I’ve never really been one to do things by halves - Mum instilled a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality in us from a very young age, which rears its wee head quite often! I have had a couple of pie ideas lurking in my brain for a while now, so figured that the week of pie day would be the best time to just dump them here all at once! I used to find making pie really really stressful, but as I have made more and more throughout the years, it’s come to be something that I find super relaxing - there’s just something about rolling out pie dough and cutting lattice strips that I find so chill.
I’ve done a few flavoured crusts before - this fresh sage one, and an earl grey one a forever ago, but haven’t played round too much with spicing the dough before. I added cardamom and vanilla bean to this dough, then filled the pie with a super simple but delicious sliced apple filling, thickened with a bit of flour and spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. I traded the regular raw sugar for dark brown - the result is a super warming, spiced apple pie. The great thing about adding powdered spices to pie dough is that it doesn’t take any extra work or fancy techniques, but adds a huge dimension to the pie flavour wise. I’m definitely going to be spicing up my pie doughs from now on!
I went a wee bit fancy with the lattice on this guy, but not in a complicated weaving way - I just went with single vertical strips, then added two strips per ‘weave’ horizontally. This worked out super super well - I love how it came out, and looks different to a regular lattice, but really takes the same amount of effort as a lattice that has one strip vertically and one horizontally. It’s always good to remember that when you do a tight lattice like this, you are essentially covering the surface of the pie twice, so you need to make sure you account for this when making your dough. I’ve included the amount of dough I used in the recipe below, along with some changes if you need to scale it back. I love using a pasta cutter to cut my lattice strips because they come out super, super even, so are great for a really tidy lattice. I then finished the pie with a wee braided border, which held up beautifully in the oven - the key to this, I have found, is a long chill in the fridge before you bake the pie off, giving it a good amount of time to set up nicely.
A few wee tips:
The recipe for the pie dough I have listed here makes quite a lot - I needed almost all of it for this lattice. If you are making a less complicated top for your pie and just want a standard double crust recipe, reduce the quantities by 1/3 - so you will use 2 1/2 cups flour, and 225g butter, 1 tsp cardamom etc.
I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a disc. I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.
When I am making a lattice pie I know I will need more dough for the top crust than the bottom, so I usually make one portion of dough bigger than the other when I initially divide it after mixing to account for this. For this dough I split it 1/3 to 2/3. I usually shape the dough for the bottom crust into a disc, and the dough for the top crust into a rectangle which makes for an easy roll-out for cutting strips for lattice.
The cardamom in this is subtle enough to provide some warmth, but still definitely there, so feel free to dial it back a little in the filling if you want. I thought it was the perfect balance! It’s epic with vanilla bean ice cream.
I popped this pie out of the tin on my IG stories and had loads of questions about how to avoid a soggy bottom - I have found the key to this is a good, solid bottom crust, and baking the pie at a higher temp for the first 20 minutes near the bottom of the oven, which starts to cook the bottom of the pie and also sets the pastry - a tip I borrowed from the four and twenty blackbirds pie book.
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust
- Makes one 9 inch pie-
3 3/4 cups (540g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp (13g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tsp vanilla bean paste
3 sticks (345g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
1.5kg (3.3lbs) apples, peeled and finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- PROCESS -
Place flour, salt, sugar, and ground cardamom into a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and rub through with your fingers. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Divide the dough into two - I like to do a 1/3 to 2/3 split. Shape the smaller portion into a disc and the larger into a rectangle. If desired, roll out and perform letter folds (see notes) Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
On a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.
Roll out the second piece of dough (the rectangle) into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. If you would like to make a braid, roll a piece of pie dough into a long thin rectangle, cut thin strips, and braid. Place your strips and braids onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll - these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border.
In a large bowl, toss together the apple and lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then drain any excess liquid. Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the apples along with the vanilla bean and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Remember that it will bake down a little, so it is ok for the pie to seem a bit full.
Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. If you are adding stamps, trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish, then glue on the stamps with a little egg wash. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.
Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven.
Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.