The original Almond Apple Pie was not decorated with almond pasty dough; I realized I had unevenness after I placed the dough in the pan. I, of course was going to continue and blind bake the dough, but I obsessed about the aesthetic perception for the entire baking time. While the pie was cooling I thought if I could decorate the edge no one would be the wiser. I had seen a piece of pie with leaves embellishing the back side and thought that might work for my less then perfect pie crust.
There are many ways to leaf the crust; at the time I owned a leaf push tool so I use it. Sydney loved the look and became a part of the tradition. In fact I changed the leaf a few years past (to roll around the crust); As Sydney was attaching them I noticed she seemed off. She finally confessed the pie did not have the character she adored, I told her it would be fine and I liked the new look. DF had the same reaction as Sydney; needless to say I went back to the original design. It always amazes and delights me how special a family tradition becomes. Family tradition (even the ones we think are corny) seems to be the glue that keeps us together!
The Leaves and Ribbon Apples:
The Leaf Dough:
- 1-recipes Pâte Sucrée aux Amandes, one for the crust and the other for the leaves
- 125 grams/ ½ -cup butter, cubed and cold
- 62 grams/ ½ -cup icing sugar
- 18 grams/1 egg yolk room temperature
- 200 grams/1 7/8-cup pastry flour
- 50 grams/1/2-cup almond flour
- Pinch of salt
- 28-52 grams/ 2- 4 Tablespoons ice cold water
- 30 grams/ 1 egg white
- Leaf push out or fondant leaf cutter
Peel each apple,place in lemon juice to prevent browning, and slice the apple 1/8th of an thick, with either a mandolin or
a Japanese vegetable peeler/ cutter.
Try to keep the ribbons from breaking, place them in a bowl with cinnamon, white sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cloves. Allow the apples to macerate for a good hour. Strain the apples through a sieve with a clean bowl underneath to catch the juices.
In a saucepan place the brown sugar and grate a pinch of nutmeg over the sugar.
Add the juices from the apples; about 3/4-cup and reduce to a syrup. Add the Calvados, carefully flame the pan and simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the syrup over the apples. The apple ribbon strips should be overlapping each other in a circle beginning on the outer edge by the crust and work your way inside towards the middle. Use three ribbon strips to roll around to resemble a rose and place the rose ribbons in the center. Now “glue” (attach) the leaves and sprinkle with sanding sugar for a glimmer effect.