, it’s hard to recommend to others. Use whatever crust you like. The filling is what makes the pie.
If broiling the apples sounds like a pain, don’t worry. You just throw all the apples in a roasting pan, put the pan under the broiler, then mix the filling ingredients right in the roasting pan. Try the pie and let me know what you think! It has the stamp of approval from me, and also from Sue at Basically Baked, who made it a while back and posted a review. And don’t forget Dawn’s original version which won a big prize. It is a runny pie if you cut it on Day 1, but if you cool, chill and bring it back to room temperature, it is less so.
Broiled Apple Pie
- Pie dough for a two-crust 9 inch pie
- 3 pounds Granny Smith Apples 6 to 8 apples
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice OR use 2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of cream
- Coarse sugar or vanilla sugar
- On a floured surface, roll out half your dough to make a 12 inch circle. Place in the bottom of a deep dish 9” pie plate. Chill dough-lined pie plate while you prepare the apples.
- Preheat the broiler. In a large roasting pan, toss apples, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Position the pan so that the apples are about 6 inches under the broiling element. Watching carefully, broil until the tops of the apples begin to brown (you do not want them cooked through, but rather just caramelized around the edges a bit). Remove from heat.
- To the roasting pan of apples, add the remaining sugar, flour, and salt. Stir until evenly mixed. Stir in apple juice, vanilla and cream. Pour apple mixture into the crust.
- Roll the second section of pie dough out to a large circle on a lightly floured surface. Place on top of the apples and pinch the top and bottom dough edges together to enclose the apples. Slice 1” air vents around the top of the pie.
- Make the egg wash: Mix the egg in a small dish and mix in cream. Lightly brush the egg wash over the top of the pie and along the edges. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Place the pie on the center rack of a preheated 400 degree oven, and set a rimmed cookie sheet on the lower rack to catch any drips.
- Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes the crust appears to be browning rapidly (this will depend on which crust recipe you use), cover loosely with aluminum foil. Turn pie. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Continue to cook for 7 minutes, as needed, until the crust is golden brown and flaky.
- Cool: Remove from oven and let cool for at least two hours before cutting and serving
Hello again, Anna … I see your point on using the food processor up until adding the water. Pastry flour is not too accessible here either. I make my own cake flour with unbleached all-purpose flour (1 cup minus 2 Tbsp) + cornstarch (2 Tbsp) throughly sifted a few times. I will try measuring by weight vs volume, and also consider the 3-2-1 ratio. Thanks for ALL these ideas, you’ve been great 🙂
Carolyn, about the food processor. The processor is great for cutting together the flour and fat, but I think it’s best if you dump the flour/fat mixture into a bowl before adding the water. Also, make sure you really cut the fat into the flour. There should be a few scattered chunks of butter, but if you have too many large chunks of butter then the crust will be tough. Also, if you go with cake flour instead of pastry, mix the cake flour with some all-purpose. I think the protein in pastry flour falls somewhere between all-purpose and cake. I have a really difficult time finding regular pastry flour around here. Most stores have whole wheat pastry flour, but not regular pastry flour. And one more tip. Try using the ratio is 3-2-1 on your scale. 12 ounces of flour (by weight), 8 ounces of butter and 4 ounces of water. Volume amounts are so inaccurate with pie crusts because 1 cup of flour can have a different weight every time.
I appreciate hearing all your ideas – thank you! Good ideas grating the butter, and having a couple baking sheets available to catch drips. I have indeed been using the food processor. I do use good quality butter (Lactantia here in Canada) but haven’t tried Plugra. Will try using cake flour too.
When making my next pie, I will consider the recipes you linked above.
Thanks again for your feedback!
Christine from Cook the Story
Love the butter crust in this recipe!
Lucky folks at the school function!!!
Just thought of one more tip for your all-butter crust experimenting. Skip using the food processor (if you happen to be doing so) and try shredding cold butter over the flour. Shredding butter can be scattered over the dough more evenly and you won’t have to work the mixture as much with the pastry cutter (or fingers) to make the coarse meal.
First off, here’s a link to the crust I used for this pie.
I skip the vanilla bean, use regular flour (not “organic”) and use Plugra instead of Danish style butter. The resulting crust is fantastic — almost like a buttery puff pastry. Unfortunately, the butter leaks out of the crust’s perimeter as it bakes. I do put a rimmed baking sheet underneath and swap it out for a fresh one as it collects butter, but the house still ends up smelling like burnt butter. It only happens with this particular crust, though.
Here’s another all-butter crust which tastes great and won’t leak everywhere.
Just make sure to do all the tricks — chill the flour, chill the butter, chill the crust after lining the pan and make sure to put a rimmed baking sheet on the rack underneath the rack with the crust. You mentioned your butter was going on the floor of your oven, so the rimmed baking sheet will at least solve that problem. In fact, you might even want to have two sheets on hand so when one starts collecting butter you can quickly swap it out for a clean one. The crust in the second link shouldn’t drip butter, but it’s good to be safe.
Another thought. What brand of butter are you using? When I use Land o Lakes I get a flakier crust than when I use a store brand and suspect the store brand has more water in it than Land o Lake’s.
Using a softer flour such as White Lily can help remedy the toughness, as it has less gluten, so you might want to order some White Lily and try one of their recipes. That, or mixing a little cake flour in with your all-purpose can help.
I’ve made some really tough and crispy all-butter crusts, so I do know what you mean. However, if you keep practicing and experimenting with different brands butter/flour, you’ll eventually get good results.
Glad you like the Hob Nobs!!!
In this post, you have identified my ongoing challenge with all-butter pie crust: every time (yes, EVERY time!) I bake a pie, the crust experiences a melt-down in the oven – despite having chilled beforehand: it literally droops and begins to melt, dripping butter onto the floor of the oven, causing smoke to escape from the oven door when I open it, and in the end it sets off the smoke alarm. Once all is said and done, the crust is crispy and tough.
I have tried many (all-butter crust) recipes with the same results.
I am a long-time baker and have success with many other sweet treats but all-butter pie crusts are my nemesis.
Aside from using shortening which I do not use in my baking, what would you suggest?
PS I’ve just finished baking one of my favorite all-time recipes from you and your site: the homemade Hob Nobs. They are fantastic every time.