Apple pie is an all-time American icon although it never originated in America but was brought to us from Europe. Our recipe for Apple Pie with Einkorn Crust, with it’s sweet-tart goodness and that golden-brown, tender, einkorn crust is one of the best apple pie’s ever! Let me tell you about this apple pie…..
We are fortunate to have family with a beautiful Braeburn apple tree in their yard and we picked these apples ‘fresh off the tree’. I could tell immediately when I peeled, cored and sliced them that this was going to be a great pie! The apples were really firm, juicy and crisp; they had a tartness that was similar to a Granny Smith apple but with more sweetness.
When it comes to my pie-making skills the crusts are very inconsistent in the past and I have rarely been happy with the results. Yes, I discovered part of the cause was too much liquid but still, there has been a lot of un-tender and patched pastry crusts over the years. Finally, I found a flour that has been consistent for me in pie crusts! Einkorn flour performs remarkably well as a pastry flour.
After peeling and coring, the apples were sliced on the thick side so they would still have some substance to them after baking as mushy apple pie is just not our thing. The juice of a large lemon was squeezed over the apples to add some tartness flavor to the pie as well as prevent any discoloring of the apples while the pastry was prepared. A small dish of sugar, flour and spices was whisked together and reserved.
I know that it is common practice to stir the sugar mixture in with the apples slices and then dump everything into the pastry crust and sometimes I do it that way as well. But the technique in this recipe is ‘old school’ as I learned it at about 12-years old from watching my grandma Prentice alternate layers of the apple slices with sprinklings of the sugar mix. The apples slices are arranged in neat layers and the sprinkling of the sugar mix blends in as it bakes.
This is an all-butter pastry crust and it is made in the food processor but can be made in the more traditional way with a bowl and pastry blender. After blending the pastry it is divided, formed into two disks with one disk a little larger than the other.
This apple pie has a tender crust made with flour from the einkorn wheat. I love working with this ancient grain flour! The gluten in the einkorn wheat is different than modern wheat and that, I believe, is what makes the pie crust so easy to work with. It was almost like working with play-doh, it rolled out so nicely and didn’t have any cracked edges requiring water-patches.
The pie baked up with a really nice, tender crust even though I did not refrigerate the pastry before rolling it. I have used this einkorn flour for the pastry in several pies recently and have been delighted with the results every time.
After rolling the first pastry crust, part of the sugar mixture was sprinkled on the bottom and a layer of the apples arranged, then a little more sugar mixture and another layer of apples. This was repeated until the pie was heaped up and a final dusting of the sugar mix sprinkled over the top, then a few dots of butter. The upper pastry crust was rolled and added, the edges crimped and fluted, an egg wash was brushed on, steam vents cut and the top sprinkled with sparkling sugar.
The pie baked at 425°F for 50 minutes (See Note #4) and I removed it from the oven when I saw the juices had bubbled up over the top. Luckily, I did remember to slide a sheet of aluminum foil on the oven rack below the pie or I would still be cleaning the oven!
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For the Apple Filling:
- 6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced *See Note #1
- 1 fresh lemon, juiced
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons einkorn all-purpose flour (or tradidtional flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon water
- Sugar sprinkles *See Note #2
For the Einkorn Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) einkorn all-purpose four
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- 6 or 7 tablespoons ice water
For the Apple Filling:
- Add the prepared apples to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. The lemon juice will prevent the apples from browning as well as adding a nice tart taste to the pie. Reserve.
- Combine the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and grated nutmeg in a small dish and whisk to combine. Reserve.
For the Einkorn Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Add the einkorn flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine.
- Cut the butter into small pieces, or grate on a box-grater, add to the flour and pulse for 30 seconds or until only small pea-size bits of butter remain. Sprinkle the mixture with 6 or 7 tablespoons of ice water and pulse the processor for about 30 seconds or until the flour mixture comes together in a mass. Do not over-process, any remaining crumbs in the processor bowl can be worked into the dough on the work surface.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface that has been dusted with flour. Shape the dough (incorporating any of the remaining flour mixture crumbs) into a ball. Divide the pastry ball into two sections, one a little larger than the other and flatten each into a disk.
Make the pie
- Roll the larger pastry disk into a large circle about 13-inches in diameter. Use a bench scraper or firm flat spatula to turn the dough and work flour underneath as you roll it. Transfer the pastry to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with about 1-inch draped over the edge of the pie plate.
- Sprinkle the crust with 2 tablespoons of the flour/sugar mixture and arrange slices of apples in one layer over the flour mixture. Sprinkle another 2 or 3 tablespoons of the flour/sugar mixture over the apples. Continue the process ending with the flour/sugar mixture on the top. Dot with the butter.
- Roll the second disk of pastry for the upper crust to a circle of 11-inches in diameter. Transfer to the top of the apples.
- Turn the bottom edge of the crust up and over the top crust, pinch with your fingers to seal the two edges together, fluting for a decorative edge. *See Note #3
- Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash, cut the steam vents and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the pie in the oven with a baking sheet or sheet of foil on the rack underneath to catch any drips.
- Bake the pie for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and cover the crust edge with foil or pastry crust guard so it doesn’t brown too much. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Check the color of the crust occasionally and cover with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning. *See Notes #4 and #5
- Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool before slicing. *See Note #6
1. --Thinly sliced apples will produce a soft cooked filling, Thicker slices will hold their shape and be more chunky.
2. --I used Wilton's White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles but plain granulated sugar will also work---Sprinkling the upper crust with sugar will give the pie a pretty sparkle and help with the browning
3. --A fork makes a fast and decorative rim on the crust and looks beautiful.
4. ---Baking times may vary depending on the type of apples used. Older, stored apples will require less baking time than freshly picked apples.
5. ---Bake until juices are visible bubbling up from under the crust. Be sure to add a baking sheet or foil on the rack beneath the pie to catch any bubble-over and save oven cleaning time.
6. ---Apple pies thicken up as they cool and will slice neater.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 455Total Fat: 25gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 56gSugar: 19gProtein: 5g