French Apple Pie

P1060911 This weekend the weather got very cold. I wouldn’t have even gone out of the house if we didn’t have obligations. Luckily we did have somewhere to go and were expected to bring food. So the French apple pie came with us along with the garlicky white bean dip. You can imagine what disappeared first. I got a little job that I was so excited about. Pastry chef Nick Malgieri was coming to town on a media tour and he needed some pies baked and some food styling for his TV segment. I jumped at the chance. He is letting me share the recipe out of his new cookbook Pastry. The dough was so simple and the filling was incredible. I love raisins and they get all plumped up and sweet in this filling.   P1060894 The interesting thing I learned is that the French apple tart is not French at all. It is an old Northeast bakery product. It is baked in an 8 inch cake pan and the bottom part becomes the top. So if you have a fear of baking tarts or pies (I always get nervous) this is a good place to start because the top will be nice and smooth and easy to spread the simple icing. fotor_(7) The other pie I made for him was the Apple and Cheddar pie. If you like a not so sweet dessert this has your name on it.  If you want to make the French apple pie and don’t have a lot of time you can make the dough one day, the filling the next and assemble and bake on the day you wish to serve it. So it looks like the cold weather is here to stay so I {{plan}} on baking a lot this winter to keep us all warm and cozy. Stay warm and happy baking!

French Apple Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • One batch Sweet Pastry Dough (recipe following)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup dark raisins
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted after measuring
  • 1½ tablespoons water
  • One 8-inch round pan, 2 inches deep, buttered and the bottom lined with a disk of parchment
  1. For the apple filling, melt the butter in a wide saucepan or Dutch oven with a cover and add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Stir well and place over medium heat. Cook until the apples start to sizzle, then cover the pan and decrease the heat. Cook until the apples have exuded water, 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and stir occasionally while the water evaporates. Off the heat, stir in the rum. Spread the filling in a shallow bowl and refrigerate until cooled or up to 2 days before filling the pie.
  2. When you are ready to assemble the pie, set a rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  3. Roll out a little more than half of the dough on a floured surface and line the prepared pan, cutting away excess dough at the rim of the pan. Spread the apple filling in the crust. Roll the remaining dough and cut an 8-inch disk. Set it atop the filling and fold the dough on the side of the pan onto the disk of dough to seal it. Bake the pie until the crust is baked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  4. Unmold the pie onto a platter, keeping the bottom of the pie as the top.
  5. For the icing, place the confectioners’ sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir well. Heat to lukewarm and quickly spread on the pie. Let the icing set before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Nick Malgieri out of his new cookbook Pastry

Sweet Pastry Dough
Prep time
Total time
Makes enough for 2 single-crusted pies or tarts or 1 double-crusted pie
Cuisine: American
  • 2 cups/270 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into dry-measure cup and level)
  • ⅓ cup/65 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons/1 stick/112 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse several times at 1-second intervals to mix.
  2. Add the butter and pulse again until the butter is finely mixed throughout the dry ingredients and no visible pieces remain.
  3. Use a fork to beat the eggs enough to break them up, and add to the bowl. Pulse again until the dough almost forms a ball; avoid pulsing too much or the dough might become too soft.
  4. Invert the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead together 3 or 4 times to make it smooth.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form them into disks, and wrap each in plastic. Chill for a couple of hours before rolling.
  6. Before rolling the dough, place it on a floured surface and gently knead until smooth and malleable. Form into a disk again before beginning to roll.
Recipe courtesy of Nick Malgieri out of his new cookbook Pastry


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