Butter-cream frosting for more than cupcakes!
We frost apple pies in our family.
Frosting my apple pies began by accident. I had baked my usual pan of apple pie slices for a family celebration. I always glaze apple pie slices in the final minutes of baking with butter cream frosting.
Soon, my family was frosting their apple pies like I frost my pie slices. They gave me credit for the idea, but I had never thought to frost an apple pie — just pie slices — until they took my recipe up a notch.
Now, I frost my apple pies, too. The frosting glaze is yummy, and it adds glamour to a pie that can look rather plain otherwise.
My FROSTED PIE how-to is simple
Bake the pie as normal. Five to 10 minutes before the pie is ready to come out of the oven, whisk up 1/2- to 2/3-cup of butter cream frosting: 1-cup powdered sugar, 1-Tbs. butter, 1-Tbs. milk/cream/water, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla.
You may need to balance the amount of cream or liquid, more-or-less, with the powdered sugar so the frosting is not too thick to drizzle and not to thin to make a rich glaze.
To add the frosting glaze, I pull the hot pie out of the oven for a nano second in the last 5-10 minutes of baking time and quickly drizzle/dab the frosting on top.
Slip the hot pie back into the oven for the final minutes of baking. The globs of frosting melt, bubble, and glaze. (Pro tip: fill a pastry bag with frosting and pipe the frosting on if you desire a more precise than the glob method.)
Pull the pie out when it looks gorgeous, place it on a rack to cool, take a photo, and relax.
FOR PIE CRUST, I like a buttery pastry for apple pie. It’s not flaky, but it has a rich, buttery taste. Also, it’s easy to shape and roll if chilled.
Important: this butter pastry crust needs a lead preparation time of one hour to chill before rolling. Also, chill your ingredients before combining. Keep butter chilled. This butter-based pastry must be chilled or it will be a juggling act to transfer the dough to the pie plate.
Try a flaky-crust Frosted-Apple-Pie recipe as an alternate to a butter pastry.
Favorite Buttery Pie Pastry for a double-crust, 9-inch pan
If you prepare the butter pastry before the apple filling, keep the pastry rounds chilling in fridge until you roll out and fill with apples to keep butter cold. Also, you really need a wire whisk attachment on a KitchenAid mixer to cut the cold butter chunks into the flour/sugar/salt.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- *1 cup (2-sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces.
- ¼ to ½ cup ice water
Chill your ice water as step one so it’s cold, cold when you prepare dough.
Measure the sugar, flour and salt into the mixing bowl.
Cut up cold butter into small chunks and add to flour. Blend with KitchenAid whisk attachment at low speed until butter and flour form crumbs or pea-sized chunks.
Remove the bowl from the beater and with a fork, fluff the dough as you add the chilled water in stages. Mix in lightly enough water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) so the dough holds together to form a ball, but no more than that.
Divide the dough into two balls, a large (bottom crust) and a medium (top crust). Flatten the balls into fat, even pancakes and wrap separately in plastic. Chill at least one hour.
Note: This dough recipe makes a generous, thick, 9-inch, double-crust pie, perfect for a generous crust edge and a little extra dough for decoration.
Roll out extra dough and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter or shape leaves or decorations by hand. Layer on top for a touch of fancy.
Hint: Seal bottom and top crust together by pinching edges. Your pie crust edging on a fruit pie does double duty in sealing and holding in the fruit juices as it bakes. Form a generous edge to trap juices so fruit juices do not over spill the edges during baking.
*Unsalted butter is preferred for pastry because water separates from salted butter as it melts, adding unwanted liquid to the pastry dough during baking.
Delicious APPLE PIE
- Peel and slice six-to-eight apples (5 to 6 cups of apple slices) – Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Granny Smith (tart – add extra scoop of sugar), etc.
- In a small bowl, mix ¾ to 1 cup of sugar; 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg (optional).
- Slice two tablespoons of butter into chunks.
–Roll out and line the pie pan with the bottom layer of pie dough.
-*Dump the apples and top with cinnamon mixture onto bottom crust.
–Add 2-tablespoons butter, chunked, on top.
–Roll out the top crust and place over the apples.
–Trim around outer edge for an even border: crimp and seal the edges of the two layers together.
–Slice vent holes in the top crust and add some fork holes – be artistic if you want with your design.
–Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of baking time, remove pie from oven, place on baking rack, frost, and return to oven. (Frost and return pie to oven quickly.) The masterpiece is finished when frosting glazes.
Alternate baking method: Often, I bake an apple pie at 400 degrees, until it looks as brown and crusty as I want it to look. Then I turn the heat down to 325-350 degrees to bake at a lower temp and with a little additional bake time. This ensures the pie keeps its golden glow and doesn’t over brown, yet apples bake until I see thick apple juices bubble out of vents.
*TIP FROM TAYLOR SWIFT AND FRIEND EMMA WHO MAKE A REALLY EPIC APPLE PIE: “Crush up graham crackers in the bottom of the pie crust, under the apples. It adds a sugary-cookie-crunch kind of texture.” [Source: Southern Living Magazine A Merry Southern Christmas, Taylor Swift, December 2014, pg. 72]
As you can see from this photo, the frosting takes on a yummy glaze and the butter crust puffs somewhat around the edges, which I like. Another bonus to the butter crust is that it retains it’s shape, with very little shrinkage.
Apple pie is a gift of love because of the time it takes to peel and slice the apples, the heart-racing process of making a pastry crust, and the crowning achievement of not burning the pie, yet baking it until it’s golden and yummy.
Apple pie is always best served warm, with a dollop or two of ice cream — and with those you love.
Apple Pie Slices
For a pan of apple slices, bake in a half-sheet pan or an 8×10 cake pan
- Double the Favorite Buttery Pie Pastry
- Peel and slice 6-8 apples (6 to 8 cups)
- Note: For 8 apples, increase sugar mixture: 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoon cinnamon, dash of nutmeg (optional), and 3 tablespoons sliced butter.
- Bake 40 min. at 400 or until done.
- Glaze with butter-cream frosting as above.
- Do not over-fill baking pan or juices will bubble over side.
- Silver rule of baking: Ingredients>pan=spills.