Pie Corps Double Crusted Apple Pie

Pie Corps Double Crusted Apple Pie

Back in May I attended the World Science Festival’s Scientific Kitchen Series on pie, at Pie Corps in Brooklyn, NY. I wrote all about my experience here, and am now sharing their coveted recipe for double crusted apple pie, along with several tips and tricks I learned at the event!


Butter Crust (makes two individual 11 ounce discs)


  • 12 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ounces cold unsalted butter (½ stick), grated
  • 5 ounces cold unsalted butter (1 ¼ sticks), cut into small dice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6 to 12 tablespoons ice water


Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the grated butter and mix until well incorporated (if working dough by hand use a pastry cutter to cut grated butter into flour). Add the diced butter and mix until the butter is just soft, about four to five minutes.

With motor running add lemon juice and enough water so that the crust just holds together. Once a rough dough is formed stop mixing and make two equal sized discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour (don’t try to roll fresh dough- it will be too soft and bounce back).


  • Dough may be left in refrigerator for up to three days and frozen for up to one month. For best results, let the dough relax in the refrigerator one – two days before assembling your pie.
  • Keep everything very cold- this includes your ingredients and baking tools.
  • Work the dough as little as possible to avoid over-handling it. Fat (butter) is critical for crust texture. You want fat that is solid when you make the dough; pieces the size of walnuts result in a flaky crust.
  • This dough recipe can be used for both sweet and savory pies. If you would like to sweeten the dough, you can add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar.


Apple Filling for Double Crusted Apple Pie (makes one nine-inch pie)


  • 2 pounds Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons lemon zest, using a micro-plane (from 1 lemon)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ ounce unsalted butter (1 tablespoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or Kirsch; gives floral depth)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar


Combine apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature.

Place a colander over a large bowl. Transfer apples to a colander, and reserve strained liquid.

Pour strained liquid into a small saucepan, add butter, and reduce liquid over medium heat until reduced by half and thickened slightly. Set aside to cool a bit. Add the cooled, reduced liquid to the apples and toss with extract and cornstarch.


  • If your strained liquid cools to long, it will harden. You can reheat it again, back to a liquid state.


To assemble pie

On a lightly floured surface, roll out butter crust into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of a 9-inch pie plate (about one inch over edge of pan). Press one pastry circle into the pie plate (press dough into corners to avoid air pockets from forming). Place the other circle on parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill all pastry until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spoon apples into prepared pie pan with all accumulated juices, cover with remaining pastry circle. Cut several steam vents across top (so moisture can escape). Seal by crimping edges as desired or with a fork. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional sugar as desired.

Place pie back in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes maximum to firm before baking (optional, but recommended).

Bake in a 350 degree oven until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about one hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.


  • Roll dough on a sheet of very lightly floured parchment paper in case you need to chill it and start again.
  • A black pie tin can cause your pie to burn. Foil or clear Pyrex pie tins are preferred.

I recently decided to bake this pie for a BBQ I was attending. Unfortunately, the day I decided to whip it up, my pie dish was nowhere to be found and the handle of my rolling pin fell off mid-roll. Undeterred, I used a foil pan and did the best I could with my broken rolling pin. The photo below is what I ended up with. Although the pie looks funny, the guests at the BBQ said it was the best apple pie they have ever had!


I served the pie with homemade vanilla whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

Thank you Pie Corps for sharing your delicious recipe!


World Science Festival, The Scientific Kitchen: Pie

Do you think baking is one big science experiment?

On May 31st Pie Corps, purveyor of sweet and savory pies in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, opened their doors to a group of hungry curious attendees interested in untangling the scientific mysteries of pie.


The program was part of the World Science Festival’s Scientific Kitchen Series.


Our hosts included biophysicist Amy Rowat, White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, Pie Corps owner and chef Cheryl Perry, and co-owner Felipa Lopez.


The hands-on workshop applied scientific principles to create the perfect pie.


