Apple Pie with Stars Crust
Perfect for the Fourth of July or make any shapes for other occasions! Use an extra large pie plate for this recipe and feed a hungry crowd. Precook the apples and the apples will be succulent and the crust will fit snugly to the fruit.
- 3½ cups Pamela's Amazing Bread Mix (525 gr)
- ½ cup butter (8 TBSP)-chilled and cubed
- ½ cup shortening (8 TBSP)-chilled
- 4 TBSP ice cold water
- 1 egg or egg white mixed with 1 TBSP water, milk or cream for glazing and attaching the stars onto the pie
- 7 to 9 apples medium/large (great varieties: Granny Smith, Pippin, Honey Crisp, Fuji & Gravenstein)
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1½ TBSP butter
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup cider or hard cider
- 1 or 2 TBSP cornstarch or arrowroot, depending on juiciness of apples
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
Peel, core and slice apples into ½" sections. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Melt butter in pan, add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and apples. Mix cider with cornstarch until smooth and add to pan. Stir to coat, cook over medium heat until apples start to reduce in size, about 10 minutes. Cover and let rest to cool, around 15 to 20 minutes.
This recipe requires time and care but will yield a classic, flaky, and rich crust. Due to the high fat nature of this crust, for best results all ingredients should be chilled ahead of time. Refrigerate bowl, bread mix, and fat about 20 minutes before mixing. In a cold bowl of stand mixer, cut shortening and chilled butter into bread mix until small pea-sized pieces form (or use pastry blender or two knives). Slowly add ice water just until dough comes together, not sticky. Add 1 tsp additional water at a time if dough is too dry. Do not over-handle dough.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Divide and form dough into two flat disks, wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Roll out larger disk to ⅛" between two sheets of parchment, wax paper, or plastic wrap. Peel off top paper and invert into a greased pie dish, pinching and patting the crust back together if it cracks. Roll out second disk using the same method, cut stars of different sizes, and reserve.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples into the pie crust, mounding up in the middle. Beat the egg with water, and brush it on the outside rim crust as well as the tops and bottoms of the stars where they will overlap, as they are used. Starting in one spot, lay stars around the outside, overlapping, and covering the apples partway towards the center, gently brushing with egg wash as you work around the pie. Brush the tops of all the stars for an even shine and sprinkle with a little sugar for sparkle.
Bake for 10 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 350° and continue baking another 35 to 40 minutes until your crust is golden brown. If necessary, use foil to cover the edges to prevent them from getting too brown.
Divide the dough into not quite equal parts; use the larger portion to line the extra-large pie plate and the smaller portion for the stars crust.