by Judy Kim
Apple Cardamom Cable Knit Pie
Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie
This cable knit design was inspired by Aran Irish Sweaters, something I learned about during my first job as a design assistant at Ralph Lauren when I worked in Men’s sweaters. Not surprising as we used to make knit downs of cable knit designs all day long, always looking for new combinations. I use a similar approach when designing this pie crust.
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry
2 meyer lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 (about 3 1/2 pounds) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandolin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen
Place Baking Steel on the middle rack of your oven. Preheat oven 500°F. The pizza stone ensures a crispy bottom crust. Preferably preheat oven for 30 to 60 minutes. In a small bowl beat egg with heavy cream; set aside.
Prepare the buttermilk pie crust recipe, cut into one third and two thirds ratio, wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Shape smaller piece into a flat round disk and shape other half into a narrow flat rectangle. Let dough rest 20 minutes or overnight in refrigerator. Note: This dough makes more dough than average recipes, great for decorative pie crusts.
Let the dough come to room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling out 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 flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Gently roll onto rolling pin and transfer to pie dish. Trim with scissors or a knife along the rim leaving a 1/2-inch border. Note: Be careful not to stretch the dough or it will shrink back.
Cut second rectangular pie dough in half lengthwise. Roll one half (Dough A) to 9-inches in length and 1/4-inch thick. Roll remaining dough (Dough B) to 9-inches in length and 1/8-inch thickness. Work quickly to prevent the dough from getting warm. If needed, place them in the fridge to firm up during the process.
Dough A: Use a ruler to cut long even strips. For a square edge braid, cut into 1/4-inch strips with a sharp paring knife. Braid together keeping both ends loose; transfer to a sheet pan. For rounded edge braid, cut dough into six 1/4-inch strips and roll against floured board to round edges. Repeat braiding technique and transfer to the sheet pan, keep in the fridge while you roll the remaining dough. Separate layers with parchment if needed. Dough B: Cut four 1-inch strips. Loosely twist 2 pieces together to create a cable knit effect and repeat; transfer to the same sheet pan. Cut three diamonds from any leftover dough and score with a knife in a diagonal direction. Roll four balls of dough and flatten slightly to create 4 small buttons; score with a curved fork to mimic a leather football button. (Fashion is clearly still in me). Transfer sheet pan back to the fridge. NOTE: If you are having trouble with the dough breaking while braiding, the butter pieces may be too large or the dough is too warm. For decorative pies, I formulated a pie crust that is ideal and hopefully breakage won’t be an issue.
In a large mixing bowl, combine zest of 2 Meyer lemons, 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, sugar, sea salt, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour and toss again. Transfer apple mixture into pie dish, try to keep the mixture even. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the apples.
Remove sheet pan with pastry from the fridge. Start in the middle and place cable knit pieces tightly next to each other. Try to avoid large gaps between pastry. Trim pieces to fit within the pie dish. Fold edge of pie inward neatly and crimp together by pinching. Chill in freezer or fridge for 15 minutes.
Brush evenly with light coating of egg wash and cover loosely with foil. Adjust oven to 425°F, gently place pie dish directly onto Baking Steel or pizza stone and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F, remove foil and bake until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, about 1 hour more. If necessary, rotate the pie for even baking. For best results, let pie cool for 4 to 6 hours before serving.
You can use leftover dough for decorative cut outs. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Dip pie cutters or cookie cutters in flour and cut out shapes. Lay them evenly on a quarter sheet pan and layer using parchment paper. I didn't use any cut outs for this cable knit design, but you can keep these in the freezer for a future use. Suggestion: Bake and add them to a bowl of ice cream or berries and cream.