If there was ever a time for pie, it’s now. November is here and with it the return of infinitely long nights. My to-do list is a mile long and the holidays are closing in far too quickly for my comfort. When everything seems uncertain, I’m all for taking a step back and digging in to a slice of pie – butter and apples are a fine antidote to anxieties, and thus far have never let me down.
Sweetened with maple syrup and honey, the pairing gives dimension to a blend of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples. The all-butter graham crust is incredibly flaky and golden, with that familiar buttery brilliance we all crave. This maple honey apple pie is a fresh take on classic apple pie to fall in love with this season.
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, divided
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup graham flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp vodka
- 5 cups peeled and diced apples (Honeycrisp & Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, warmed
- 1/4 cup honey, warmed
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp arrowroot starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cold milk
- 1 Tbsp Turbinado sugar
- Prepare dough: Grate 8 Tbsp butter into a small bowl; cut remaining 8 Tbsp butter into small cubes and place in a second bowl; chill bowls in freezer for 15 minutes. Whisk together flour, graham flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; place bowl in freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Chill buttermilk and vodka in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle cubed butter over chilled flour mixture and toss with a spatula to coat. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until the biggest pieces are the size of peas; fold in grated butter. Drizzle buttermilk over flour mixture; use a spatula to gather dough together until it forms large clumps. If needed, add vodka 1 tablespoon at a time, then gently knead just until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and gather each half into a ball, wrap in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill dough in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze 1 to 2 months).
- Place one disc of dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough (roll dough in one direction, then lift up dough and rotate a quarter turn and roll, then repeat) until dough is a 12 to 13-inch circle. If dough starts to stick, use a bench scraper to lift dough from board. Transfer dough to a standard 9-inch pie dish; trim overhang to one inch. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Place second disc of dough on floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out using same procedure, until dough is 1/8-inch thick. Flour a maple leaf cookie cutter (or decorative cutter of your choice) and cut out leaves for the top (re-roll scraps once if needed). Chill leaves in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Prepare filling: Combine apples, maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, arrowroot starch, and salt in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Spoon filling into chilled bottom crust and top with chilled leaves. Fold up dough overhang and crimp with a fork to seal. Chill assembled pie in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F and place a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil in the center of the oven. Brush pie with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar; place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking another 55 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. If pie is browning too quickly, cover with foil for remaining baking time. Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 4 hours (filling thickens as it cools). Once pie is cut, store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Arrowroot starch is a natural thickener and creates a smooth, shiny sauce. Available online or in the natural foods section.