Y’all. In less than 24 hours, two of my friends tagged me on Facebook in this video for making a Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie. Yes, this is a classic apple pie, but the crust is swirled with cinnamon and butter- you know, like the most amazing thing on the face of the earth.
In the video, they use Puff Pastry and granulated sugar. I used my homemade pie crust and I used the filling I use for cinnabons- brown sugar and cinnamon. The result? Perfection.
I will say, it’s never as easy as these videos. I can’t speak for puff pastry, although I have a feeling that would be easier. Homemade pie crust is already fragile, so you have to use the upmost care when rolling it into cinnamon rolls and it’s especially delicate on the re-roll once you’ve formed them into cinnamon rolls and then back into crust, but the result is well worth it. I can usually knock out an apple pie in 30 mins, this one took an hour.
For the cinnamon roll pie crust:
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well chilled Crisco vegetable shortening
6 to 10 tablespoons of ice cold water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the pie filling
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 375°.
Peel and slice your apples. Place them into a large bowl and mix with sugar, flour, and cinnamon and set aside while you make your crust.
Place your flour, shortening, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, or old-school like me, with a fork, cut the flour into the shortening until it is completely combined and has lumps about the size of peas. (For detailed photo instructions on crust, click here.)
Don’t believe anybody who tells you that you have to have a pastry cutter for this step. A fork works just fine.
Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with your hands, and kneading the dough to turn it over until it is a nice, solid ball. Do not over-work the dough- this is the number one mistake people make that will cause your pie crust to fall apart. Touch it as little as possible- your hands are warm, and you want it to stay cold.
Once you have a solid ball, divide it into two equal parts and place onto a floured surface. Roll one ball of your dough out into a large circle that is bigger than your pie pan.
Gently spread half of the melted butter over top of the pie crust, and then half of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over that. Working at one end, gently roll the dough into a log and cut the log into 3/4 inch pieces like cinnamon rolls. Watch the video above for instruction. Pat the “cinnamon rolls” together into a circle on a floured surface and roll out your pie crust again. You will get a beautiful swirl pattern.
Carefully lift the crust into your pie plate. (I use a thin plastic cutting board and work it gently underneath the crust to loosen it from the counter and lift it without breaking) Trim the edges, but leave about an inch of excess dough for pinching together later.
Roll out your next dough ball in the same way using the same method with the butter and cinnamon sugar. Pour your apple filling into the prepared crust (leaving about half of the liquid in the pan), and then place the top crust over the top. Trim again, leaving about an inch of dough to crimp with. (Or do a lattice crust or whatever design you desire)
If you aren’t doing lattice, use a knife to slit 3 openings in the top of the crust for steam to escape.
Incidentally, you should probably line the bottom of your oven with foil. There is a good chance that your pie filling will bubble over a bit.
Brush the entire thing with egg wash (1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water) (the egg wash is optional, but will give you a more shiny, golden looking crust) Sometimes I also sprinkle with a little sugar after the egg wash -it’s very pretty -and place it in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Check about halfway through the baking, and if the edges are getting too brown, crimp foil over the edges or place a pie crust shield (best invention EVER) over the top.
Remove from oven and serve warm or cold. It will be delicious either way.