Smoked Apple Pie
This is a very traditional and classic “American Apple Pie” with just a little something extra coming from a hint of apple smoke. And I say “hint” because the pie crust will take smoke quickly and you don’t want to oversmoke this pie. Just a kiss of smoke is all that’s needed to make this common dessert stand out in a crowd.
This can be done on the Hybrid Fire Grill or the Shokunin Kamado, freeing up your indoor oven during the holidays or keeping the heat out of your house when you have a craving for a midsummer apple pie.
For the crust
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for countertop
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into half inch cubes
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
- 4 cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For the egg wash
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream and 1 large egg yolk whisked together
Start by making the crust. Put the flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse three to four times. Then, add half of the butter, and pulse five to eight times, until mixed. Add the remaining butter and pulse an additional five to eight times till mixed and the butter is in small chunks.
Once mixed, slowly add in the cold water a couple tablespoons at a time, pulsing after each water addition until mixture starts to hold together. Pour the mixture on a lightly floured countertop and form it into two even-sized piles. Knead each pile with your hands, just enough to form them into tiny pizza-shaped crusts.
Lightly dust both pieces of dough with some flour, wrap them in cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour while you make the pie filling, and preheat the grill. Light the Hybrid Fire Grill and establish the temperature at 375°F. For the K500, light either the left or right burner. For the K750 or K1000, light both outboard burners. Add one small apple premium wood chunk to the drawer over an active burner.
For the Shokunin Kamado, set up for cross flow roasting and establish temperature at 375°F. Add the small apple wood chunk to the hot coals.
To make the pie filling, whisk together the water, both sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla extract and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and add the apples. Cover, and reduce the heat to low; allow apples to simmer for eight to ten minutes. Remove them from heat, uncover and set aside.
Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes in order to soften slightly. Lightly flour the countertop, remove the dough from the cling wrap and roll out each piece into a 12' circle. Then, place one piece onto a 9-inch disposable pie pan.
Tip: I use disposable pan because the smoke will discolor a typical glass or ceramic pie plate.
Press the dough into place so that it forms nicely into the pie pan. Add the pie filling, then top with the additional piece of pie crust. Squeeze the edges together with your fingers and then trim off an excess in order to have an even ¾ inch of crust around the rim. Pinch that together and tuck it under the pans edge.
Score the top of the pie with a series of cuts to allow the steam out of the pie as it bakes. Feel free to be as fancy as you want with the cuts or make a design. Cover the circumference of the crust with aluminum foil, and place on the grill over indirect heat for 35 minutes.
Then, remove the foil, baste the crust with the wash and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.
Tip: If you’re using the K500 or the Shokunin, spin the pie 180° after you brush on the wash to ensure even browning.
Remove the pie from the grill and serve warm.