by Judy Kim
Apple & Blood Orange Garden Trellis Pie
Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie
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 acidity. This design was inspired by a garden trellis woven with twisty vines. I've always had an affinity to gardening and all things floral, I get it from my Mother. I've included directions to create this design but the truth is, all designs don't go exactly as planned, so feel free to go rogue. I often utilize leaf and floral cut outs to cover up mistakes like broken pastry. There are some trouble shooting tips below. Regardless, true beauty and imperfection sit side by side in my book.
You can watch my pie demo video below.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 blood orange, zested and cut into supremes
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen sea salt
1/4 teaspoon aromatic bitters
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 (about 3 pounds) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandoline
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen
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, preferably freezer until ready to use.
Place oven rack in middle and preheat oven to 375°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 discard any excess liquid from the oranges. Mix in sugar, sea salt, bitters, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 3 tablespoons 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 or freezer. 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° 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. Or bake the day before.
If the lattice strips or cable knit ropes are breaking, I'd suggest checking your dough.
Is it too warm? Chill in the fridge or freezer for a bit.
Does it have big chunks of butter? While making the dough, if the butter pieces are too big, they will create weak spots between the pastry dough. Butter should be evenly distributed and probably smaller than you think. I find using a food processor creates the most consistency.
Are your lattice strips too thin? Find your sweet spot by rolling between 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch. I change the thickness depending on the style and texture desired.
Too frustrated with the lattice design? Place leaves and flowers over any mistakes or to fill in gaps. Or skip the lattice and cut out all the pastry with pie cutters and scatter them all over the filling. Crimp the edges in a simple manner.