Red apple pie filling naturally tinted with cherry juice
Simple apple pie with a twist — naturally red filling and a shingled heart crust. Handmade with love as a Valentine’s Day red apple pie or for any time of the year
There are more creative ways to tell someone you love them than a meal out on the busiest restaurant evening of the year. Staying home and celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special home cooked feast is one of them – especially if the regular cook gets a break.
Even though my partner will be preparing dinner for us, I’m going to spare him a little stress by making the dessert. I think a delicious Valentine’s themed Apple pie served with old fashioned vanilla ice cream and pink whipped cream will fit the bill. The traditional apple pie would be nice on its own but using natural colouring to tint the apple filling a deep red and using heart shaped pieces to build the upper crust will make it look so pretty.
My full recipe is further below but the video just underneath is of another Red Apple Pie. For it you need to begin with red fleshed apples but have a watch to see how I roll out the dough. You could use the alternate pie design top for this recipe if you wish.
Valentine's Apple Pie Recipe
Two crust Pastry Dough
- 2 cups Plain flour 260 grams
- 2/3 cups unsalted Butter 140 grams
- 1 tsp fine Sea Salt
- 5 Tbsp cold Water
For the Pie Filling
- 1.3 lbs Apple slices 600 grams
- 1/2 cup white Caster Sugar 100 grams
- 1/4 cup Plain flour 32 grams
- 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp fine Sea Salt a Dash
- 3/4 cup Cherry juice 185 grams
- 2 Tbsp unsalted Butter 28 grams
- 1 Tbsp cold Milk
Prepare the apples
- Trying to accurately measure how many apples you'll need for a pie can be tricky. They come in all shapes and sizes so what I do is fill my pie dish with as many as can fit. Then add an extra one. Do the same then peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4" slices.
- Place the apple slices in a bowl with the cherry juice and leave them to infuse while you work. You can get cherry juice in some places in a carton. In others you'll need to get a can of tinned cherries and strain the juice out.
Make the Pastry Dough
- Cut the cold butter into the flour and sea salt using a pastry blender or crisscrossing two knives. Keep working at it until the particles are the size of coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle the water over the mix and mix it in with a fork or spoon You want to incorporate it well enough so that there aren't any pools of water lying in the bowl. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture into a ball of pastry, making sure to get all the bits clinging to the side of the bowl.
- Divide the dough in two, leaving half to roll out for the bottom crust and placing the other half in the fridge to keep chilled.
- Roll the dough on a floured surface into a circle about two inches larger than your pie pan. Meaning that it overhangs the pan by an inch on all sides.
- If you're new to rolling out pie dough, roll on your kitchen work space keeping the surface, rolling pin, and dough sprinkled with flour. Roll gently and turn the dough by 1/4 turn as you roll it out -- this keeps it circular. If any cracks form, wet them with water and pinch closed.
- Roll the finished pie crust onto your rolling pin and then unroll it over the pan. Firm the dough into all the corners and crevices and then press the edges of the dough around the edge of your pie pan. Trim the excess dough from the edges but leave around 1/2" so that the crust doesn't shrink into the pan during the baking process.
Turn the oven on
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/390°F or if you have a fan assisted oven turn it on to 180°C/350°F
Roll out the top Crust
- Blend the excess dough into the other half of dough you have remaining and roll it out to the same size as the first. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out as many pieces as you can. Then roll the excess dough out again and use the cutter to cut as many more as possible.
Make the Filling
- Drain the juice from the apples. The apple slices should be rosy red now.
- In a separate bowl, mix the filling's flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until it's an even consistency and has no lumps. Pour this mixture over the apples and coat them well.
- Pour the mix into your pastry lined pie pan. Press the apples down so that there aren't any prominent pieces sticking up. Now dab the butter in tiny pieces all over the top of the filling.
Decorate the top of the Pie
- Using your heart-shaped pieces of pastry, place them on the apple filling starting from the outside of the pan and moving inwards. The pointed ends of the hearts should face inside the pie rather than outside. You can leave small gaps between the hearts if you'd like but I choose to cover as much of the top as possible. When complete, place one last heart over the center to finish the design.
- Liberally brush the crust with cold milk. This will give it a beautiful golden color in the baking process.
Bake the pie
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling up.
- Cool for 20 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped cream. If you have the time, mix a little cherry juice with whipped cream to make it pink. Place the cookie cutter over each slice and fill it with your cream for a pretty pink heart.