Brown Butter Apple Pie

Brown Butter Apple Pie: The Briarwood Baker

Hey friends, are you ready for my first blog post…that I’ve ever done in my entire life? Besides my lack of technological skills, I wanted to share with you a wonderful apple pie recipe, just in time for the Thanksgiving season.

Now, I want to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready?

Brown Butter Apple Pie: The Briarwood Baker

It’s brown butter.

Brown butter is basically butter that is melted and browned, giving it a rich, nutty flavor. Adding it to the apple filling of the pie adds a nutty, caramel-y flavor, along with the deeper flavor of the brown sugar which I decided to use instead of just the typical white.

After finishing it with a lattice top, braided crust, egg wash, and turbinado sugar, I threw it in the oven and subsequently wonderful smells began to permeate the house, which naturally made it that much harder to wait for it to finish cooking and cool. It was worth it though.

Brown Butter Apple Pie: The Briarwood BakerBrown Butter Apple Pie: The Briarwood Baker

Brown Butter Apple Pie: The Briarwood Baker

The apples were cooked down perfectly, where the combination of flour and tapioca kept the juices in check, the brown sugar and brown butter added a depth of flavor, the spices were just right, and the crust was flaky and delicious. Brown butter can do magical things, folks.

Brown Butter Apple Pie: The Briarwood Baker

You probably have a ton of things to do this week before Thanksgiving.

Perhaps making this pie is one of those?

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Brown Butter Apple Pie

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup shortening, cut into 1 inch cubes

6-7 tablespoons very cold water

For the filling:

3 tablespoons butter

6-7 large honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons tapioca

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

 

For the crust:

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.

Add the shortening and cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle the water over the flour and shortening mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork until the dough begins to come together into a ball. You may need to use more or less water, depending on the temperature, the conditions, etc.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a flattened disc. Wrap each disc separately in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to foam; continue whisking until the butter is brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Make sure to continually whisk during this process to prevent burning. Immediately remove the butter from the heat and pour into a separate bowl to cool slightly before using.

Mix the sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and tapioca together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice and brown butter. Add the dry ingredient mixture and toss to combine.

Assembly:

Set a 9 inch pie plate aside. Make the egg wash by whisking the egg and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Take one of the discs of dough and roll into a round 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Make sure to flour the board and top of the dough while rolling it out to prevent sticking. Ease the round into the pie plate. Fill with the apple filling.

Taking the second disc of dough, roll into a round 2 inches larger than the pie plate. If you want to do a lattice top, cut out 10, 1-inch wide strips, and weave over the apple filling. Trim the excess dough from the edges of the pie. If you want to do a braided crust, as I did, roll the leftover dough into a long rectangle. Cut 3, 1/4-inch wide strips, and braid. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg wash and lay the braid along the edge, pressing gently to secure. You may have to do multiple sections of braiding, as it is difficult to get a strip that is long enough to circle all the way around the crust. You also can skip the braiding and simply crimp or flute the edges of the crust.

Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake the pie for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F and bake 30-35 minutes more. Let cool before serving.

Serves: 12

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