I have tried out a lot of apple pie pastry recipes. Ones using powdered sugar, some using caster, and others that bind the dough together with just water or milk. This one is my favourite. It uses caster sugar and binds with egg yolks and water.
As a result, this crust is rich, crumbly, buttery and perfectly balanced. I have doubled the pastry quantity from the original recipe because I like a good, thick crust.
And I love the lattice crust. I think it looks beautiful, and I prefer it to an entire layer of pastry over my pie. It is sprinkled with sugar before baking which makes it slightly crunchy, then the apple filling soaks into the pastry from underneath. It’s delicious.
My relatives in Connecticut love it too. I’ve made it for them each time I’ve been. T, this is for you.
Coco wants to eat it. Her eyes are begging.
For the crust
3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor or stand mixer. Mix on a low speed until mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks, cold water and vanilla, and process until a dough forms.
Take a third of the dough, shape it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. This will be your lattice. Form a disc with the remaining dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. This will be your crust. Refrigerate for at least an hour. In the meantime, make your filling.
For the apple filling
8 large Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornflour
Peel, core and chop the apples into 2cm (1 inch) cubes.
Combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon and water in a saucepan. Cook, over a low heat for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples should be soft but still hold their shape.
Drain the juice from the apples into a small bowl. Stir in the cornflour until it dissolves and return this mixture to the apples. Mix to combine. Set aside.
When you are ready to make your pie, remove the larger disc of pastry from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a pie dish well.
On a lightly floured surface, or between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough until it is big enough to line your pie dish.
Lightly flour the dough and gently roll it up onto your rolling pin. Then unroll it into your pie dish, easing it in and pressing it into any edges. Trim the excess pastry, leaving a 2cm (1 inch) overhang.
Fill the pastry shell with the apple filling.
Cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 cm wide strips. Arrange them in a lattice over the apples. This is how you do it:
Arrange 6 – 7 strips of pastry horizontally across the pie. Fold back every second strip halfway.
Place a strip of pastry vertically along the folded strips. Unfold the horizontal strips over the pastry. Fold back the other every second horizontal strip halfway.
Place another strip of pastry vertically. Unfold the folded strips. Fold back the originally unfolded strips. Place another strip vertically.
Unfold the horizontal strips. Continue with this process, on the other side of the pie as well, until you have a lattice.
Fold the excess outer rim in over the pie. Pinch it together with your thumb and forefinger to make a pretty fluted edge.
Brush the lattice with water and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until the crust is golden brown. Serves 8-10.