Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
There is something cheerful and jolly about this pie. Whenever we bake it, both kids and adults are all excited - it's like cinnamon rolls but on a pie, with mellow spiced apples just underneath?!.. how did you do that! Fancy? Not at all. It's super easy and not much effort goes into it (look at those swirls - far from perfect but make your regular pie look jolly and happy!).
Little, buttery and cinnamon-filled swirls cover mellow apple filling. Both crusts are made using very simple, sour cream and butter dough (only one dough is prepared for both top and bottom). Why this type of crust? It's a no fail pie crust recipe, delicious, always works and it's easy to roll out and shape. We love different types of pie doughs. In this bake, sour cream and butter combination simply works - it is flaky, buttery, delicious and makes preparation of cinnamon rolls easy.
For a good bake:
- Pie crust - sift flour with confectioners' sugar and salt. To work in butter - use frozen or cold butter straight from the fridge and grate it on a large scale. If you don't have pastry cutter or food processor (few pulses here), work in butter using your finger tips and palm of hand (rubbing palms of your hands as if you were cold ;). Keep it brief - you don't want to melt the butter. Once you have coarse texture, add cold sour cream and in few swift moves combine the dough. Divide pie dough into half, form two flat discs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Rolling the bottom crust - leave the dough for 5 minutes at room temperature then roll out 0.3-0.4cm thin. At first the dough may look hard/dense but few minutes at room temperature and it will be easy to work with. Add some 8-10cm to your pie dish diameter when rolling out (it's best to have wider circle and trim the edges). Once done, roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer onto the pie dish. You can have a look at this video here showing Erin McDowell (the pie queen!) shaping pie dough.
- Blind bake the bottom - as far as sour cream crusts go it's best to blind bake them for 15 minutes before filling with apples. Place pie weights (we baked with and without - worked just fine in both cases; in recipe we also give a tip on how to use aluminium foil and sugar as pie weights) and bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden.
- Apple filling - everybody has their preference when it comes to apples - to stew or not to stew! For this pie we would recommend to stew. Why? You will be covering your pie with cinnamon swirls so for best result you want to know by how much apples are going to reduce when baking. Otherwise, fresh apples when baking will reduce leaving your pie with deflated top crust and pear-shaped cinnamon rolls.
- Cinnamon swirls - roll out the second disc 0.3-0.4cm thin. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture, then roll into log shape and cut into 0.5cm rolls. You will be placing rolls on parchment paper to form circle/flower shape. Then cover with second parchment paper and gently roll out 0.2-0.3cm thin - start from the middle rolling out to the edges. Gently is probably the key word here as you want to keep shapes intact. Have a look at the photo - far from perfect and not much attention was given to keep it super duper beautiful - so you can only do better! When rolling out - remember that top crust needs to be some 1cm wider than the pie dish - you want the top crust to cover beyond the edges of the pie (so that both - pie bottom and top will join up nicely).
Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 15min prep + (30min dough cooling) + 20min prep + 35-40min baking
Tin: 21-23cm pie dish
For double crust:
- 450g all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsps confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250g unsalted butter, cold/frozen and grated
- 250g sour cream, straight from the fridge
- 8 medium apples, peeled and cored, coarsely chopped or thinly sliced
- 45g light brown sugar
- 45g white sugar (to taste - use less or more)
- 1 tsp corn starch (flour) or potato starch
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Cinnamon roll filling:
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 100g white sugar mixed with 2 tsps cinnamon
- 1 large egg mixed with 1 tsp full-fat milk
- 3 Tbsps sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)
1. Prepare crust: Sift flour with confectioners' sugar and salt into your main bowl. Add cold, grated butter and using pastry cutter, food processor or by hand work butter into the flour. Be quick at it as you don't want to melt the butter. Once the dough resembles crumbles, add sour cream and mix until loose dough is formed. Transfer onto lightly floured work surface and form the dough (few swift moves, don't over-mix). Split the dough in two, shape into two flat discs (2cm thick), wrap in a cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare apple filling: In a medium pot mix apples with lemon juice, brown sugar, corn starch (flour), cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Use brown sugar first and if needed add white sugar to taste few minutes into stewing. Let the mixture simmer on medium heat (uncovered) for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sugar and cornflour should gel with spices and apples will reduce. When done, set aside to cool.
a) Roll out 1st chilled dough: leave the dough at room temperature for 5 minutes then press with your hands to form little circle and start rolling out from the middle out to the edges. Combine with hand if dough edges are cracking. Don’t add any more flour, if the crack appears just combine with fingers and continue rolling into 0.3-0.4cm thin circle. Once you have the shape, roll around the rolling-pin and transfer onto the pie dish. Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes. In that time preheat the oven to 180C. When ready, place pie weights (if you don’t have pie weights, using fork poke few holes in the crust, line with aluminium foil and fill with sugar). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C (165C fan forced) until light golden. Take out and set aside to cool.
b) Roll out 2nd chilled dough for cinnamon roll pie cover: leave the dough at room temperature for 5 minutes then press with your hands to form little rectangle and start rolling from the middle out to form 0.3-0.4cm thin rectangle. Cut uneven edges. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mix and roll tightly to form log shape. Cut into 0.5cm thin cinnamon rolls. Take one sheet of parchment paper and place all the little rolls onto the paper to form circle shape (start with one small cinnamon roll in the middle and form flower/round shape). Cover with the second sheet of parchment paper and roll gently with rolling pin (in one direction only, from the middle out). Once you have thin crust cover done (0.2-0.3cm thin), where all small cinnamon rolls are roughly combined, take off the top parchment paper. Transfer apple filling into the pie dish and gently flip the top crust onto the pie so that the parchment paper is at the top and mini cinnamon rolls are covering the pie, take the parchment paper off. You want the cinnamon rolls/top crust to cover 1cm beyond the edges of the pie (so that both - pie bottom and top will join up nicely when baking).
4. Bake: Brush edges and top with the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180C (165C fan forced) or until the top is well baked and golden brown in colour. Once baked, take out from the oven and let the pie set for 30 minutes before serving.