An out of the ordinary pie crust makes this Leaf Topped Apple Pie a showstopper!
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.
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!
More Apple Pie Recipes You’ll Love:
- Rose Apple Pie Tutorial from Comfortably Domestic
- Classic Apple Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Paula Deen’s Apple Pie from Something Swanky
- Dutch Apple Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fresh Apple Pie Dip from Wishes and Dishes
- Double Crust Apple Pie Recipe from Saving Room for Dessert
- 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
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.