by Judy Kim
Apple & Blood Orange Garden Trellis Pie
Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie
Happy Pi Day! Created a new twist on apple pie. Blood oranges aren't a typical addition to pie, but I had them around and wanted to use them in place of lemon for some milk acidity. To be honest their best attributes are their pretty color and floral flavor.
As per usual, there is a lot of design detail in the crust because I can't help myself. Feel free to make any decorative crust you like. This design was inspired by a garden trellis woven with twisty vines. I've always had an affinity to gardening and all things floral, it all stems from my mother. I've included direction to create this design but the truth is, all designs don't go exactly as planned. I often utilize cute little leaf and floral cut outs to cover up mistakes like broken pastry. Shhhhh, it'll be our secret. Besides, imperfection is where true beauty lies.
You can watch my pie demo video below.
1 double crust, vodka pie crust recipe, also on my website
3 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 blood orange, zested and cut into supremes
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen sea salt
1/4 tsp aromatic bitters
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 (about 3 lbs) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandoline
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes and frozen
- Prepare the vodka pie crust recipe, which can be made in advance. Handle it as little as possible, just until it pulls together. Cut in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap before shaping. Shape one half into a flat round disk and shape the other half into a narrow flat rectangle. Let dough rest 20 minutes or overnight in refrigerator. (note: as an option, the crust can be made without shortening and replaced with butter, otherwise known as Vodka Pâte Brisée. The directions are the same)
- Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes, to prevent cracking. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Try avoid using too much flour to prevent the pastry from getting tough. Gently roll onto a rolling pin and transfer over your pie dish, one preferably with a narrow lip. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife along the rim, there will be no excess. Roll leftover pieces a bit thinner and cut out using a small leaf pie cutter. These will be used to make the leaf crown around the crust. Place on a generously floured sheet pan. Keep pie dish and sheet pan in fridge until ready to use. Note: Be careful not to stretch the dough or it will just shrink back (Trust me, it doesn't like being stretched). Rather just continue to roll until you reach the desired size.
- Roll out rectangular piece of pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a wavy edge pastry wheel, cut a variety of narrow and wide strips to create the lattice and twisted cables. Use remaining dough to cut out shapes such as flowers and leaves for decoration. To make the leaves look more realistic, try bending them a bit. Place lattice strips in a single layer on a new floured sheet pan; keep on the counter. If the strips are too cold, they won't be pliable enough make the lattice. But if they are difficult to work with at any point, put them back in the fridge for a few minutes. Add flowers and leaves to previous sheet pan and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- Place oven rack in middle and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl beat egg with heavy cream; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add blood orange zest and supreme orange segments. Drain and disgard any excess liquid from the oranges. Mix in sugar, sea salt, bitters, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 3 tbsp flour and toss again. Transfer apple mixture into pie dish and try to keep the mixture even. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the apples.
- Remove sheet pan with remaining pastry from the fridge. To create a simple lattice design, place strips (any width you prefer) in one direction across the entire pie. Lift every other row, place another strip in the opposite direction and flip the strips back down. Alternatively lift every other row, place another strip in the opposite direction and flip strips back down again until the lattice is complete. Try to keep the lattice pieces close together to cover most of the filling, this will help trap in steam and make a tender filling that doesn't dry out.
- To create cable knit roping, loosely twist 2 strips of similar width together to create a cable knit effect. Try to keep the strips flat to create an even cable that will look like an Irish Aran sweater. For my Garden Trellis design I mixed in cable knit ropes, a row of leaves and a row of flowers with the wavy flat strips.
- Using a sharp paring knife, trim the excess lattice work. Gently lift the ends of the lattice work and brush a light coating of egg wash to glue down the strips to the pie shell. Brush the top edge of the crust with egg wash. Place leaves on a 45 degree angle, press down lightly and alternatively place leaves in opposite directions to create a crown crust.
- Brush a light coating of egg wash evenly all-over the pie. Place pie dish on a sheet pan and bake on the center rack until golden brown, about 40 minutes. If necessary, rotate the pie for even baking and cover with foil if the top is browning too much. For best results, let pie cool for 4 to 6 hours before serving. It can be baked a day in advance.
If you are having trouble with the pastry strips breaking while creating the lattice or cable knit ropes, the culprit may be butter. Either the butter pieces are too chunky or the dough may be too warm. But, even if the pastry is made properly, unfortunately sometimes butter will create a weak point when the pastry is very thin. Just keep in mind, if you're having trouble matching this exact design, just add leaf or flower cut outs to disguise any errors. I do this regularly to hide mistakes. Shhhh, no one will ever know.
Do not use the convection setting on your oven for pies. It can cause over browning and dry out the crust.