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by Heather Harris Brady

We had some colds in the house over the past few days so major comfort food was in order. We’ve done apple pie, so I was looking for a twist on that idea when I found this. It was just what the chef-doctor ordered. In Dorie Greenspan’s Baking cookbook, one of my go-to’s, it’s called Russian Grandmother’s Apple Pie. With its sugar-cookie style crust in place of the traditional pie crust, it bakes up into a cuddly cakey-pie. I like to use a blend of apples in pies, here I used Ginger Gold and Macintosh fresh from the local farm market. Ms. Greenspan recommends making the dough ahead of time. I made mine one day ahead. I think you could get away with a quick chill in the freezer for a few hours if you’re pressed for time.

Apple Pie Babushka, Makes one deep dish 9″ pie

One stick of unsalted butter
1/2 c. sugar
One large egg
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T. lemon juice
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour plus additional as needed
5 medium apples
1/4 c. sugar
1-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 T. flour

Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg, then the baking powder and salt.

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Add half the flour, the lemon juice and then the rest of the flour.

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Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375. Flour a work surface WELL, and break off about two-thirds of the dough.

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Roll it out and fit it into your pie pan. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour on the counter. I did.

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Pat it even if need be. Put it in the refrigerator while you do the apples.

Peel and slice the apples, toss them with the cinnamon, sugar and flour.

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Pile them into the crust. I try to arrange them so they are dense, minimizing any large gaps.

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Roll out the remaining dough and cover the pie. It will be thin and there will probably be holes but again, that’s okay! Just bake it for about 65 minutes, until the apples are tender all the way through.

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See? The holes in the top make it pretty!

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Serve warm or cool. It should slice neatly.

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Store leftovers in the refrigerator, lightly covered.

One year ago: Peach Melba Pie, with a Lattice Crust

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