We spent most of the evening focusing on the part of the pie that seems to give bakers the most trouble- the crust! A basic butter crust recipe typically includes flour, salt, baking powder, butter, lemon juice, and ice water. Here’s a breakdown of what each of the ingredients do.

Flour: all crusts begin with flour. Flour contains material that plants use for energy, both proteins as well as tiny starch granules, which store carbohydrates. For bakers, proteins link together to form a gluten network, which contribute to the structure and shape stability of pie crust. This enables you to roll out and form the dough into different shapes.

Gluten holds a crust together. Gluten-free flours have starch molecules (like tapioca or cornstarch) added to them, in the absence of gluten.

Some pie makers prefer cake flour for a flaky pie crust, while others maintain that all-purpose flour results in a pie dough that’s easier to handle. Pie Corps uses Hecker’s or King Arthur all-purpose flour.

Salt: is a flavor enhancer.

Baking Powder: is a leavening agent, which further enhances butter, making it lighter.

Butter: the ideal fat, is critical to a crust’s texture. You want butter that is solid when you make pie dough. Pockets of fat create pockets of air, resulting in flakiness. You can think of butter as “gas” when baking. If butter is left in large (walnut-sized) pieces, the crust will be more flaky.

Different butters have varying fat contents.

Lemon juice: helps tenderize pie dough, making it easier to roll out.

Ice water: activates the proteins in flour to help develop gluten, and creates texture. It should be ice-cold to keep to keep butter cool.


After we learned the essentials for creating the perfect crust, we got to work on our very own to take home with us, along with Pie Corps’ recipe for Double Crusted Apple Pie.

For the recipe, and all the helpful tips I learned, check out my post HERE.


I asked Bill what President Obama’s favorite dessert is during Q&A. Turns out, it’s … apple pie, with whipped cream! The girls love it as well, preferring it with vanilla ice cream.

And then of course, we ate some pie!


Thank you for the wonderful learning experience Felipa, Cheryl, Amy and Bill!


Turns out, the science of pie isn’t all that complex.

Dark Chocolate Almond Muffins

I am very excited to share this recipe today!

Over the course of the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of participating in a blogging workshop filled with lots of inspiring people.

Tonight is our last meeting, and I can’t think of anything more appropriate than bringing some sweet treats to class. I would also like to give a special thank you to our fearless leader, Eric, especially for all his enthusiasm, help and advice.

Hope they like them!

And if you like chocolate and almonds, I’ve got the recipe for you too.

Dark Chocolate Almond Muffins

Yield: 12 regular muffins or 6 jumbo muffins


  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao bittersweet chips)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, divided


Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease muffin tin or line with baking cups and lightly grease with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in 1/3 cup sliced almonds and 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, whisk together almond milk, almond extract, vanilla extract, oil, and egg.

Pour wet batter into dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin ¾ full. Sprinkle top of each muffin with the remaining sliced almonds and pat down lightly so that they stick to the batter.

Bake 18 minutes for regular sized muffins or 21 minutes for jumbo sized muffins, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Cool 10 minutes in muffin tin on a wire rack, then remove muffins from tin to cool completely.


Chocolatey goodness

Recipe adapted from GimmeSomeOven.


  • If using paper cups to line the muffins, make sure you wait until the muffins have cooled completely before peeling the paper off, otherwise they may stick to the paper.

5.23.13: I’ve updated this recipe from its original post a bit after taste tests from my lovely friends.

p.s. My classmates blogs have grown so much over the past few weeks! Check them out:

A little bit of M

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My Afropolitan Diary

The Spit Take

Tropical Orange, Mango and Peach Smoothie

This smoothie is going to make you feel like you’re on a tropical island.

The fruit are loaded with vitamins A and C while the yogurt provides an instant source of protein.

