March 14th! 3.14! It’s Pi Day!
I finally have it together enough to share a pie recipe on the actual Pi Day. This particular pie is a classic French apple tart decorated in an escargot pattern. This is not to be confused with a Tarte Tatin where you use puff pastry and assemble and bake the pie in a skillet and then flip it out when it comes out of the oven. This is a classic tart pie – baked in a fluted tart pan with a pate sucree, or sweet shortcrust pastry.
I got this recipe from Beth Le Manach over at Entertaining with Beth. Her recipe makes this pie SO EASY! I’ve linked to her recipe so if you want to try it click on over. I am sharing my thoughts below.
First – when making the pie dough do use a food processor if at all possible. The butter is super cold and the egg yolk is hard to blend in right without it. I started with my hands and ended up having to make the switch part way.
You end up with a lovely, soft dough that is really easy to work with, especially after you refrigerate it for 30 minutes, like Beth tells you to.
Second – Make the compote as she says. I used a stick blender to puree it and it ended up looking like apple sauce, but thicker. I would not use apple sauce for this recipe. The compote is really thick and really nice. Plus you can spice it as you wish and the lemon zest really adds a lovely bright flavor to the pie.
Now comes the hard part. Slicing the apples. They need to be sliced thin. Really thin. The recipe says 1/8″ thick, but I think that is the maximum it should be. They need to be bendy. Save back 4 or 5 of your thinnest ones for the middle of the pie where they really need to be pliable. And soak them in the lemon juice or you will end up with sad brown apple slices. I didn’t use the sugar she recommended because the Gala apples I used were already sweet.
What was really unexpected was where she said to broil the pie. Yes, you actually turn to oven to broil for the last 1 to 2 minutes of baking to give it those brown highlights that make it look like a rose. The melted apricot jam really highlights the swirl design and gives it a lacquered shine that makes it bakery quality.
It was a delight to eat. The crust was light and flaky and the apples were so delicate. The whole thing just melted in the mouth. A real 5 out of 5!
Happy Pi Day!!