Deep-Dish Sour Cream Apple Pie with Lemon-Cardamom Streusel

deep-dish sour cream-apple pie recipe with lemon-cardamom streusel

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.

Deep-Dish Sour Cream Apple Pie with Lemon-Cardamom Streusel
Makes: Serves 8 to 10
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Bakepedia Tips

  • 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.


4 Responses to Deep-Dish Sour Cream Apple Pie with Lemon-Cardamom Streusel

  1. Linda February 21, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    Dede, can you tell me the gram equivalent for the 11/4 cups of sifted cake flour in the crust recipe? I wanted to bake this on Saturday afternoon to bring to a family gathering on Sunday, will the crust remain firm overnight?
    Looking forward to trying this pretty pie.

    • Dede Wilson February 21, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Linda, your request got me at a free moment and I went into the kitchen this morning to assess this for you. We do intend to create weights for our recipes. The problem is that commonly used charts won’t necessarily match up with the way we measure, so we will have to do this from scratch. Here’s what happened:

      I sifted my Softasilk flour and measured 1 cup 12 times. The weights varied from 106 grams to 115 grams. The consistency was not obvious. Now, this tells us two things. It reinforces that measuring by volume is variable. That said, when we measure by volume, we accept that. The purpose of weights is to be much more specific. So I am stumped. Will I “label” a Bakepedia sifted cup of cake flour at 106, 115 or somewhere in between? The jury is still out because once I make that determination I want to be supremely confident. I suggest that for now you go with 110 grams per cups of sifted cake flour. And note what flour I used.

      As for your other question, if you mean does the pie stay nice and firm with straight sides once it is baked with its filling? Yes, overnight is no problem at all! Report back! Would love to hear your experience.

      • Linda February 21, 2014 at 8:18 am #

        Thanks Dede for the quick reply. That is exactly why I asked about the weight as the volume can vary. I love my scale and can’t bake without it. Perhaps a future article on scales should be in order 🙂
        Glad the crust will stay crispy and firm overnight. I’ll report back as I know this pie will be wonderful.

  2. Anja November 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    I am thinking of making this for Thanksgiving. Can I make it a day ahead, keep it in the fridge, and reheat after the turkey is out of the oven?

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