Classic apple pie gets an upgrade at Las Vegas' Bouchon Bakery, where pastry chef Scott Wheatfill tops a sweet crust with housemade apple butter and almond cream. The result is a delicate, refined tart with a creamy interior and a concentrated spice flavor. This article first appeared in our November 2014 issue of Saveur with the story Holiday for the Heroes.
For the filling:
5 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp. almond extract
1⁄4 tsp. dark rum
5 tbsp. almond flour
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup unsweetened apple cider
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 large semisweet apples, such as Fuji, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
For the topping and baking:
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup almond flour
5 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
Bouchon's Pâte Sucrée
1⁄2 cup Bouchon's Apple Butter, or substitute store-bought
Confectioners' sugar and ground cinnamon, for dusting
Step 1: Make the almond cream: Using the stand mixer with a clean bowl and paddle, cream confectioners' sugar and 2 tbsp. butter until fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add extracts, rum, and egg; mix until combined. With the motor running, slowly add flours until cream is smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill until ready to use.
Step 2: Make the caramelized apples: Heat granulated sugar in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high; cook, without stirring, until sugar is melted and light amber in color, 8–10 minutes. Carefully stir in cider and ½ cup water (mixture will bubble up); pour caramel into a bowl and set aside. Wipe skillet clean and melt 3 tbsp. butter over high heat. Cook apples until golden, 8–10 minutes. Add reserved caramel; cook until apples are just softened, 10–12 minutes. Let apples cool, then drain; discard caramel.
Step 3: Make the topping: Pulse flours, sugar, butter, and salt in a food processor until mixture resembles fine sand; set aside.
Step 4: Assemble and bake the pie: Heat oven to 325°. On a lightly floured surface, roll Bouchon's Pâte Sucrée into a 15" circle, about ⅙" thick. Fit into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges. Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake until golden, 25–30 minutes. Remove paper and weights and let cool.
Step 5: Spread reserved almond cream over dough; arrange caramelized apples over top. Spoon Bouchon's Apple Butter over apples. Sprinkle the reserved topping over entire surface of pie; bake until topping is golden, about 45 minutes. Let pie cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar and cinnamon before serving.