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Say hello to the prettiest apple pie around. I'll be honest: this bitch is a diva, a recipe not for the faint-hearted. I threw up my hands and stomped on the floor multiple times during the making of this pie, while Celene kept her cool and crafted beautiful rosettes painstakingly from brittle apple shards. I'm so lucky to have her around. 

Here's the first secret: your rosettes are going to fall apart. They are going to unwind and slither about and you might cry. But then, you just rearrange and re-tuck things a bit and suddenly it is magnificent. Here's the second secret: you'll need more than one pair of hands to steady the rosettes as you layer them into the pie. Bribe your friends with the promise of a perfectly sweet, tangy slice and butter-laden crust. 

Ingredients

Half the dough from your favorite pie crust recipe. We like this one

For Filling

  • 4-5 large red apples (we used a mix of Gala, Fuji, and Braeburn) 
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon  salt

For Rosettes

  • 4 large red apples (we used a mix of Gala, Fuji, and Braeburn)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough on a floured surface and place in the pie pan as you usually would, creating a decorative edge if you like. 

To make the filling, peel apples and slice into about 3/4'' flat slices. Toss slices with remaining filling ingredients and place into pie crust, creating as flat a surface as possible, which will make it easier to place the rosettes later. 

To make the rosettes, first slice the apples into the same sized slices you'd eat as a snack, with the entire peel intact on the outside of the slice. Then using a mandolin, slice the apples very thinly, keeping a ribbon of peel on the outside of each slice. Slices should be thin enough that they are very pliable. Toss with lemon juice and about 1 Tbsp of the sugar. 

Here's the tricky part: creating the rosettes. We used a cupcake pan to hold the rosettes as we created them, layering slices into the pan from the outside in until we reached the center. Once we'd  created 12 rosettes, we carefully popped each one out of the tin and placed it in the pie crust. Here's where the friends come in: have them hold the edges of the rosettes until you are able to place the next rosette tightly next to it to secure it and keep it from unraveling. Repeat until your entire pie surface is filled with rosettes. 

Re-position and adjust slices that have unraveled or come out of place. And don't stress perfection! If you've gotten this far, you're guaranteed to have a pretty tasty and good-looking pie! 

Stir melted butter and cinnamon together in a small bowl and dab the rosettes with this mixture.  Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top of the rosettes. Bake for 20 mins, then lower heat to 350° and bake for an additional 50 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving. 

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