Last week, I was brainstorming what I could bring to a Thanksgiving potluck as dessert and my boyfriend just kept repeating “What about apple pie?”. In the end, the idea grew on me and I went straight to researching all sorts of different pies. The closest I have ever come to making a pie before was when I made a strawberry galette, last summer. After reading about countless different types of apple and other fruit pies I made a couple of key decisions. First, I wanted a simple, flaky crust but only on the bottom. I saw a bunch of pies that had a crumble topping and I thought it was genius: you get buttery pastry and a crunchy, nutty top? Definitely the best of both worlds. Also, so that I wouldn’t have to use too much sugar I decided to use both tart and sweet apples in the filling, spiced with some nutmeg and cinnamon. Lastly, because I wanted to put a little twist on things, I decided I wanted to put rosemary throughout the pie: in the crust, topping and filling. I love rosemary and apples (actually I love rosemary with fruit and in desserts, generally)! And that’s how this rosemary apple pie was born.
The pie was everything I had hoped it would be. First of all, the crust is absolutely perfect. It cooked through perfectly, was flaky and tender, and didn’t get soggy at all. Definitely a winner to use with any filling. The filling had the perfect balance between apples, a tiny bit of sweetness and a bit of warmth from the spices. The apples cook down tons and become super tender but don’t turn into mush: you can still see the slices of apple in every slice. Mixing tart and sweet apples meant that some bites were a little more zingy than others. Also, the crumble was a great choice. I love pie crust, but I love some crunch and crispiness more. The oats and nuts gave an awesome texture and had a bit of extra sweetness. And, the rosemary lightly perfumes the whole thing. Of course, you could easily leave it out but the subtle flavour gives the whole thing a little twist. This is definitely a solid dessert to make and bring to any party you may have in the upcoming season. It’s a no brainer.
(Yes, I cut a slice of pie before I brought it to my party. I took tons of pictures and gingerly shoved it back into the pan so that it looked complete and untouched again. It was actually a lot less messy than I feared it would be. The first slice was unusually clean. Of course, my friends know all about my food blog antics and didn’t mind one bit!)
Adapted from Local Milk Blog (crust) and Minimalist Baker (topping)
If you want a traditional pie (with a pit crust topping), just double the ingredients for the crust and omit the topping. Just remember to divide the dough in half before chilling it, to make it easier to roll out.
Mix flour, sugar, salt and rosemary together in a large bowl.
Grate in cold butter and incorporate it using your fingers, until the mixture mostly resembles wet sand with a few pieces of butter the size of peas left.
Mix in buttermilk slowly until the dough sticks together when pinched between your fingers.
Dump dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a flat disc. Chill dough for at least 3 hours (and up to 24 hours), in the fridge.
Toss sliced apples with lemon juice.
Whisk together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, and flour.
Toss apples in the brown sugar and spice mixture.
Mix all of the ingredients together with your fingers, until crumbly.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Butter your 9 inch pan.
Roll out chilled dough into a circle to fit a 9 inch pan. Press the dough into the pan.
Fill crust with filling.
Top filling with topping, pressing the topping gently and evenly across the whole pie.
Bake pie for 35-40 minutes, covering it with foil if the top starts to get too brown (definitely check it about halfway through the baking).
Let the pie cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.