French Apple Pie

There’s been a lot of talk of France recently and it’s been laying heavy on me as I’m sure it is with you. I really don’t discuss politics here, this blog is sort of a safe haven of food and photography, but even as we have to deal with all the horrors and complexities of the world, we still have to eat. So as I was searching for a new pie recipe the other day this one seemed to fit my mood. French Apple Pie. I’m not even sure it’s technically a pie, It falls somewhere between a cake, a torte, a pie, in any case it tastes amazing and unlike a pie, it really holds its shape. And bonus: it has frosting! The recipe is from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from Nick Malgieri's Pastry: Foolproof Recipes for the Home Cook. I’m thinking to pick that up soon since I really don’t have much for pastry cookbooks. I found it very easy to make, although my icing did not come out so great, I may have added too much water to the confectioners’ sugar, so I made another batch with a thicker consistency and added that on top of my thin glaze, but things started to get mucky and that’s where my pastry skills reached their limit. I hope you get a chance to try this over the holidays, I think you could even swap out raisins with dried cranberries and it would taste great. Also I used bourbon instead of rum and it worked great! Bon appétit!

French Apple Pie

Cooked Apple Filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds (1,2kg) Golden Delicious apples
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (140g) dark raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

Pastry Dough:

  • 2 cups (280g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (65g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 large eggs


  • 1 cup (140g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water

One 8-inch round pan, 2 inches deep, buttered



For the apple filling, peel, halve, core, and cut the apples into thin wedges. Melt the butter in a wide saucepan or Dutch oven with a cover, and add all the remaining ingredients but the rum. Stir well and place on medium heat. Cook until the apples start to sizzle, then cover the pan and decrease the heat. Cook until the apples have exuded water, between 5 and 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and stir occasionally while the water evaporates. Remove from heat, add the rum, and spread the filling in a shallow bowl. Refrigerate the apple filling.


For the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. (You can also make this by hand, in a bowl.) Cut the butter into 8 or 10 pieces and add. Pulse until the butter is no longer in visible pieces. Add the eggs and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. Invert to a floured work surface and carefully remove the blade. Wrap and chill the dough.


When you are ready to assemble the pie, set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC) degrees.

Lightly knead the chilled dough to soften it. Roll a little more than half the dough on a floured surface and line the pan. Cut away excess dough at the rim of the pan. Spread the chilled apple filling in the crust. Roll the remaining dough and cut an 8-inch (20cm) disk. Set it atop the filling and fold the dough on the side of the pan over it to seal. Use a fork to press down the folded dough and to pierce some holes throughout.

Bake until the dough is baked through and dark golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. (mine took 50 minutes to get golden brown) Cool on a rack.

Unmold the pie to a platter keeping the bottom of the pie as the top. Combine 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.

Adapted from David Lebovitz

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