There is an evergreen statement which goes, “Nothing says comfort like a slice of warm apple pie.” There are many nostalgic feelings that many Canadians attach to the dish as it connects us to our childhood and family gatherings. As a first-generation Canadian, I can’t exactly say my love for pie came in a natural flow with my upbringing. Rather, it was something we as a family learned and experienced together. Mom and Dad would test drive new dishes, and apple pie was amazing. I especially loved a warm piece of pie with a slice of cheddar. This sheet tray version pulls on my Hungarian heritage as we typically served a sort of apple pie. Still, instead of the traditional round pie, our Hungarian “almas pite” was baked and cut into squares. As an intertwining of my cultural culinary experience, this recipe is a blend of comforting apple desserts.
In this recipe, the dough is enriched with milk and egg yolk, making it more tender than typical pie dough and much easier to work with.
Feel free to use other fruit like blueberries, peaches, pears, and cherries, or use the frozen strawberries and rhubarb you squirrelled away in the spring and summer. Serves 8-10
1 ½ cups butter
3 ¾ cup flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 egg yolk and milk to make 1 cup (keep the egg white to brush over the top of the dough)
6 cups peeled sliced apples (I like Fuji or Granny Smith)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut butter into flour and salt until the mixture resembles a rough meal.
Add egg yolk and milk and gently knead until the mixture comes together into a ball.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Roll out half the dough on a floured surface and place it on a large bar pan about 12 x 16 inches.
Spread apple slices evenly over the bottom pastry.
Sprinkle with sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon mixture.
Roll out the other half of the dough and place it on top and pinch the edges.
Beat the egg white until foamy and brush over the crust.
Bake at 400°F for fifteen minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Chef ILona Daniel is Harrowsmith’s Food Editor and the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, and community and culture development. She has worked on projects around the world and is on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI. Chef Ilona is a media personality, and a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada.