Shortbread Pie

By • December 14, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: My grandmother, my mother and I - and now my daughter - serve this pie as a centerpiece dessert every Christmas. The filling is very austere - just juicy apples, sugar and a thickener - the result is bright and jammy - like a pink, stovetop applesauce. The crust is more like Scottish shortbread than traditional pie crust. (Our roots are in Glasglow!) Be sure to bake the pie on a cookie sheet to catch the "tack" - or juices that are released - for pouring over the crust at the end. It gives the pie a glossy finish. Traditionally, everyone enjoys a slice for Christmas dessert, and then another the following morning - for breakfast on Boxing day. It it delicious the day of, but takes particularly well to sitting overnight and being eaten at room temp. Jean Principe


Makes 1 double crust 9-10"pie

Apples, fresh lemon juice, white sugar, instant tapioca, kosher salt

  • 12 Apples (8 Macintosh apples, 4 Granny Smith)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup Sugar + 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon Instant Tapioca
  • 2 pinches Salt
  1. NOTE: Prepare the filling while the dough is cooling. Peel and core apples. Slice.Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the juice and zest of half a lemon. It should measure about 1 Tablespoon.
  3. Stir in 1 cup and 1 Tablespoon white sugar.
  4. Add 1 heaping teaspoon instant tapioca. Stir apple mixture thoroughly and let sit .

AP flour, cake flour, butter, shortening, white sugar, kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cake flour
  • 12 tablespoons Butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 in pieces
  • 4 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2 in pieces
  • 3 tablespoons White sugar
  • 2 pinches Salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cups Water, iced
  • 4 pieces Butter, cold
  1. Using a food processor, mix the AP and cake flour.
  2. Sprinkle cold butter and shortening over flour and pulse 5-10 times or until the butter is crumbled with some smaller and some larger pieces.
  3. Add water (one tablespoon at a time!) and continue processing until dough just starts to form into a ball, then stop.
  4. Remove dough from processor, shaping it into a disc with your hands and adding some flour if it is too sticky.
  5. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle lightly with flour. Dust your hands with flour and using your surface, push away the dough once or twice with heel of your hand to incorporate the butter.
  6. Form dough into disc; wrap in plastic wrap. Place in ziiploc bag for at least two hours; longer is OK too.
  7. After chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the dough into two pieces. using a floured rolling pin, roll each disc of dough into a 10" round. Drape one round into a pie plate. Add prepared apples. Distribute 4 pats of butter on apples. Drape the second piece over. Crimp with a fork to seal. Add top crust and cut 3 or 4 slits in the center for steam to escape.
  8. Place prepared on pie on a cookie sheet and transfer to the bottom rack of an 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and move pie with sheet to center rack. Bake until pie juices actively seep out. Two hours or so, depending on your oven. Keep watch of the crust. It shouldn't become too dark.
  9. While still warm, press down lightly on the crust to seal any gap between the top crust and the filling. It may crack a bit, but won't worry!
  10. Remove pie from oven and immediately pour any juices over the top. This is the "tack" and gives our Scottish pie it's signature gloss and fills in any cracks created by the press down.

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