This version of a traditional pie comes from an award-winning recipe passed down from mothers to daughters in one Ontario family for 90 years. We were happy to be invited into their kitchen to see how they make it, and now we’re thrilled to share the recipe with the country. The signature feature of this pie is a beautiful display of apples in place of a top crust. It’s all drizzled with a rich, sweet sauce you’ve got to taste to believe. We’re glad it isn’t a secret recipe anymore!
40 minutes chill time
For the crust:
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp (3 g) salt ½ tsp (3 g) salt
- ½ tsp (2 g) baking powder ½ tsp (2 g) baking powder
- ½ lb (227 g) vegetable shortening or lard, cubed ½ lb (227 g) vegetable shortening or lard, cubed
- 1 egg, divided 1 egg, divided
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) vinegar 1 tbsp (15 ml) vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- cold water cold water
For the filling:
- 1 cup (217 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed 1 cup (217 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
- 3 tbsp (24 g) all-purpose flour 3 tbsp (24 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp (3 g) ground cinnamon 1 tsp (3 g) ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp (2 g) salt ¼ tsp (2 g) salt
- ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp (14 g) butter, melted 1 tbsp (14 g) butter, melted
- 5 to 6 small apples, sliced (McIntosh, Spy, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or any favourite baking apple) 5 to 6 small apples, sliced (McIntosh, Spy, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or any favourite baking apple)
- 1 tsp (5 ml) heavy cream, milk, or water 1 tsp (5 ml) heavy cream, milk, or water
For the crust:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder until well mixed. Add in the cubed shortening, and toss with the flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse sand with a few pea-sized lumps.
In a measuring cup, whisk the egg. Remove one tablespoon and (15 ml) one teaspoon (5 ml) of the beaten egg. Reserve for the egg wash.
Add the vinegar and vanilla extract into the measuring cup. Add cold water until it measures ½ cup (125 ml); whisk together.
Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula, mix until just combined; do not overmix. Do not knead dough.
Gently shape dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place into the fridge to chill; at least 30 minutes.
On a well-floured work surface, roll chilled pie dough (⅛- to ¼-inch thick) into a 14-inch round. Transfer rolled dough into a 9½-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp edges. Place into the fridge to chill; at least 10 minutes.
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. In a microwaveable bowl or small measuring cup, warm the heavy cream and butter at 20-second intervals until butter is melted. Add the cream into the sugar and stir until well blended.
Arrange sliced apples in a circular pattern on the bottom of the chilled crust. Pour the dark brown sugar mixture over the apples, ensuring apples are coated in sauce.
With the reserved beaten egg, whisk in a teaspoon of cream, milk, or water to create an egg wash. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash onto the crust.
Place pie into the preheated oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is a deep golden colour.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire cooling rack; at least 4 hours. To ensure a clean slice, place into the fridge for an additional 1 to 2 hours before slicing to allow juices and filling to firm up.
*The pie crust can be made in a food processor.
*Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar can be used in place of the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar for a more subtle caramel-like flavour.
*Additional spices can be added to the filling like ground cardamom, cloves, ginger, and/or nutmeg.
*If desired, cut shapes (leaves, apples, etc.) out of the leftover dough. Brush with egg wash and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown in colour.
*If a microwave is unavailable, place heavy cream and butter into a small pot and heat over medium heat,stirring every so often, just until butter is melted and the cream is warm. Remove from heat and proceed with the recipe, as usual.