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An apple dessert that's not too sweet but perfectly fruity.


Credit: Johnny Autry; Food Styling: Keia Mastrianni; Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe Summary

1 hr
1 hr 15 mins
1 hr 5 mins
4 hrs
40 mins

This recipe for Apple Pie with Rye Crust and Cider Caramel comes from writer and baker Keia Mastrianni, who has earned a dedicated following for her hyperseasonal pies. "High pie season, the time of year that begins in October and spans through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, is a maelstrom of flour, butter, grit, and perseverance. It's the Super Bowl for bakers across the nation," writes Mastrianni. "At Milk Glass Pie, my farm-based bakery in western North Carolina, it's no different."

Trust us when we say that this is not your run-of-the-mill apple pie. With a rye-spiked crust and cider caramel, this pie weaves a complex web of flavors and textures. "Apple molasses is the tart-sweet result of reducing apple cider down to a syrup," says Mastrianni. "My husband uses it as a natural sweetener, but I like it as a base for a caramel in this pie." Paired with an earthy rye crust, this is a recipe for those who dig a dessert that's not too sweet but perfectly fruity.


Cider Caramel
Rye Crust
Egg Wash
Additional Ingredient


Instructions Checklist
  • At least 1 day ahead and up to 1 week ahead, prepare the Cider Caramel: Reduce apple cider in a large pot over medium-high until thick and syrupy, 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes. You should have about ½ cup apple "molasses" when this is complete. Once the cider is reduced, add butter and salt. Stir until butter melts; boil 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, and stir in cream and vanilla. Cool completely; store in a sealed container until ready to use. 

  • Prepare the Rye Crust: Whisk together flours, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter, and toss to coat in flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture, breaking large pieces into smaller, pebble-size pieces. Use your fingers to "snap" the butter, flattening it into large flakes. Continue working butter into flour until mixture is well blended. (It should look like grated Parmesan cheese with a few pebble-size pieces throughout.)

  • Place vinegar in a measuring cup; then pour in ice water to make ½ cup total liquid.

  • Make a well in center of flour mixture, and add half of the ice water mixture. Toss thoroughly, being sure to incorporate it evenly throughout entire bowl. Add remaining ice water mixture. Scoop mixture from bottom of bowl to top of dough mound, and press gently. Continue scooping and pressing (not kneading) until most of the dough holds together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and shape into a round. Cut in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour or up to overnight (12 hours). 

  • Roll 1 chilled dough disk into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer dough to a 9½-inch deep-dish pie plate or a 10-inch pie plate, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Chill in refrigerator while working with remaining dough. Roll remaining dough into a rough rectangle (about 12 x 14 inches). Cut 6 strips of dough approximately 2½ inches wide (this will be the lattice). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; chill until ready to use. 

  • Prepare the Filling: Toss together sliced apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, kosher salt, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Pour in Cider Caramel; use a spatula to mix together. Working from the outside in, layer apple mixture tightly in prepared pie plate. Continue layering and stacking until apples reach top of piecrust. Mound remaining apples with any remaining juices in center. 

  • Place 3 strips of wide lattice vertically on top of pie. Pull middle strip down, and lay 1 horizontal strip across. Replace middle strip over top of horizontal strip. Next, pull 2 outer strips down, and lay next horizontal strip across. Replace outer strips over horizontal strips, and repeat process for final horizontal strip across bottom of pie. Trim all lattice pieces just to edge of pie plate, being sure to leave bottom overhang intact. 

  • Fold up the overhang of the bottom crust to cover the raw edges of lattice pieces; press gently to seal. Crimp as desired, or use the tines of a fork to create a decorative edge. Chill assembled pie in freezer for 15 minutes. 

  • Prepare the Egg Wash: Beat egg yolk and cream in a small bowl until well combined. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lower half of oven. 

  • Brush Egg Wash over entire pie; sprinkle with demerara sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven until crust sets and begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F, and rotate pie. Place on middle rack; bake until pie is deeply golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes, covering with aluminum foil during last 20 minutes, if desired, to prevent overbrowning.