November 3, 2008

Nie's Vintage Cheery Apple Pie (and Galette)

Since the theme for this month's Pies with That Fashion theme was announced, I've been mulling over several ideas. The first interpretation of Fashion that came into my mind was very Coco Chanel. Since I was recently in Paris, I thought I'd do something black, sleek, and classy- maybe a Devil Wears Prada Pie. Then, I thought I would go with purple since it seems to be everywhere lately.

However, I'm getting ready to move into a new house and every home magazine I see seems more important suddenly. I've fallen in love with bright, whimsical vintage decorating. After spending considerable time reading the NieNie Dialogues and starting at a 40 pound box of apples, Nie's Vintage Cheery Apple Pie was born. If you haven't heard about NieNie, I'd encourage you to see her blog or her sister's wonderful site, C Jane Enjoy It.

NieNie (Stephanie Nielson), who lives only a few miles from me, and her husband were in a plane crash in August and suffered serious burns and their flight instructor died. They are both recovering well but the process is a long one. Since then, I've read their blogs and I feel like NieNie has become my friend. Her life is not that different than mine- same community, same church, same red lipstick, same "career" as a stay at home mom. However, her perspective and attitude is amazing. Reading about her life inspires me to be a better mother, wife, and neighbor. Her sense of style is also inspirational- beautiful colors, patterns- everything.

So, for my vintage pie, I thought I would go with yellow and red- colors that seem to pop up everywhere on Nie's blog and simple heart cutouts. For the yellow, I used Fuji apples (from Utah, like Nie!). For red, I added in dried cherries that remind me of polka dots. I also tried two different shapes- one traditional pie and one galette, which seems a little more whimsical and somehow more appropriate (especially atop my red glass platter). I used my Edible Markers to draw an "N" on one of the hearts.

Now I've never met NieNie, but I hope she'd approve. And I'd love to share this pie with her someday. If you'd like to learn more about NieNie and her family and what you can do to help, check out Nie Recovery. And then make a nice pie or vegetarian dinner and go share with a neighbor. As far as I can see, that's the NieNie thing to do. You can also see her simple, healthy, and delicious recipes on CuisineNie.

Last Month's Pie's with That Entry- Emma Hearts Knightley Pie

Stay tuned for next month's theme- I'm working on a write up now and hope everyone loves it!

Nie's Vintage Cheery Apple Pie

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
adapted from Dorie Greenspan

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
3/8 cup very cold (frozen is even better) Crisco (plain, not butter flavored), cut into 4 pieces
About 1/2 cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing—what you're aiming for is to have pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley.

Pulsing the machine on and off, add 3 tablespoons of the water—add a little water and pulse once; add some more water and pulse again; and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. If you've got big pieces of butter, that's fine. The dough is ready and should be scraped out of the work bowl and on to a smooth work surface. (be careful not too add too much water- if the dough looks dry after adding most of the water, pinch it with your hands to check if it's coming together, and finish combining it by hand)

Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour before rolling. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Apple Filling:
from Janet Stocks
About 3 pounds Fuji apples
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Dash of Nutmeg (optional)
1/2 Cup Cold Water
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Dried Cherries

Peel, core, and slice apples into medium, microwave proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for five minutes. Let cool slightly then drain liquid off apples.

Combine dry ingredients in medium saucepan. Add water, apple juice, and lemon juice and cook on medium heat, whisking, until thick and bubbly.

Fold in drained apple slices and dried cherries. Turn into unbaked pie crust, cover with top crust, and seal edges well. Prick and decorate as desired. Brush pie lightly with milk or egg wash and sprinkle with decorating sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown. Serve with ice cream.

For Galette:
(directions adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

Roll the dough into a large 1/8 inch thick circle. Using a pastry wheel or a paring knife, time the dough to a 13 inch diameter. Using a cake pan or a pot lid as a template and the tip of a blunt kitchen knife as a marker, lightly trace a 9 inch circle in the center of the dough- this is the area for the filling. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs within the circle (optional, but a good idea) and then scoop about 2 cups of prepared apple pie filling onto the dough, taking care not to include too much liquid. Gently fold over the crust in a circular motion. As you lift the dough and place it on the filling, it will pleat. If you’re not in a rush, freeze the galette for 15 minutes to give the crust a rest.

Brush the dough very lightly with a little water, then sprinkle it with a teaspoon or two of sugar. Bake galette for 25 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the fruit is soft.


  1. A beautiful tribute anad a beautiful pie!!

  2. It's gorgeous! I love your inspiration, and using the cherries for polka dots. Very creative!

  3. I love the hearts!! So cute and I am sure it is very tasty!

  4. All of you are inspiring me with your beautiful pies - the way you used the heart cut outs on the galette is lovely!

  5. What a moving story - and your pie looks so tasty!

    I can't wait to see what your theme is for next month!

  6. Lovely pie and a very lovely tribute to Nie :)
    Looking forward to your write up for next month's pie!

  7. I love the way you have decorated your pie. Cool idea!

  8. What a cute pie! I am a sucker for hearts, they just make me smile! Great idea!

  9. Lovely tribute and beautiful pie. Great work, dear!

  10. What a great idea! So cute. What is it about bright vintage? Now I want to paint everything.

  11. Very sweet! I only recently found Nie's blog through some other bloggers - she is a great example for sure as is the whole family pulling through their tragedy together. Your pie is a wonderful tribute! (Thanks for joining in again this time!

  12. Woah, momma! That is an insanely gorgeous pie! You may need to do a redo for Turkey Day! WOW!

  13. Sometimes the classic apple pie is what we all crave. It just cries out "homey". I'm sure it was delicious.

  14. She sounds like a wonderful person that would inspire us all. The pie looks great!

  15. Just beautiful Anne! I have been struck by Nie Nie's blog as well, what a talented young mom who will continue to inspire everybody!

  16. What a wonderful and sweet inspiration for your lovely pie and galette! They remind me of the bright, whimsical vintage-inspired aprons I saw in a kitchen store one day.

  17. A beautiful pie with an inspiring story behind it. I hope their recovery is complete. My cousin died in a plane crash several years ago in Utah. What a blessing that Stephanie and her husband survived.