Never Fails to Please
This is my go-to fall and winter dessert; it never fails to please. I think I began making it when we owned MOM, our pie shop, and I would tire of making the same 3- or 9-inch double-crust pies. Since we were an all-American shop, I didn’t want to do a classic French tart, so I devised this presentation. I cut the apples by hand, so unfortunately, each one has its own shape, but I do try to keep all of the slices fairly thin. I use whatever apples are local and in season that seem to be crisp and a bit tart, but I particularly like very large Honeycrisps. You can make the pie in a metal pizza pan or directly on a pizza stone.
Judith Choate’s Apple Pizza
Nana’s Flaky Pie Pastry
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 tablespoons Wondra flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Approximately 1 1/2 pounds crisp, tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons apple cider
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Nana’s Flaky Pie Pastry
Makes enough dough for one double- crust 10-inch pie
1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process to aerate and blend.
2. Add the shortening and butter, and using quick on-and-off turns, process just until crumbly. With the motor running, add the water and process just until the dough begins to form a ball. Scrape the dough from the processor bowl and divide it into two equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill before rolling. The dough may also be frozen; thaw before using.
Servings: Makes one large pizza
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Lightly flour a clean, flat workspace using Wondra flour.
3. Place the dough in the center of the work surface and lightly flour the top of the pastry, again using Wondra flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a circle about 1 inch larger in diameter than your pizza pan. Carefully fold the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pan. Gently fold in the edges and crimp.
4. Mix the 2 tablespoons Wondra flour with the cinnamon.
5. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the flour/cinnamon mixture. Add the lemon juice and cider and gently toss to coat. Drizzle in the butter and again toss to coat.
6. Carefully arrange the seasoned apple slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles over the entire top of the pastry.
7. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender, caramelized, and beginning to crisp on the edges. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve as is or with vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, or dulce de leche ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla Greek-style yogurt.
From An American Family Cooks. Text © 2013 Judith Choate. Photos © 2013 Steve Pool.