Shingled-Leaf Brandy Apple Pie
The layered finish that tops this apple pie from our Pies & Tarts book is created by shingling the leaves. Pastry cutouts in any shape can be arranged in this manner; here, a flurry of leaves accentuates the pie's autumnal nature.
- Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie
Photography: Gentl and Hyers
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 recipes Pate Brisee for Pies and Tarts
- 3 1/2 pounds tart, firm apples, such as Granny Smith, Macoun, or Cortland, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a 13-inch round, 1/8 inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim excess dough flush with rim. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Roll out remaining 2 disks of dough about D inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Using a 2 1/4-inch leaf-shaped cutter, cut out about 65 leaves, and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss apples with flour, brandy, vanilla, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Fill pie shell with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
Score leaves with a paring knife to make veins. Lightly brush edge of pie shell with water. Lightly brush the back of each leaf with water; beginning with the outside edge, arrange leaves in a slightly overlapping ring. Repeat to form another ring slightly overlapping the first. Continue until only a small circle of filling is left uncovered in the center.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream. Carefully brush top of leaves and pie edge with egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until crust just begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 85 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely.