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Spiced Apple Pie with Fluted Round Cutouts


Overlapping disks of pate brisee top a highly spiced apple pie. You will need a 1 3/4-inch fluted round cutter to create the layered effect on the top crust.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie

Photography: Matthew Hranek

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007


  • Pate Brisee
  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges flush with rim. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Roll remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 1 3/4-inch fluted round cutter, cut out about 70 rounds, rerolling scraps if necessary. Place rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Peel and core apples. Thinly slice half the apples, and cut remaining apples into 1-inch pieces.

  4. Toss together apples, lemon zest and juice, sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Place filling in piecrust, mounding it in the center. Dot with butter. To make egg wash, whisk together egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Lightly brush edge of piecrust with egg wash. Arrange dough rounds over filling, working in a spiral from the outside in to the center, overlapping them slightly. Lightly brush top of each round with egg wash as you work to help them adhere to one another.

  5. Once the filling has been covered with rounds, lightly brush entire top of pie with egg wash. Sprinkle top with sanding sugar. Refrigerate pie for 1 hour.

  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in middle and lower positions. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on lower rack to catch any juices. Place pie on middle rack, and bake until crust begins to turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour, 10 minutes more. Tent with foil if crust browns too quickly. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Reviews Add a comment

  • music_girl60
    21 NOV, 2011
    I love this recipe but I cook the filling before I put it in the crust. This gets rid of the runny filling, intensifies the flavors and stops the a pocket of air that forms between the apples and the crust as the apples cook down. I basically cooked it on medium low until the apples are just starting to soften and the liquid gets syrupy.
  • MommySusan
    18 NOV, 2010
    Our favorite apple pie. We have been making this for years.
  • jcochrum
    25 NOV, 2008
    My husband and I made this pie together and entered it in a pie contest at church. We took first prize! Yummy!!
  • Tarapotamus
    11 JUL, 2008
    evaball, If you think your crust might burn before your pie is done, or if you know your oven is wacky, I recommend loosely placing some aluminum foil, shiniest side up, over your pie and crimping lightly around your edges, this will keep a lot of the heat off the top, but still cook the pie; (just DON'T make the foil airtight!) Then remove the foil with enough time, at the end of the baking process, for it to brown.
  • Tarapotamus
    11 JUL, 2008
    Beurre729: You do not have to "blind bake" a pie crust for Apply Pie (that means baking the bottom crust with no pie in it before you actually bake the pie).
  • Tarapotamus
    11 JUL, 2008
    hollygb22, It's a shame your pie didn't turn out. Ffor some reason, they left out of the directions that you should "dock" your pie before baking, which means you prick the bottom of the unbaked pie crust with a fork, and also leave some kind of opening in the top crust for steam to vent out. This pie crust is all overlapping disks so the steam can not get out (which is what made your crust soggy, and your pie so soupy) When I make this pie, I am going to prick some of the disks with a fork
  • hollygb22
    28 MAY, 2008
    i wasnt a huge fan of this pie. I didn't particularly like the mix of spices. The filling was very liquidy and the bottom crust soggy. Next time (although the recipe doesn't call for it) I will bake the bottom crust first. I added 15 minutes to the baking time and had to tent with foil maybe 30 min. in to avoid a burnt top crust.
  • snowdr0p
    30 APR, 2008
    Like gr8danegirl this was my first pie ever, and I made sure to do everything from scratch so it would taste the way it was supposed to- no one could believe it was my first pie! I did add some different species of apple, however, because being locked up in a cabin in the middle of the backcountry kind of limits you to what you already have. Still a hit. :)
  • texasfarmer
    22 MAR, 2008
    Making this pie for the third time this Easter. I know apple isn't what folks think of as spring or Easter, but the pie is so showy and pretty. I received so many compliments when I made it for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties that I will totally make it a keeper. The round cut-outs as the top crust are just so great! I use different cutters and shapes--leaves, flowers etc. Instead of sanding sugar, I used raw sugar---great amber shiney topper. Love this recipe!!!!!!
  • gr8danegirl
    18 MAR, 2008
    This was the first pie I had ever made, in my entire life! I was making it to take to a family get-together. Neddless to say, I was rather nerveous of the outcome, so, I followed the recipe as if my life depended on it. Amazingly, it was fantastic. No one believed this was my first pie. My pie and I caused quite a sensation.