In my humble opinion, nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day more than apple pie, unless it’s pink lady apple pie with lime and vanilla sugar butter crust! Or, if you are a fan of chocolate (which I am), I guess that can also qualify But, when I saw these beautiful apples at my local farmers’ market, I thought I’d give the traditional chocolate valentine’s desserts a rest and make an apple pie for Valentine’s Day instead.
It may seem odd to use lime instead of the more traditional lemon. Trust me though, it really works. Especially in combination with ground ginger, and other apple pie spices, oh… and little flecks of vanilla bean in the crust and filling from homemade vanilla sugar–which I made by grinding up an emptied out vanilla bean pod with cane sugar in a spice/coffee grinder. Totally easy. Totally the right thing to do with a left over pod.
First peel, core, and slice about 5 to 6 medium apples, or combination of apples of your choice. I’m more of a crust kind of gal, so if you like more filling, you could get away with using about 8 apples.
Then add the lime zest, and juice of the lime with sugar and other spices, combine them with a rubber spatula, and let the mixture sit about 10 minutes so that the apples release their lovely juices.
Meanwhile take out those pie discs that you have prepared and set to go (recipe and link to tutorial at end of this post).
Flour your board and the discs and roll them out into about an 11″ in diameter circle.
Take your pie dough and cover the pie plate, trim the edges leaving about an inch worth of overhang. At this point, I recommend a pre-bake (or, blind bake), since I like a crisper crust, but you can forgo it. Fill the bottom crust with the apples, and spoon over the leftover liquid on top of the filled crust. Then dot the pie with little pieces of butter. Notice all those dark flecks? Those are pieces of vanilla bean that add an additional burst of flavor to your crust. Yum!
Cover your filled pie dough with the top crust.
Tuck the edges underneath, and then you can make a decorative edge by pinching the crusts together, or use a fork to press down and crimp the edge together.
Place in an oven for an initial high-temperature bake to get the crust a beautiful golden color. Then turn down the temperature, cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil to protect them, and then pop that baby back in the oven to finish her off.
Mmm. Mmmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Apple pie for Valentine’s Day.
Do you really need any convincing that this will be appreciated by your Valentine(s)?
May your Valentine’s Day (and every day) be filled with a lot of LOVE.
Happy V-day from Baker With a Cause!
Inspired by, and very loosely adapted from One Girl Cookies
Ingredients for the crust
Makes a double crust for one 9-inch pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar (I combined a 1/2 Tbsp of vanilla sugar, with 1 Tbsp of cane sugar)
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
4 t0 5 Tbsp of ice water
About a Tbsp of sugar for sprinkling
Detailed directions for making a pie crust can be found by clicking here. Please read my additional notes below.
1) This is a double crust pie, i.e., you’re going to roll out two separate discs, one for the bottom and one to top the filling with.
2) I chose to divide the recipe ingredients in half and make two separate dough balls in the food processor. However, you can make one large dough ball with all of the crusts ingredients, then separate the ball in half equally and make two 5″ discs as seen in the above photos.
3) Place discs in the refrigerator for about a half hour to an hour, and up to a few days.
3) Once you have covered the filling with the top crust, make about 5 slits in the dough, to create vents for the steam to escape that’s created by the filling.
4) I would recommend a quick blind bake on the bottom crust before filling it (as seen in the pie dough tutorial). The bottom of this dough was a little soggier than I would like. However, that’s just my preference since I like a crisper bottom crust than what is produced when making this pie without a pre-bake.
Ingredients for the filling
5 or 6 medium apples (I used pink lady, and another apple that for the life of me I cannot recall the name of right now!)
3/4 cup of sugar
Note: I actually used only half a cup of sugar mixed with vanilla sugar. However, after making it I would say that if you like a sweeter, rather than tarter pie, either use a sweeter type apple, or a combination of sweet and tart apples, and/or do the full amount of sugar.
1/2 tsp of grated lime zest (or zest of a lemon)
1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice (or lemon juice)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
About two teaspoons of corn starch
Butter to dot filling with
1) Take discs out of the refrigerator to make them a little softer to work with.
2) Meanwhile, peel, core, and quarter apples and then cut them into 1/4-inch thick slices.
3) In a large bowl combine the apples with the sugar lime zest, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Use a rubber spatula to gently combine and coat the apples with the other ingredients. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, stirring them occasionally so the apples will give off a bit of the liquid and so that you can evenly distribute the liquid around.
4) While apples are sitting around, take out the discs and roll one of them out as shown in the pie dough tutorial. This will be for the bottom crust. If you choose to pre-bake the bottom crust, now would be the time to do it.
5) Take the prepped bottom pie dough (baked or not), and fill it with the apples. Once you have filled it, combine the cornstarch with the liquid that the apples left behind in the bowl, and whisk them together until fully incorporated. Spoon the liquid over the filling, and then dot pieces of butter, about small 1/4-inch pieces around the top of the filling as seen in the pictures above.
6) Roll out the second disc, and then cover the filling with it as seen in the pictures above.
7) Trim the edges, and then fold and tuck edges underneath to close up the edges as seen in the photo above. Then pinch the sides, or press the edge down with a fork.
8) Preheat oven to 425′ F.
9) Make about 5 slits with a paring knife to create steam vents. Then brush the top crust with the egg white. Then sprinkle with sugar.
10) Place pie in the 425′ oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the pie is a nice golden color. Then reduce the temperature to 350′ F. and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling begins to bubble up through the vents. If at any point the crust’s edges begin to darken too much, remove from the oven and put aluminum foil on the sides, and then continue baking.
11) Transfer to a wire rack and let the pie cool completely.