Apple Dulce de Leche Pie

There’s a debate on whether or not it’s useful to blind bake the bottom crust of pies. Sometimes, when I feel lazy, I skip it, but because between the juiciness of the apples and the liquid dulce de leche, I wanted to ensure that the bottom crust was not soggy and that the whole pie was light and flaky. Because of this, I strongly encourage that you do take the extra step and blind bake your bottom crust if making this pie here.

For the Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups (319 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (1gram) kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (283 grams) unsalted butter, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 to 5 tablespoons (59 to 148 ml) ice cold water

For the Filling:
1 3/4 pounds (794 grams) apples (6 to 8 cups), a nice variety is ideal, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (170 grams) dulce de leche
2 tablespoons (42 grams) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (40 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (110 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (40 grams) cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

For the Eggwash:
1 large eggyolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling.

1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flour and salt just to combine. Add the butter and process just until the butter is the size of lima beans. Add the water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until mixture just comes together. Pat the dough into a ball, divide into 2 equal pieces, flatten the pieces into disks, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days, before rolling out and baking.

2. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place on of the dough discs on a lightly floured surface, and roll it into a 12-inch circle, about 3/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trim the excess and crimp the edges. Line the dough with foil and weigh it down with pie weights (I like to use pennies!). Bake until the crust is light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375° F.

3. While the pie crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine the apples, dulce de leche, lemon juice, vanilla, both sugars, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg – until everything is evenly distributed. Remove the foil and pie weights from the baked, cooled pie crust and gently spoon the filling into it.

4. Place the second disc of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 12-inch circle about 3/8-inch thick. Place the top crust on top of the filling, and, using a knife, or kitchen shears, trim away excess, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself, pressing it into the bottom crust so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger, or press with a fork.

5. In a small bowl, lightly beat together the yolk and the cream. Gently brush the eggwash on top of the pie crust. Using a paring knife, make a few slits in the pie crust to allow for steam to escape. Sprinkle demerara sugar on top. Bake the pie for 30 to 40 minutes until the edges start to turn golden, then reduce the temperature to 350° F and continue to bake until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.

Serves 8.

© 2023 Olga Massov