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The Hirshon Ultimate Apple Pie

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
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  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 4 medium Winesap (strongly preferred), Gravensteins (also excellent) or Gala apples
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ***
  • 1/4 cup very reduced Norwegian glögg or apple cider, almost to a syrup
  • Glögg ingredients – the booze:
  • 1 liter semi dry apple cider, 6 % ABV
  • 50 ml Viking Blod mead, or “Fine white” Port wine
  • 75 ml apple brandy
  • 2030 g demerara sugar (unrefined sugar)
  • The spice mix:
  • 25 g succade (Sukat in Scandinavian), or peel from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 7.5 g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 split vanilla pod
  • Muslin bag or hop bag (optional)
  • ***
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 egg white
  • ***
  • Highly-optional garnish – thin slices of cheddar cheese to garnish the top of each slice of pie, if you’re from New England or a New Englander at heart – otherwise, omit


  1. If using the glögg (and you should be!) – place all the solid ingredients inside the muslin bag. Combine liquids in a small pot, add bag and boil down until you reach a syrupy consistency. If using cider, reduce to a syrupy consistency.
  2. To make the pie crust: Follow the directions at the link. Turn out the dough onto a worktable.
  3. Dust lightly with some flour (reserving some for rolling out dough) and gather gently with your hands to form a round ball. Be careful not to overhandle the dough. Divide in half and form into 2 round pads. If necessary, wrap the dough in plastic and chill until needed.
  4. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the apples, cut in half from stem to blossom end, then remove the cores. Place apple halves cut-side down on a cutting board and cut each half into 4 wedges. Slice across the wedges, cutting them in half. Repeat with the rest of the apple halves. Once cut, put the apples in a large bowl.
  5. In a small bowl, blend the sugar (not the extra Tbsp.) and the reduced apple cider with the ground slices and tapioca flour. Sprinkle over the apples and toss to coat the fruit. Cover the fruit with plastic wrap and set aside until needed.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the pads of dough into a 13-inch circle. Use a soft brush to brush flour from the top of the rolled dough. Fold in half and brush flour from bottom of dough. Lift the dough, placing it over half the pie pan. Unfold it, covering the pan.
  7. Lift the edges with one hand while you gently press the dough against the bottom and side of the pan. Place egg white in a bowl and, with a fork, beat it smooth. From the edge of the dough, brush on top a band of egg white about 2 inches wide.
  8. Heap the apples in the pie shell, piling them higher in the center. Arrange the apples so that they fit snugly. Scrape any sugar and tapioca flour left in the bowl over the apples.
  9. Roll the remaining pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush away the extra flour and roll the dough as you did with the first circle. Fold in half and lay the circle of dough over the pie. Fold and crimp the edges.
  10. Brush the top of the pie (but not the edges) with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut four small slashes in the top near the center to let steam escape.
  11. Bake on the lowest shelf of preheated oven for 15 minutes, then rotate the pie, turning the back to the front. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the liquid is bubbling, about 50 minutes.
  12. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting or serving. Serve at room temperature (or very warm if using cheddar cheese slices or if that is your preference). To store, cover with plastic wrap and chill. The pie will retain its flavor for up to 2 days.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours


  • Calories: 1039.2 kcal
  • Sugar: 55.07 g
  • Sodium: 155.35 mg
  • Fat: 55.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 34.49 g
  • Trans Fat: 1.86 g
  • Carbohydrates: 126.1 g
  • Fiber: 8.84 g
  • Protein: 10.62 g
  • Cholesterol: 152.94 mg