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Monday, March 10, 2008

Pi Day - Apple Infinity Pie


This pie comes to you as the result of watching too much Fine Living Network. I watched a woman by the name of Twinkle Van Winkle make an "Apple Ribbon Pie" on "The Best Of." Here's the thing though, they talked about the pie and showed it, but didn't actually give a recipe.


So, I thought I would try to come up with one myself. This is where, up to a certain point, things came together beautifully, and then, my brain on sleep-deprivation kicked in.


Well, not exactly horribly, because it still tasted really good, but it didn't look half as pretty as I wanted it to. Yes, taste is more important, but when you see what it took to make this pie (and all the time it to to make it) you'll see why the end result was anti-climatic, even if it did taste good. Thanks brain for forgetting the thickening agent in the mixture so that I sprinkled raw flour on top. Doh! Now what have I done!

So, I'm going to go back to the drawing board and tell you what I should have done. Bottom line, I tried to add a "custard" like filling to the pie, which would have been fine, had I not been once again baking under sleep deprivation. One of these days soon I will have to tell you about all of the fabulous flops and near miss catastrophes that have been occurring in my kitchen. It should make for a good laugh if nothing else.

Here is the process for the Apple Infinity Pie (the way I should have done it with the ingredients - the procedure stays the same). This pie is a labor of love because it took just over an hour to get all the apple slices to look this way - granted this was inbetween taking care of the baby and making dinner too, but it still took forever to do). The process below comes from what was described on "The Best Of" and the crust recipe does come from Ms. Van Winkle's at the Bottletree Bakery. They did publish their "Chess Pie" recipe on Food Network. I made this pie for Pi Day, so this is the entry I'm sending over to the pie celebration of Pi at Kitchen Parade with a homemade crust recipe that was probably the easiest I've done (and really turned out nice). The crust was easy to prepare, only had three ingredients and was easy to just press into the pan and chill til ready. No rolling, no cutting the butter in, etc. And it was still tender and had great flavor.

Crust Recipe:

3 oz cream cheese
8 oz unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until well combined and softened. Add the flour and combine to make a dough.


Press into the bottom and sides, place in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.


Apple "Infinity" Pie
(I used a (9-inch tart pan)

4 Granny Smith apples, washed and cut into 4 pieces in a square around the core


2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted

juice of one lemon

Using a vegetable peeler, cut thin slices (peel on) of apple. Place them in a bowl full of cold water with the juice of 1 lemon (to keep from browning).


Using toothpicks, roll each slice of apple into a swirl and secure with toothpick, fitting a line up of approximately 4-6 rolled pieces per toothpick. Place these back in the water to keep while you continue rolling.


Arrange the toothpicked apple slices as tightly as you can in the pastry shell in the tart pan. Once they are all in, remove the toothpicks carefully.


Combine all of the spices with the melted butter and brush liberally over the apples in the tart pan. (The pictures from here show the pecan / custard steps).


Place in a 350 degree oven and bake until the apples are cooked and the edges of the tart shell have pulled away from the side slightly and are browned (approximately 35 minutes - if the apples are browning too much before the crust is done cover the entire pan with tin foil).



(So, are you still be curious as to what I did wrong? I combined all the spices with a bit more butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, one egg, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and sprinkled in some pecans. Those pictures are at the very bottom. In theory all of this should have worked. Why didn't it? I was impatient and actually FORGOT the flour in the mixture. Yippee! It was not thickening at all and took about 1 hour to cook. It really did taste good, but I ended up having to sift flour onto the top of the pie and all of it didn't get absorbed, so it didn't look so good. However, that said, the custardy center was nice). I'm just picky. Anyway, the easiest solution? I just dusted it with powdered sugar before serving and no one was the wiser. Sneaky, huh!?



Alanna said...

Hi Holly, I so admire your ambition! But talk about a way to turn a pie 'upside down', a whole new and creative concept.