Drink your fruit

Drink your fruit

Servings: 2 (12 ounces each)


  • 1 orange, peeled
  • ½ cup frozen mango chunks
  • 2 peach halves
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
  • 1-2 tbsps shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup white grape juice (or more almond milk)
  • 6 ice cubes


  1. In a blender, purée all the ingredients except the ice cubes.
  2. Add the ice cubes and blend until smooth.


  • I used Trader Joe’s yellow cling peach halves in white grape juice, but you can also use other brands or a fresh peach
  • If you use fresh mango in place of frozen, you may need to add ice cubes to thicken the smoothie
  • Add ice last so you don’t over-blend, leaving you with a watery drink
  • I’ve successfully added protein powder to this recipe

Can you tell I like to frequent Trader Joe’s? 🙂

Sandra Lee’s World’s Largest Bake Sale 2013 #WorldsLargestBakeSale

Sandra Lee’s World’s Largest Bake Sale makes New York a sweeter place.

1 in 5 children in the United States struggle with childhood hunger. That’s more than 16 million kids nationwide.

On May 1st Sandra Lee and many of her friends came together to host the World’s Largest Bake Sale, benefiting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. 100% of proceeds raised at the event benefit the campaign as well as the Food Bank for New York City.



The event, held in Grand Central Terminal – Vanderbilt Hall, featured sweet and savory baked goods prepared by over 30 restaurants and bakeries from around New York City.

Vanderbuilt Hall

Vanderbilt Hall

I went to pick up a few sweet treats and had the pleasure of meeting both Sandra Lee and Ty Pennington!


Just a few of the several yummy desserts at the bake sale

I walked over to Bryant Park after the bake sale to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, and sample some desserts!

Bryant Park

Sunny skies in Bryant Park

You can still help: all month until May 31st, Kmart will donate $1.00 to Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry (up to $10,000) each time their message is shared on Facebook and Twitter or you share a Sandra Lee recipe card with friends and family.

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Whether it’s a relaxed afternoon tea or surprise treat, there’s no sweeter way to say “I love you, Mom” than with something homemade.

This Mother’s Day I had originally planned to make my mom a chocolate cake, but the other day she mentioned in passing that she gobbled up tried some of the banana walnut bread I had recently baked, and loved it.

I decided to bake a fresh loaf for her, but added two of her favorite ingredients: hazelnuts and dark chocolate.

Banana Walnut Bread (top) & Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (bottom)

The original Banana Walnut Bread recipe calls for 1 cup chopped walnuts. Simply replace them with 2/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts and 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips. I used Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips.

I also sliced some extra banana I had and shingled it on top of the batter for decoration before putting the loaves in the oven to bake.

Hope you (and your mom) enjoy this recipe. Mine did!

Mother’s Day coffee, gelato and banana bread with my mom

To the woman who has shaped the person I have become, what else can I say except: I love you more.

Watermelon Strawberry Coolers

One of the most refreshing ways to enjoy fruit is in a cool drink. A cross between fruit juice and bubbly soda, this fruity cooler has summertime written all over it.

Watermelon and strawberry are the perfect pair for a light, vitamin-packed drink. With so few components, the quality of the ingredients and the simple twists (a squeeze of lime juice for example) make all the difference.

Sweet simplicity

Servings: 2


  • 2 cups watermelon chunks, seeds removed
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water (or more according to your preference)
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Watermelon wedges, for garnish


  1. In a blender, purée the watermelon chunks, strawberries and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup sparkling water.
  3. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges.


  • Use ripe fruit, even fruit that’s slightly past its prime. The sweet, rich notes of the fruit will come through.
  • Adding simple syrup, agave, and maybe a splash of vodka opens a world of flavor possibilities.
  • A favorite trick of mine is to make two batches of the cooler and freeze one batch in ice cube trays to use when serving. That way the cubes won’t dilute the drink.

After a week filled with rainy days, I’m looking forward to sunny skies and warmer weather. What’s your favorite summer fruit and your favorite way to enjoy it?