Seriously, it's become a problem and I can't help myself. That's exactly what happened when Cathy of "Wives With Knives" posted her recipe for Glazed Apple Pie Bars. I could not stop thinking about that recipe!
Braeburn, Jonagold and Granny Smith Apples
...and, I'm not even a fan of apple pie! Blasphemy, I know. I've mentioned, numerous times, that pie crust doesn't rock my world. But, that has changed, now that I found a pie crust recipe that I like. I'm convinced that adding egg and vinegar makes for a very tender pastry crust. (I used my food processor to make the pie crust.) I'd have to ask Alton Brown why that is, but it works-- and you can't taste the vinegar, either.
However, I find that the dough can be a little testy to work with, because it breaks apart and requires a bit of patching. That's why I found making a pie in a half-sheet baking pan makes the task easier to do. Thanks, Cathy, for that tip, because I have one of these pans and I use it all the time.
Plus, this Apple (and potato) Peeler makes the work of peeling, coring and slicing an breeze.
Instant ClearJel. I mix this to the sugar, before adding it to any fruit pie filling. Instant ClearJel doesn't "cloud" my fillings and does a great job of preventing runny pies. Win! For this pie filling, I used 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and some fresh lemon juice.
I like to make an egg wash, to brush on top of the pie crust. (You can also use heavy cream.) I buy sparkling sugar -- where else-- from King Arthur Flour. I sprinkle it on top and then set the pie on a large baking sheet (or my baking stone) at 375F for about 35-45 minutes.
TASTING NOTES: This crust is my new favorite (always subject to change). It's very tender. I loved the cinnamon in the filling, but you could certainly leave it out. Using a blend of apples is a good way to go, because you have sweet and the Granny Smith tart, plus you have different levels of apple texture...from soft to slightly crispy. I liked the crunchiness of the sugar and the glaze was a nice touch, as well. This pie was a hit with all of us, and a friend described this as "the best strudel he has ever eaten". I can see why, because the pastry is so tender.
This recipe goes on the top of the pile as a "keeper recipe". Cathy, thanks for inspiring me to make a pie in a non-traditional pan. This would be perfect as a potluck kind of dessert, because you can make smaller slices to go around.
As always, you will find a printable recipe card at the very end of this post. If you can't view it, click here.