Thank you so much for participating in Pi Day 2008. Your pie demonstrates just what I hope that we all, collectively do, that homemade pie is worth the trouble, a skill to acquire and practice often!

marias23 said...

I love your pie. I think it's very pretty and I don't doubt that it's delicious!

Deborah said...

I love the apple swirls - you are truly ambitious to try to figure this out yourself!! Even if it didn't work out like you hoped, I'm loving it!

Danica said...


Your pie looks great. I totally understand the sleep deprivation thing. When I was 8 months pregnant with an almost two year old on the outside my mom had a huge 60th Birthday party. I made a variation on a Wolfgang Puck 17 layer cake which I thought I would drape fondant over. I had never made fondant and I still haven't. I did make a huge mess. The cake was fine in the end. But there were some fabulous flops.

Evelin said...

The pie DOES look wonderful, don't argue about that.:)

PheMom said...

You are all way too kind! It was fun to do, but it took forever. I hate feeling defeated, so I will probably try this again, but the tragedy came with the flour sprinkling! Oh well, that's what I think garnishing is really for sometimes! Besides, if you are going to go for it, go big, right?!

Aimée said...

Very pretty pie! A neat twist on an old classic.

Gretchen Noelle said...

What a fantastic idea! Love it!

A. Grace said...

i am in awe of your determination--what an endeavor! it looks stunning. however, i have a bone to pick--where's the vanilla ice cream?? apple pie is not apple pie without vanilla ice cream! :)

Tempered Woman said...

Well I think you should give yourself WAY more credit- the pictures look beautiful and I think it is so great that you took a traditional pie up another notch. You saw something and tried to recreate it...and it was a tad less perfect than the original. which was on TV. for the best of the best. in fine living. You are WAY too hard on yourself girl!

PheMom said...

I am so glad you all like it, as for the ice cream, I wish I could have had some too! No luck with DH on grocery shopping duty. :)

Cakelaw said...

This is a really cute idea - thanks for sharing. BTW, I like your new blog layout.

Lisa said...

Wow! What a great effort. I think your pie looks delicious and the crust is beautiful!

Have a great Pi Day!

ourohana said...

Wow...very impressive! It would have probably taken me all day to make and I only have a 5 month old.

White On Rice Couple said...

Fine Living is a great channel and I raise my glass to you toast you for your effort! I still think it turned out great and delicious!

Laurie Constantino said...

Wow Holly, you have WAY more patience than I do - but those apple curls do look gorgeous and the pie looks very yummy. I was talking to my doctor yesterday (who is also a friend) and she was talking about a paper that she published on sleep deprivation in mothers (she wrote this when her twins were under 1). It is a big problem that is seldom recognized and can literally drive people crazy, according to her. So I hope you can get some good rest very soon!

Katie said...

Is this the recipe?,1977,FOOD_9936_25074,00.html
Gotta love Google!

PheMom said...

Thanks for the kind wishes to get some sleep. I figure "this too shall pass" as the baby gets older.

Hi Katie,
This recipe looks similar, but the pie I saw on Fine Living came from a bakery and their only description was that she rolled the apple slices like I've done, put them on toothpicks, removed the toothpicks and painted it with the cinnamon mixture. Gale Gand's recipe looks good too and would probably be much easier to assemble. Thanks for finding it!


Katie said...

I guess the Food Network recipe was just inspired by Ms. Twinkle Van Winkle. Maybe she doesn't give her recipe away! Your pie looks great.

sugarmama said...

HI- no- i don't give my recipe out but you did a great job figuring out a lot of the ingredients and procedures! I have scrapped the toothpick measure, but i had the luxury of an industrial meat-slicer... I cored the apples and set them to almost paper thin and sliced them with the hole in the center, like rings...easier for the rosebud look. The filling was different than your traditional apple pie filling, and to me that is the key to the flavor. I will give you one hint, and that is Ginger. Last note: It is really called "Apple Ruffle Tart". Kudos to you and thanks for all the compliments. I have a new web show too on ---

THanks! and keep baking !

Twinkle VanWinkle

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