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Leaf Topped Apple Pie - A scrumptious apple pie with a fun pastry topping

Leaf Topped Apple Pie

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An out of the ordinary pie crust makes this Leaf Topped Apple Pie a showstopper!

Leaf Topped Apple Pie | A scrumptious apple pie with a fun pastry topping

Leaf Topped Apple Pie

I spied a picture Shingle Leaf Apple Brandy Pie in a Martha Stewart Cookbook. Seriously a work of art. I knew it would be nearly impossible to replicate, but my apple pie loving family wouldn’t give one hoot if the top crust was a disaster. They’d be too excited for homemade pie to utter a complaint. As anticipated, this leaf topped apple pie bore no resemblance to the one in the cookbook! But the results were still delectable.


Leaf Topped Apple Pie | A scrumptious apple pie with a fun pastry toppingA Pie Crust Fiasco

I have a love-hate relationship with pie crusts. On the one hand, I can make a buttery, tender and flaky crust that tastes amazing. On the other hand, if I try anything beyond a standard or even a lattice crust, the outcome is quite iffy. I’d estimate I have about a 50-50 win-loss ratio–at least according to my own perfectionist analysis. These lovely leaves were cut from the pie dough reserved for the top crust and arranged over the apple filling. This isn’t the part that gave me a headache.

I knew from experience that once the apples settled during baking, the leaves would start undulating and twisting out of their perfect shapes. I planned for that by cooking my apples ahead of time to minimize filling shrinkage. A new challenge arose when I gave the top crust an egg wash. The browning wasn’t even, and added more unwanted movement to the leaves. The mottled glazing only added to the mish-mash appearance.  Cream would have been a better choice. Tsk, tsk, Martha. BUT this leaf topped apple pie tasted amazing—and that’s all my family cares about! 

Leaf Topped Apple Pie | A scrumptious apple pie with a fun pastry topping

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Leaf Topped Apple Pie - A scrumptious apple pie with a fun pastry topping

Leaf Topped Apple Pie

A classic apple pie with a leaf cut-out crust

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Pie
  • Cuisine: American


  • One double pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 1/2 pounds apples (I used golden delicious, Granny Smith, and Jonagold), peeled and each cut into 8 slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cream, to glaze pie
  • Sugar, to sprinkle over glaze if desired


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute the apples for about a minute, gently stirring to coat apples with butter. Add lemon juice and sugar and cook till apples are just tender, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Allow to cool while rolling out the bottom crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º.
  3. Place bottom crust into 9-inch pie plate. Trim pastry, leaving about a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the overhanging pastry under to form an unfluted edge. Carefully fill the crust with apples, tucking apples into any open spaces.
  4. Roll out top crust, then cut out leaves one at a time, placing them around the edge first, then repeat keeping the leaves touching from side to side, and overlapping slightly as you layer towards the center. Brush crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
  5. Place pie plate on a sheet pan to catch any drips. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 375º, and bake for about 40 minutes, or till top is brown, apples are tender and filling is bubbling. Cool on a rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Note: My leaf cookie cutter is similar to these on Amazon. I purchased mine from Williams-Sonoma one Thanksgiving a few years ago.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

33 comments on “Leaf Topped Apple Pie”

  1. Very pretty! Now this is a theme I’m loving-gonna spend some time seeing what everyone made:@)

  2. I think your pie turned out quite nicely, Liz! I love the leaf pattern and like you have a lot of fun with pie tops, yet never know how the dough is going to act during the baking process. And yes,in the end it’s all about flavor and family tummy happiness!

  3. Liz, your pie is so beautiful! I never do anything other than traditional crust so this is super impressive.

  4. Your leaf-patterned top looks lovely, and I’m sure it tasted good too.

  5. Sunday supper? YES, please!! 🙂

  6. I happen to think your pie is lovely and would be very happy if a slice was served to me. I have that cookbook and can’t imagine what goes on behind the scenes to accomplish those beautiful photos.

  7. Liz, this is lovely. When I first saw the title in the preview, I was thinking you topped the pie with APPLE tree leaves. Silly me. This looks much more appetizing than my mental image.

  8. So pretty, Liz! That leaf topping is glorious!

  9. Liz

    You are the Queen of pies! This is the prettiest apple pie I have ever seen!

  10. I have crust issues too! So happy to know I’m not the only one. You did an amazing job and I love all the tips for not having the leaves move around. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Hi Liz, it’s amazing how hard we all our on ourselves, your pie looks like a masterpiece, it’s beautiful. Love that you served this with vanilla ice cream.

  12. So so gorgeous, Liz! I think your pie is perfect! I love the leaves and can just imagine how amazing this tastes too! 🙂

  13. This pie is gorgeous, Liz! All that work was worth the effort when you get results like this! I’d dying for a big slice of it!

  14. How gorgeous is this! Looks like it took a lot of work, I’d never want to dig in!

  15. This is just so pretty Liz! Nice job!

  16. Oh wow, I love how you’ve inspired us with your work of art, Liz! xoxo

  17. Don’t know what the Martha pie looked like. But yours definitely looks like it is out of a Martha Stewart cookbook! Bravo!

  18. What are you talking about? I reckon the leaf topping is perfect!! And definitely better than anything I could do. This looks amazing!

  19. I admired this pie on FB quite some time ago, the end result isn’t nearly that bad! I often have to wrap foil around the pie crust edge for more even baking, I always figured it was the oven! It sure looks like it tasted good anyway!

  20. What a beautiful crust! This brings back memories…warm apple pie and ice cream. There is nothing better!

  21. Hubs favorite pie is apple, just showed him yours and we both swooned, love the look of the leaf pattern, it is gorgeous! Nettie

  22. What a gorgeous apple pie Liz, it’s a “ouvre d’art” !

  23. I don’t think I could pull off this gorgeous pie crust! Wow. I am in awe!

  24. So beautiful! Your effort definitely didn’t go unnoticed.

  25. This is stunning Liz. It has been so long since I’ve had apple pie. Now I NEED some!

  26. You are so right that your pie is a show-stopper. Fancy crust, an apple filling that holds its shape. This is THE apple pie to make.

  27. Beautiful! Those leaves are gorgeous.

  28. Perfect pie all around!

  29. GORGEOUS pie!! It’s rich and full of apples and the leaf-pattern is super unique! It really turned out amazing

  30. Liz this pie looks beautiful! I totally understand the self critiques and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. We would devour this pie in a heartbeat!

  31. Thank you for this site and its so good for us.

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