Ahhh, Fall is here. Or so they tell me! Our temps are still in the low 90’s here so it doesn’t feel much like Fall!
Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not complaining! I LOVE hot weather! I never want summer to end and I dread the approach of winter every year!
I grew up in San Diego, California so ‘Fall’ was never been a thing for me. We didn’t have trees that changed colors and dropped their leaves. Even in the depths of winter, I might have worn a hoodie to keep warm. I thought anything below 60° was freezing! I never owned a real coat until I joined the Navy and found out that my second year of training would be spent in Winter Harbor, Maine.
Yes, the name of the town perfectly describes it. WINTER like I had never seen before! We were almost has far East as you could go, right on the water at Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park. It was stunningly beautiful and I enjoyed seeing my first real snow.
But, not only did I have to wear a coat, I had to wear gloves and a scarf and I should’ve worn a hat too! )I don’t do hats. I just can’t pull them off!). My roommate was from Missouri and she took me shopping to prepare me for the extreme temperatures. I loved my time there and even went back years later as an Instructor. But I just could not handle the long and extremely cold winters.
Now I live in Southern Illinois, just about 30 minutes from downtown St Louis. Our summers are hot and humid, our winters are mild compared to Maine but still cold and can be miserable. I still don’t wear a coat very often but I keep one in the car just in case I break down!
When Fall does arrive, we normally have about 3 to 4 weeks of mild temps and beautiful colors. It’s tough to estimate when Fall will actually be here but I know that very shortly after, it will be winter. Dark when I go to work, dark when I leave work, cold and dreary and just plain depressing! We don’t get a lot of snow. If we did, I think winter would be more bearable because a snow covered landscape is just so pretty!
The harvest of apples is when I know the transition has begun! People go to the local orchards to pick their own and the price of all varieties drops at the grocery stores. Apple Cider is sold in abundance and I buy a couple of bushels at their peak to prepare for the fast approaching winter.
Applesauce, apple butter, apple pie in a jar. All of these are jarred or frozen to get us through the winter. But I can’t stand to put up ALL the apples! I have to eat some now. I have to make a pie or a crumble or a topping for ice cream filled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Warm and spicy and delicious.
I haven’t slept much lately because of stress at work. My brain turns on at the weirdest times and this weekend, that time has been about 2 am. What better activity at 2 am to ease the stress and calm the nerves than to slice up apples and make a pretty lattice top?
I recently bought this 14″ x 5″ Wilton tart pan. I really wanted to use it so instead of a normal, round apple pie, I decided to make a rectangular ‘pie-tart’. (**Global Bakes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn affiliate commissions by linking to amazon.com.**)
So, not a traditional pie shape but I love how it turned out. Instead of triangular shaped wedges of pie, we slices off small squares. It was so fun to create the top and I think this would look stunning on a dessert table. I never really like to be strictly traditional anyway. Be different and creative and make it your own!
Included in this recipe is my go-to pie crust which is slightly adapted from www.foodnetwork.com. Part butter and part shortening makes a perfectly flaky crust. I normally don’t like pie crust – but I can’t resist this one!
Apple Pie Tart By Global Bakes
Yield: One rectangular 4×10” tart, 8 – 10 servings
Make the Pie Dough:
- 12 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons cold butter flavor shortening, cubed
- About ½ cup ice cold water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
- Cube butter and shortening and return to the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Pulse 8 – 10 times to mix together.
- Add the butter and shortening all at once and pulse 8-10 times or until the butter and shortening is in small pieces the size of peas.
- Turn the food processor to ‘on’ and slow pour in the ice cold water. Only pour in enough water to make the dough come together. You may not need all of the water.
- Dump the dough on to a flour board or counter. Bring together with your hands gently and shape into a flattened rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Make Apple Filling:
- 5 medium tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- ½ of one apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons Cointreau (orange liqueur – you can sub lemon juice)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 Tablespoons butter, diced
- Juice of one lemon
- Peel, core and chop the apples. They should be chopped small to allow them to fill the shallow tart pan.
- Pour Cointreau over chopped apples and stir to coat.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and spices. Whisk together and pour over chopped apples. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together about ½ cup of water and the juice of one lemon. Stir and add the thinly sliced apples that stir have their peels. Keep apples in the lemon water until ready to shape and put on top of pie.
Assemble the Pie:
- Cut the pie dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. On a well-floured counter or board, roll the dough out to slightly larger than the size of your tin. It should be about 1/8 inch thick.
- Roll the dough loosely around your rolling pin and transfer it to the tin. Press along the edges to shape. Cut off the excess dough with a sharp knife.
- Place the tin in the refrigerator to chill the dough for about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the refrigerator and pour the apple mixture in. Spread evenly and allow to be slightly mounded in the center.
- Place the butter around the top of the pie.
- Return to the refrigerator.
- At this point, it is helpful to decide on a design for the top of the pie so you know what to cut. Draw it out if you need to!
- Remove the second half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a well-floured countertop.
- Cut strips in various widths and place on a parchment paper lined tray. Create braids with some of the strips depending on the design that you wish to achieve.
- Place the tray with the strips into the refrigerator to firm them up. They are much easier to work with when they are cold!
- Start to create your design. If creating a criss-crossed lattice, lay the strips down that go in one direction. Then lay down one in the other direction, pulling back every other strip to allow the contrasting strip to go over and under, alternating across the entire pie. Be creative and make it pretty!
- Reserve one or two strips for the apple roses. Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave for 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Remove the sliced apples from the lemon water and dry thoroughly on paper towels. Starting with a smaller apple slice, roll into a circle, creating a flower shape.
- Wrap another apple slice around the first then take a small strip of the reserved dough around the apple slices and press down onto the counter and in to hold the apples in the desired shape. Continue to add apple slices and dough until the flower is the size you want.
- Place the apple flowers on the tart and press down so they are inset a bit.
- Return the pie to the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
- Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until browned on top.
- Cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Slice and serve.
How did this pie turn out for you? Share pics to show off your creations!