It’s the internet rage since, I don’t know, 2-3 years ago perhaps? I’ve been dying to try my hands on making rose apple pie, and when is the best day to do that but on Thanksgiving Day, right? However, I wasn’t able to do it on this year’s Thanksgiving as I was pressed on time, and our oven was fully occupied by the turkey. A week after Thanksgiving, I decided to just go ahead and do this, regardless of any occasion. It’s an eyeful for sure, and not to mention such a unique way to surprise your guests.
When my family saw this, they couldn’t believe it’s an apple pie. Sure, I strayed away from the classic apple pie we were all used to having, at least aesthetically. However, the flavor remained the same, or almost the same. If you are someone who likes their crust, this may not be for you as it doesn’t have a top crust. I prefer to think of this as more of a tart rather than pie, actually. In fact, the next time I make this, I might just do it on a tart pan instead of a pie pan.
My go-to apple for baking has always been Granny Smith and I always peel them. I know some people prefer others or a mix of different varieties of apple like Honey Crisp, etc. If you do use red apple, you can definitely skip the peeling process of the apples, if you like. The beautiful red skin color of apples can help enhance the rose impression on this pie.
For the pie crust, I used the pie crust recipe from my Egg Custard recipe post. It’s flaky, buttery and extremely easy to make.
- 1 pie crust
- 3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled (or your preferred apple variety)
- 1 lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- about 1/2 cup granulated sugar (can be adjusted on how tart and sweet your apples)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons peach jam or apricot jam
Using a sharp knife, peel and slice the apples as thinly and evenly as possible. You can certainly use a mandoline slicer if you’re not comfortable using a knife to thinly slice them.
In a mixing bowl, put the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, pinch of salt, and juice of 1 lemon.
Gently stir all of them, either by hands or a spatula. Try to avoid breaking the apples when you stir as they are quite delicate, thinly sliced as they are. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or so to release the juice from the apples.
While the apples are sitting in the bowl with all the good stuffs, get your pie crust ready onto the pie plate and crimped the edges. Let it sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
After 30 minutes of waiting, you can now see this delectable juice. Don’t throw this away. It will flavor your apple pie later once the apple slices are arranged on the pie crust.
Taking the pie crust from the fridge, we can now get our apple slices settled in onto our crust. Take one slice of apple and shake off the excess liquid, then gently placed it on the crust. Take another one, shake off the excess liquid then place it overlapping the previous one. Keep doing this until we reach the center. Well, you can tell that my slices are not evenly-sized, hence, I highly recommend using a mandoline.
First layer done, continuing on to the second layer.
It does take some patience and time, as opposed to your regular apple pie where you just normally toss and pile all the apples onto the crust. But we’re getting there.
And here it is! Isn’t that pretty? As for the bud in the center, I used the thinnest slice of apples and rolled them, then tuck them into the center. If you have any leftover apple slices, you can use those to fill in some gaps.
Remember the juice from the apples? Regular apple pie uses cornstarch or flour to thicken the liquid. On this one, however, no flour is added but instead, we’ll thicken the juice before baking so that it won’t be a gloppy mess after it’s baked.
But first, this is the right time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, transfer the juice and add 1/4 cup butter. The good thing about doing this is that you can also adjust the taste. If you think it needs more sweetness, you can add more sugar. If it needs more spices, it’s also a perfect time to add more.
Using medium heat, let it boil until reduced and has slightly thickened.
It should take about 5-7 minutes or so, and should look like this.
Spoon this mixture onto the rose apple pie, spreading it out as much as you can.
Bake the rose apple pie in the preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes.
While the pie is baking, prepare the syrup from the jam. Oftentimes, apricot jam is used. You can use any jam you prefer. I happened to have peach jam in the pantry and I thought peach and apples go well together, so why not? Warm the jam in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. If your jam is like mine with bits of fruits in it, you can use a spoon and press them to release the juices. You can sieve it and just take the syrup, but I prefer mine to have some peach bits onto the apple pie, so I kept mine.
After about 40 minutes in the oven, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and take out the pie. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the jam onto the pie. This will give the apple slices good color and added sweetness and flavor. Again, you can just use the syrup from the jam and omit the use of fruit bits.
Here’s what mine looked like after brushing with peach jam.
If the crust is browning too much, cover it loosely with foil. Place the pie back into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pie is golden brown in color.
You can add more syrup if you prefer, but mine already tasted good as it is. I was worried at first when I saw the bubbling liquid in the crevices of the pie, thinking that it may did end up as a gloppy mess. So, I let it cool for about 30 minutes and check on it again. The liquid thickened as it cooled, so it’s no longer a problem.
You have to use a very sharp knife to cut into the pie as you don’t want to ruin the rose arrangement.
This pie is absolutely delicious. I had initially thought it would be difficult to achieve, but it’s actually pretty easy. Just patience, it’s all you will ever need. And I must say, it’s all worth the effort!