It's apple picking season! Here in Chicago, we've been having some fabulous weather - perfect for a day at the apple orchards. After a visit, we're left with so many apples to play with and almost every year, we end up making an apple pie.
This year, we enjoyed a French Apple Pie with a Butterflake Crust and it was so good, we'll probably made it again to grace our holiday table in the coming months. The butterflake crust makes for a deliciously rich pie, not to mention the sweet apple filling with all the flavors of fall swirled in. Although apple season is usually in the fall, this is one pie you can make all year round...
Thanks to my friend/neighbor, Ro, she made this pie a couple weeks ago for a pie swap event I hosted. It was amazing and I confess I indulged in this gluten laden treat at the time. (Trust me, it was worth feeling sick over!) I prepared the pie using her recipe using a gluten free all purpose flour that included xanthan gum and wow... so so good. If you're not keen on making a pie crust, have no fear. This pie crust is forgiving and because of the amount of cream cheese and butter, it's easier to work with... if you don't mind a slightly sticky dough.
As for the apples, I like a combination of tart and sweet apples. For tart apples, try Granny Smiths, Empires, or Cortlands; for sweet, we recommend Golden Delicious, Jonagolds, or Braeburns. The filling for this pie takes some effort but believe me, it's worth it. Apple slices are peeled, cored and sliced before tossing with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. The apples macerate a bit, allowing some natural juices to come out. These juices are saved and boiled down with butter to concentrate the flavors and soon enough, a delicious golden syrup is made.
The apple slices are tossed in cornstarch and mounded high in the prepared pie crust, followed by the syrup drizzled on top of them. Don't worry if the pie looks ridiculously full. The apples will cook down while baking so it won't come out quite as high. Then a sweet crumb topping of butter, flour and sugar is sprinkled on top of the apples for good measure before baking.