On the heels of Father’s Day, comes a feminine pie I made for Mother’s Day way back in May (although wtf is that, attributing genders to food? I think my husband-guy liked this pie the most out of all of us). I pulled it from the spring section of the Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook, because though apples aren’t technically the most in season of spring fruits, the roses bring the warm weather perfume of flowers busting their pretty fug all over the greening world. And of course it’s summer now. It’s still awesome. And kinda different?
I’d never made a rosewater pie before (oh snap, not technically true!) and weird is the call of inspiration sometimes, especially when I’m not on the clock.
I also figured I would up my lattice game with my new pizza roller-cutter, which is a sound dollar store purchase that reaps huge benefits to any kitchen wizard. It makes for a very clean and gentle and STRAIGHT cut, oh my, lattice-ing is easy peasy with the rolling magic. The fridge and freezer also help with this weave business (*nods*).
I used to make a LOT of pies when I was in school because they’re almost automatically vegan, and they’re frugal and I think I had a bit of an obsession with becoming halfway good at making them. And now I don’t make them nearly so often, probably because I feel like there’s no challenge, but I really should do it at least once a season. I mean, fruit deserves that kind of showcase sometimes. And holy heck do they smell up the place incredibly well.
And the taste? It’s kind to offer some sort of description, right? It’s a lovely and special pie that you can’t get anywhere else. The crust is just about perfect – flaky and flavourful and buttery – and the apples with the rose are a little exotic, and strangely addictive, a familiar ingredient with a wild new hat that I just kept wanting to sample again. It was devoured quickly.
Current music: all of PJ Harvey.
Apple Rose Pie
You can stash the frozen pie, sans egg wash, wrapped well in the freezer for a few weeks, ready to be pulled out and baked like a magic trick when say, someone special comes to visit and you’d rather be spending time with them and not peeling apples. Pro tip!
Recipe included more or less as it shows up in the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Book.
- 2 ½ cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
- ½ pound / 2 sticks (224 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup (250 grams) cold water
- ¼ cup (60 grams) cider vinegar
- 1 cup ice
** Don’t add ALL of the water-ice-vinegar mixture to the crust recipe! Only 6-12 tablespoons, as humidity, flour type and personal technique dictates **
Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl (you can sift if you’re feeling thorough but it’s not necessary). Add the butter pieces and cut them smaller and smaller until pea-sized chunks remain and the powdery part of the flour seems slightly coated with butter – it should hold it’s shape when squeezed together. (You can use a pastry cutter, a food processor or your fingers for this). Stash the flour bowl in the freezer while you make the ice water (and between any step you like – the more time it spends in the freezer, the better the crust will be).
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of ice-vinegar-water onto the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a cohesive ball (if there are dry bits, sprinkle them lightly with more water and add them to the ball). Form two discs with the dough, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour before rolling, or up to 3 days (1 month in the freezer).
For this pie, roll one of the discs to a large circle and line a 9-inch pie pan. Roll the second disc to a large circle, cut strips with a rolling pastry/pizza cutter, and form the strips into a lattice. Chill the top and bottom until ready to use.
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 6-7 baking apples (about 6 cups sliced)
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (66 + 24 grams) sugar
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons (18 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) rose water
- Dash of Angostura bitters
- Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
- Demerara sugar, for sparkle
Core, peel and thinly slice the apples, and toss them with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to soften.
In another large bowl, mix the remaining white sugar, the brown sugar, spices, salt, rose water and bitters. Drain the apples, discarding the liquid, and toss with spiced sugar paste. Layer the apples tightly into the prepared and chilled pastry-lined pan, top with the lattice top, and crimp the edges as desired.
Chill pie for 10-15 minutes, place oven racks on the bottom and middle of your oven, and a baking sheet on the bottom rack. Preheat to 425℉.
Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake pie on the lowest rack for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry just starts to brown. Lower heat to 375℉, move pie to the middle rack, and bake until the pastry is a crusty golden brown and the apples are bubbling. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely, at least 2-3 hours, before cutting and serving.
Pie keeps for 2 days at room temperature and 3 days in the fridge.