Apple pie, but make it F A N C Y.
Honestly, I’ve watched so much CNN and stayed up so late the past few days that I can’t even formulate a complete sentence anymore, so if there’s one thing from this post that you should take home it is this:
It is THE super secret special apple pie ingredient that you never knew you needed. But you do. Oh, you do.
This is the only way I can explain it: rose water does to apples what coffee does to chocolate.
It somehow enhances the apple flavor and makes it taste more…apple-y.
Other than that, you really can’t detect that it’s there. There’s no overtly flowery flavor, it doesn’t taste like soap, or potpourri, or a candle or whatever you’re worried about. It just pumps up the apple flavor so that you feel like you’re eating the most intensely delicious apple of your life.
Paired with my absolute favorite no-fail all butter crust, this is definitely the apple pie of my dreams.
And it very well may be yours too.
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ lb (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup cold water
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup ice
- juice of 2 lemons
- 6-7 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
- ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp rose water
- dash of Angostura bitters
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp water
- demerara sugar, for finishing
- Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until only pea-sized pieces of butter (or smaller) remain.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the ice water mixture over the flour-butter mixture. Toss with your hands until fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water, 1-2 tbsp at a time, using your hands to mix. Add just enough of the water mixture so that the dough comes together into a ball. Split the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll out one of the pie discs into an 11-inch round. Use this to line the pie plate leaving a 1-inch overhang around the edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Pour the lemon juice into a large bowl. Add the apple slices to the bowl and toss gently to coat them in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of sugar and toss again. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes, or until softened.
- Roll out the second pie crust disc into an 11-inch round. Using a pizza cutter, cut into long thin strips or triangle shapes for the lattice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the remaining ⅓ cup sugar, brown sugar, flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Drain the apples, removing any excess liquid, and add to the bowl with the sugar mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with the rose water and the bitters. Pour the apple mixture into the pie shell, arranging the apples as tightly as possible.
- Top with the second pastry round or lattice, crimping as desired.
- Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and a pinch of salt. Brush the egg wash over the pastry and sprinkle with the demerara sugar to garnish. Place in the oven on the lowest rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is starting to brown.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375F. Move the pie to the center rack and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until the filling is bubbling in the center.
- Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, about 2-3 hours, before serving.