Adapted from Unforgettable Desserts, by Dédé Wilson (Wiley)
This apple pie recipe makes an extra deep dessert, formed in a springform pan. The crunchy, buttery brown sugar crumb on top is lightly accented with cardamom and lemon and is the perfect foil to the lush, rich sour cream and apple filling, which is a full 2 inches deep. When you slice a big wedge, it is picture-perfect; guests will think this came from a fancy bakery. There are several do-ahead steps, so take advantage, particularly with two chilling times for the crust.
- 1 recipe Sweet Tart Crust, chilled and ready to roll out
- 9 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced apples (about 10 or 11 apples); use a mixture of Cortland, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups sour cream (not low-fat)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- For the Crust: Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10-inch round. Use the bottom of a 9 x 3-inch round springform pan as a guide and cut out a 9-inch circle. Assemble the pan with the sides locked into place, and coat the inside with nonstick spray. Transfer the circle of crust to the bottom of the pan. Roll out the remaining dough and cut two long strips, each one 17 x 2 inches. Take one strip and fit it into the pan along the side; have the bottom slightly curve in over the bottom crust. Press the lower edge of the strip against the bottom crust to seal. Brush the short, vertical edges of the side strip with water and press the second strip into place, trimming to fit with about ½ inch of overlap. Press the overlapping edges well to seal. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- For the Filling: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss together the apple slices and sugar in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring gently, taking care not to crush the fruit pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes, just until the mixture begins to exude juices and the apples soften just a tiny bit. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, then sprinkle the flour over, and toss gently to coat. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the sour cream, zest and vanilla. Fold into the fruit mixture. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and scrape the filling into the crust. It will come right up to the top of the crust. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the streusel.
- For the Streusel: Combine all the ingredients until well blended. After the pie has baked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 375°F. Squeeze the streusel between your fingers and palms to create clumps ranging in size from small to large grapes and scatter all over the top of the pie. There is a lot of streusel; use it all, gently mounding it in the center. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more. Turn the heat down to 350°F and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until the streusel is evenly browned and the pie feels firm when gently pressed. If you can see any filling bubbling around the edges, that is a good sign of doneness, but most likely it will be completely covered with streusel. Cool the pan on a rack to allow the filling to thicken and set. Serve at room temperature. Store at room temperature for up 1 day.
- Cardamom has a flavor that dominates in recipes where it is used; it typically does not fade to the background in a dish. For an alternative flavor, try this recipe with cinnamon in its place, and leave the lemon zest out of both the filling and crust. You will have a more typical apple-cinnamon flavor profile, which, while more expected, is equally welcomed.
- The blend of apples provides contrasting and complementary textures. The Granny Smith retains a bit of crunch, the Cortland provides some soft body and the Golden Delicious is somewhere between the two in taste and texture. As you can see in the image, the pie slices very neatly, but this is partially due to this blend of apples. We recommend using the apples listed.