Apple-lemon-elderflower pie with lard-butter crust

October 29, 2013
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

I created this recipe for an apple pie contest at my local farm stand, but it did not win. Maybe it was too "outside the box" for an apple pie, but we thought it was delicious! Lemony, elderflower-y, with a rich, porky crust. Great at Thanksgiving since the lemon and St. Germaine have such delicate, light flavors. A nice departure from cinnamon-scented apple pies. —Sarah Blackburn

What You'll Need
  • Crust
  • 13 tablespoons cubed unsalted butter, very cold
  • 8 tablespoons pastured pork lard, cubed, very cold
  • 2 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • ice water
  • Pie
  • 6 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
  • zest and juice of one organic lemon
  • ¾ cups organic cane sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup St Germaine or Saint Elder liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
  1. Crust
  2. In a food processor, blend the dry ingredients by pulsing. Add the butter and lard and pulse until mixture looks like coarse sand.
  3. Drizzle in some ice water, tablespoon by tablespoon, and pulse periodically, until dough comes together. Pour out onto a board.
  4. Divide into two equal parts, shape each part into a disk and wrap in plastic or parchment. Refrigerate 2 hours or more.
  1. Pie
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss apples with lemon zest and juice, ¾ cup sugar, and liqueur. In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Toss the apples with the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Roll out the bottom crust and settle it into a 9-inch pie dish. Pour in the apples and dot with the cubed butter. Roll out the top crust and lay over the apples. Tuck both crusts ‘ excess under the edge and crimp or flute the way you like it. Cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape, brush with the milk, and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar.
  4. Bake pie (on a baking sheet to catch lard drippings) for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 400° and back an additional 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and the filling is bubbling inside the crust. Cool before serving with crème fraiche or ice cream, if you like.

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1 Review

LeBec F. October 29, 2013
sarah, what a beautiful photo of a beautifully made pie! This is actually the first apple pie recipe i've ever wanted to make!it's because of the lemon, which cuts the sweetness of the pie(and that helps alot after a heavy meal). I have 3 tweaking ideas: cut some of the sugar in the filling; rub in a whisper of dried thyme to the filling; and make your crust with white whole wheat or part spelt flour>> that toasty wheat flavor goes so well with fruit.What do you think?
Thx so much for the inspiration!