Deepest-Dish Apple Pie


This is an apple pie that manages to be both refined and rustic.


  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 14 Granny Smith apples (about 8 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into eighths

  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 6 tablespoons Calvados or brandy

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface

  • ½ recipe Pate Brisee for Deepest-Dish Apple Pie

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • Cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)


  1. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add one-third each of the apples and the sugar mixture, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Cook, stirring often, until apples are tender and liquid has thickened and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Working carefully, as alcohol may ignite, stir in 2 tablespoons Calvados. Return to heat, and cook until alcohol burns off, 30 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons cream; cook, stirring constantly, until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer apple mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining apples, sugar mixture, vanilla, and Calvados, and 6 tablespoons cream, in 2 more batches.

  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface; roll into an 1/8-inch-thick round large enough to cover top of a 3-quart ovenproof bowl and extend 2 inches over edge. Using a 1/2-inch round pastry tip, punch out hole in center. Trim to create a scalloped edge.

  4. Transfer apple mixture to ovenproof bowl; drape pastry round over top, centering hole and letting edges of pastry hang over sides of bowl. Decorate top with cut-out shapes from leftover dough, if desired, using cold water to adhere.

  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together yolk and remaining tablespoon cream; brush over pie. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

  6. Bake pie until top is golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. If top browns too quickly, loosely cover with foil. Let cool completely on a wire rack, 45 to 60 minutes. Serve with cheese, if desired.

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