The aroma of cinnamon and freshly baked dough. The taste of juicy fruit and a crisp crust. Lattice neatly placed over the filling. What could be more perfect than pie?
Pie always stood out to me, whether displayed in cafes or mentioned in books. It stands for a homey treat that is an American classic. Yet, as much as I wanted to, we never made pie at home. Don’t get me wrong, we do bake a lot. We’ve made all kinds of bread, cookies, cakes, and tarts, yet never pie. Part of the reason is that nearly all pie recipes call for butter, and I am allergic to dairy. My efforts to convince my parents to find a solution never worked.
“Let’s make a pie and substitute oil for butter.” I’d suggest.
“The dough won’t be the right consistency for the lattice. Let me look into recipes,” my dad replies.
“You don’t have the time for it. Let’s just make a tart, it’s the same thing,” my mom put in.
But it isn’t! A pie has lattice. And lattice is what makes pie a pie.
The curtain to the Broadway show Waitress inspired me. It was designed to look like the top of a pie with a cherry filling and a golden brown lattice. The show was about a waitress who had a hard life. She made scrumptious pies, through which she remembered her mother and that cheered her up. Later, it helped her create a better life for herself. When the curtain closed at the end, again I saw the lattice and bright filling. Right then and there, I made up my mind that when I got home, I’d make a pie.
The recipe I used was originally meant for Linzertorte. I made a few small changes. Oil instead of butter and oat bran instead of nuts because of my allergies. And a dash of maple syrup, which my grandmother does to give the dough a nutty flavor. You can use any filling for the pie. It was summer when I made my first pie so I made a blueberry peach pie. Plain peach is sour and the blueberries make it sweeter. I’m making this pie in the fall so I am using apples. I think apple pie is a very wintery and autumn thing. I hope you enjoy making this pie and experimenting with flavors for different seasons.
For the crust:
1 cup / 95g oat bran
1¼ cups / 160g all purpose/plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of cold water
½ cup / 120ml olive oil (or sunflower oil)
1 tbsp cinnamon (or to taste)
¼ cup / 50g white/caster sugar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
For the filling:
5 medium to large apples
½ cup / 100g white/caster sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Prepare the filling
- Peel the apples and cut them into half inch cubes. Mix them with the sugar and cinnamon in a pot. Then add the maple syrup and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes until the apples are soft. Stir as needed.
- Preheat your oven to 400℉ / 200℃.
Make the dough
- Mix the oat bran, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the oil.
- Beat the egg with the water.
- Add the egg and water to the dough and then mix it with a spoon.
- Mix it with your hands and then bring it into a ball. The dough might appear dry and lumpy, but that’s okay. (If you can’t bring it into a ball, then you can add a tablespoon of water.)
- Divide the dough into two halves and put one half in a round pie pan, 8-9” / 23cm diameter. Push it with your fingertips so that the entire pan is covered with dough, including 1½“ up the sides.
- Put the apple mixture on top of the dough.
- On a cutting board make a rectangle that is approximately 9 x 4” / 23 x 10cm with the other half of the dough by pressing the dough with your fingertips until it is evenly thick. Then cut it into 9” / 23cm strips, each ½ “ wide (1.25cm), ending up with 8 long strips. Now use a knife to pick up the strips and lay them over the apples, 4 in one direction, 4 in the other, evenly spaced. Then weave the strips. If a strip breaks, you can stick it back together with your hands when it is already on the apples, or make sure the join is underneath another strip.
- Bake the pie at 400℉ / 200℃ for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350℉ / 180℃ and bake for another 25 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!