I have a confession.. I don’t love making pie. I’m not even that crazy about eating it. I much prefer other desserts such as cakes, cookies, muffins, and quickbreads. Pie has never really been a top priority for me.
My boyfriend, on the other hand, is pie-obsessed. The very mention of pie makes him salivate. Out of all the desserts I make, pie is his most requested. Thus, I’ve tried to come up with ways to ease the pie process, to make it more enjoyable for the both of us!
One way I’ve improved my pie making experience is to use a food processor to mix the dough. It works flawlessly and leaves me with clean hands to boot! Simply add your dry ingredients and give them a whirl to combine. Pulse in your cold butter, add your liquid, and voilà! Perfect pie dough. 🙂
Another thing that has helped me enjoy making pie (rather than dreading it) is my silicone baking mat. If you don’t have one of these magical things, get one. They make rolling out pie crust (and a variety of other doughs) a BREEZE! Hardly any extra flour needed. Just roll it out and flip it onto your pie plate. Easy peasy.
The last thing that has really upped by pie game is the recipe I’m going to share with you now. You guys know how I love to add sourdough discard to nearly all my baked goods these days? This pie is no different. The sourdough in the pie really amplifies the crust and, especially in this recipe, creates a lovely contrast between sweet and sour. This crust is equally amazing in savory dishes as well!
Spiced Apple Pie with Sourdough Crust
Ingredients are organic, when available.
For the crust:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour*
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 sticks of COLD butter (1 cup), cubed
- 1/4 cup sourdough discard (unfed, straight from fridge)**
*The coconut flour in this recipe makes the crust very tender and flaky. It also adds a hint of sweetness that is really desirable. If you do not have access to this flour, you can use all purpose or substitute another flour in it’s place such as whole wheat or spelt.
**This is an approximate measurement. The amount will depend on the hydration of your starter. I just add my 100% hydration starter to the food processor a little at a time until the dough forms a soft ball and clears the sides of the bowl.
For the apple filling:
- 5-7 small apples, cored and diced
- 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbs cornstarch + 3 tbs water, mixed well
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the dry pie crust ingredients to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add your cold, cubed butter and pulse a few times. (You could alternatively do this by hand if you do not have a food processor. Your hands are always the best tools money can’t buy! 🙂 )
Next, add the sourdough discard while the food processor is running. Add enough starter until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Remove the dough from the bowl and separate into two pieces. Form into discs, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer while you make the filling.
To create the filling, heat a pan with butter on medium high. Add the diced apples and cook until they are just beginning to get tender. Add the lemon juice, brown sugar, and spices and stir well. After the juices begin to boil slightly, add the cornstarch/water mixure and turn the heat to low. The sauce should thicken rather quickly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the pie crusts from the freezer. Take one disc and roll it out on your pie mat (or a lightly floured surface) to a size that will fit in your pie pan. If you’re using a mat, simply flip the mat over on top of your pan and press the crust down gently. If you’re not using a mat, carefully fold over the crust and flip it onto your pan. Cut off any excess around the edges and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Parbake the crust for 15 minutes. I like to lay a piece of parchment on top of the crust and pour in about a pound or so of dried pinto beans. This will prevent the crust from bubbling up while it’s baking.
After the crust is parbaked, carefully remove the parchment paper and pinto beans (I use the paper to carefully create a type of funnel to pour the beans back into the jar I keep them in). Add the filling to the crust and set beside your work station. Roll out the second disc of dough and flip on top of your pie. Add any embellishments you like and make sure there’s at least a few holes on top for the steam to escape while baking.
Bake for another 45 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbling. You might have to cover the edges with some tin foil (or pie shields) about halfway through baking to prevent them from turning too brown.
Allow to cool sufficiently before slicing so pieces keep their shape. Serve with ice cream, freshly whipped cream, or, if you absolutely must, a slice of American cheese. 😉
Enjoy & happy baking!