25 Oct2014


I have been wanting to bake this pie recipe that appeared in the November 2013 issue of Saveur… The recipe was adapted from a pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a bakery in Brooklyn, New York. In short, the pie was delicious. Not a slam-dunk OMG must always only make this apple pie recipe delicious, but delicious nonetheless. I would definitely make it again. And use some of the brilliant apple pie tips given in the same issue of Saveur magazine.


I followed most of the recipe as written, but didn’t have angostura bitters, so left that out. I also didn’t have “demirara” sugar, so I used a medium dark brown sugar instead. If I were to bake this pie again, I would add a little more flakey sea salt, and make sure my salted caramel was a deeper brown color than the one I used. Overall, I would give this an 8.75-9.00/10.00 score. Oh, and instead of a broad lattice top, I used a maple leaf cutter to lay “fallen maple leaves” on the top of the pits instead… I thought this actually made a more stunning looking pie than the original recipe photo.

And as for the tips that I found particularly interesting, and I quote from Saveur Magazine, November 2013:

1. Avoid soggy bottom crusts by sprinkling flour and sugar on the crust before adding the filling.
5. Butter the pan before you put in your dough, and refrigerate dough to let it rest. The buttering of pan or glass dish is brilliant because it helps the crust brown and crisp up.

Other tips which I had already been doing for years:

2. Beat the dough with a rolling pin before you roll it out.
3. Rest your dough in the fridge. And if in the Philippines, try to keep it cool as much as possible while working on it.
4. Use high fat butter (I actually use 1/3 lard as well!).
5. Concentrate apple flavor by sweating the fruit and reducing liquid to a flavorful sauce.

Serve with whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream. We had guests who opted for both. Silly grin.



  1. joanie says:

    I live few blocks from four twenty blackbirds (we’re at PPW) and every Friday I ride my bike to 3rd avenue and get that same pie. Some may think that $35 for a pie is expensive but it’s worth it. The best pie in NYC for sure.

    Oct 25, 2014 | 7:47 am


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  3. Khew says:

    The essence of the apple unfortunately resides in the skin and core which we throw out, especially in such recipes. What I do is boil them to get a thick stock before incorporating it into apple pie filling or apple sauce. It makes a real difference.
    ….and speaking of whacky, do try adding some jackfruit to apple pie and omit the cinnamon. It’s a revelation! ;)

    Oct 25, 2014 | 11:06 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Khew, that langka version sounds interesting. I am a HUGE fan of jackfruit and NEVER thought to try it in a pie! Thanks for the tip!

    Oct 25, 2014 | 11:36 am

  5. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Went to the orchard for apple picking..lots of granny smith and golden delicious ..came home with tons of apple …bought a few honey crisp apple @Albertsons..tonight I baked an apple pie,apple crisps,one with maple & pecan with 3 different kind of apple,will be baking this pie next week,love salted caramel wish I read your post first.Love the maple leaf,will replicate that too.Thanks MM,I can almost taste this ;-)

    Oct 25, 2014 | 12:54 pm

  6. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    And thank you for the AWESOME tips on making pies.

    Oct 25, 2014 | 1:04 pm

  7. betty q. says:

    Speaking of langkA , MM…whole ripe jackfruit is sold in Asian markets here. I passed by one maybe 2 years ago and the smell was so intoxicating that I bought a small portion. Normally I buy the canned ones ( I prefer the rooster brand) but that day,I thought the ripe fruit will be good!…wrong! For $8, all I got was 4 fruits after peeling the white stuff! Learned my lesson, went back to canned stuff which costs only $2.19!

    Anyway, yes, do try the jackfruit langkA. The inspiration ….go on ….seeking sustenance.wordpress.com…but I prefer turning the langkA-apple combo into sour cream coffee cake with the layer of fruit in the middle. This is a reminder for me to bake it among other goodies for the Church bazaar in November! Thank you, MM and Khew!

    Hey Mrs. P….if you out there, send me an email and I will set aside 1 dozen ensaymadas for you in November to have for merienda if you are going to see La Emp!

    Oct 25, 2014 | 9:43 pm

  8. betty q. says:

    MM…hit t submit button right away kasi!

    Our US friends Thanksgiving is coming up soon! A few suggestions if I may for a quick stress free dessert. For those iffy to try the langkA apple combo considering fresh langkA isn’t exactly cheap here! use it as a filling for crepes, sautĂ©ing the fruits first till they turn syrupy and nicely caramelized. Add a splash of rum, brandy or calvados and flambĂ©. Cool and fill the crepes.

    Another one is buy frozen puff pastry…defrost in refrigerator. then roll it out to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/3 inch. Eggwash…then using a fork or comb decorating tool, make a cross cross pattern all over. Cut into rectangles …size depends on you guys! Not too big and not too small..put in parchment paper and chill. Then bake in 350 degree oven till nicely browned. Cool and split.

    Prepare your filling. Then comes the plating…salted caramel sauce with a spoon and do the swoosh….or dip paint brush in saltedcaramel and paint across the plate in one stroke. Now put crepes or bottom puff pastry on plate and top with filling. Puff pastry top along side.

    Excellent with a cup of roasted nut flavoured tea!

    All of the components can be made ahead of time even days before so youhave lots of time for the turkey and the sides and a nap!

    Oct 25, 2014 | 10:31 pm

  9. sister says:

    Have you seen the Williams Sonoma ad for pie crust mix? $10.95 for 13 oz. of flour and salt, and OMG sugar! You have to add the butter and water. Do they really think the WS customer is so stupid and helpless?

    Oct 26, 2014 | 9:41 am

  10. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Sister,and still have to do the all the works,Anyone can measure the ratio of flour,salt and sugar ,some people will buy it for the WS brand ..crazy! I agree with your angst.
    A refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust will probably be a better option.

    Oct 26, 2014 | 10:38 am

  11. Betchay says:

    The maple leaf topping is so pretty!
    Langka-apple combo sounds interesting!

    Oct 26, 2014 | 7:53 pm

  12. Natie says:

    Ayayay! It’s baking time! Thanks for all the tips here… And I agree with Sleepless in S…Pillsbury when you’re in a rush…

    Oct 27, 2014 | 4:11 am

  13. Natie says:

    Ayayay! It’s baking time! Thanks for all the tips here… And I agree with Sleepless in S…Pillsbury when you’re in a rush…

    I was looking for the LIKE button again.. Too much Facebook..

    Oct 27, 2014 | 4:12 am

  14. Mimi says:

    Try throwing in a handful of chopped dried mangoes to the apple filling and it gives a nice flavour boost to the pie.

    Nov 2, 2014 | 8:46 pm

  15. cai says:

    Ohhh, it looks divine, I will try to make this on Easter!

    Segue…Miss Betty Q, I your hotmail address is inactive na?

    Jan 23, 2015 | 9:55 pm


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