I've made pie crusts many times in the past, but this was the most ambitious one I have taken on. In fact, Miss Martha has this listed as being an "advanced" recipe, which totally pumped me up. I had some beautiful fruit from the farmer's market, including three different kinds of apples. And I had a little leaf-shaped cookie cutter. And thus I made this pie.
This is what it looked like after I had layered all the leaves in a pseudo-lattice top, but before I baked it:
This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven:
So what's the verdict? The verdict is that this is an amazing pie. Absolutely amazing. I am so happy with it. It tastes pretty wonderful the next day but it was fantastically amazing when it came out of the oven. Love love love, so much love. I would make this again. I would even go through the hassle of creating all of the leaves and getting frustrated with the pate brisee again (it wouldn't roll out, so I just smushed it with my hands - don't judge me). I would even consider this for Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful pie.
Apple-Blackberry Pie with "Fall Leaves"
Martha Stewart Living, November 2009
An all-butter pate brisee is the pinnacle of pie-making, rewarding bakers with a golden and delicately tender crust. Filled with sweet, jammy blackberries and tart apples, and then topped with a forest of pastry leaves, the piecrust is an impressive accomplishment worthy of the season's most important meal. This is an advanced-level recipe.
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds assorted apples -- (such as Cortland, Empire, Granny Smith, Jonagold, and Macoun) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
10 ounces fresh or frozen blackberries -- (2 1/4 cups) thawed
"Fall Leaves" Pate Brisee (See Below)
1 ounce cold unsalted butter -- (2 tablespoons) cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk -- lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Sanding sugar -- for sprinkling
1. Whisk together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add apples and blackberries, and toss to coat. Pour filling into prepared piecrust, and dot with butter.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in lowest position. Meanwhile, brush rim of piecrust with egg wash. Arrange dough leaves over filling, creating a spiral from the edge into the center, overlapping leaves slightly to cover pie but leaving some openings. Lightly brush tops of leaves with egg wash as you work, to help them adhere. Once filling is covered with leaves, lightly brush top of entire pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Freeze for 30 minutes.
3. Place pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake pie, rotating sheet halfway through, until juices are bubbling in the center and crust is golden brown, 1 hour and 45 minutes to 1 hour and 55 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. (Pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)
Yield: 1 pie
"Fall Leaves" Pate Brisee
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour -- plus more for surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces cold unsalted butter -- (2 sticks) cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water -- (1/4 to 1/2)
1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
2. Evenly drizzle 1/4 cup water over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together (it should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap. Press dough into 2 disks using a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight. (Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw before using.)
3. Roll 1 disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edge flush with rim. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Roll remaining disk to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Transfer to a piece of parchment. Cut out 18 leaves, rerolling scraps if needed, using 3 1/2-inch leaf-shaped cutters ( sugarcraft.com ). Transfer leaves to another piece of parchment; chill if needed. Gently press the dull edge of a paring knife into leaves to create veins. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.