Wear White and Make Apple Custard Rosy Outlook Election Pie


During this election season, there’s been talk about bringing back election cake. Here at Culturess we believe in Team Pie, so we’re having election pie.

You may have seen some articles about election cake this year. Back in the day women baked “a dense, naturally leavened, boozy fruit and spice cake.” This was later known as election cake and was used to encourage men to vote. Yes, even after the American Revolution women knew what voting meant while men took their rights for granted and had to be lured by baked goods.

I can acknowledge the interesting history of this food and respect how it was a way for women to be involved in different time. However, it’s 2016 and times and tastes have changed. I’m generally a member of Team Pie. I decided that not even history would convince me that I like anything resembling fruitcake and set forth making an election pie instead. I came up with a tart apple pie balanced with a creamy custard that you can make while honoring suffragist history by wearing white.

Image via Kalistrya

Wear White and Make Apple Custard Rosy Outlook Election Pie

1 Milk Street’s Foolproof Single-Crust Pie Dough
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 egg yolks (save one egg white for the egg wash)
2 vanilla beans or 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond emulsion or extract
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
3-4 Cripps Pink/Pink Lady (or another very tart, very firm apple variety, see notes below)
lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix one recipe of Milk Street’s Pie Dough through step 4 of their recipe, use a deep dish pie plate. Keep the unbaked pie plate in the refrigerator until you’re ready to fill and bake your pie.

Image via Kalistrya

For the custard: If using, slice vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add sugar, flour, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds, almond emulsion, and sour cream to a medium bowl. Mix well before adding the heavy cream. This will make about 2 cups of custard mixture. This step can be done the day before and the mixture refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble and bake your pie.

Make an egg wash by mixing an egg white and a teaspoon of water. Brush the edges of the pie dough in your pie plate. You can also brush the sides a bit if you’d like to help any exposed crust brown. Put back into the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.

If you are going for the rose look, the number of apple you need will depend on how big your apples are. I sliced 4 large apples, but ended up using about 3 apples worth. Peel and core your apples. Using a mandoline slicer, slice your apples about 1 mm thick. As you slice, gather the slices and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with some lemon juice every half apple or so. (If you don’t have the patience for that kind of thing, see the alternative directions below the recipe.)

Once you have your pie crust, custard mixture, and sliced apples, you’re ready to assemble your pie. First, preheat the oven to 400


F. Pour the custard mixture into the pie plate, it will fill the pie up about halfway. Smooth it out with a spatula if it’s thick from being chilled and needs to help spreading out.

Image via Kalistrya

Start layering your slices of apple around the outside of the pie, overlapping the slices as you go. You’ll want to try to keep it as tall as your pie plate’s sides. The apple slices should stick together and the custard will help them keep in place. Don’t worry if some of your slices are not as tall as others, the overall effect layers and is pretty forgiving. Keep going around and around until there’s just a smaller circle left in the center. You’ll notice that the custard seems a little taller by the time you get into the center, that’s from the weight of the apples pushing down and the custard level rising. Just be gentle when you arrange your apple slices in the deeper custard area. It won’t really harm anything if you do get custard on some of the slices.

You can see in my photo that the center rosette is a slightly different color. Depending on your apple slices, you may need to microwave a couple for 10 seconds to get them to bend enough. You’ll roll up the center rosette outside of the pie because it’s easier and then stick it in the middle of the custard. Then you can fill in the custard gap between the center rosette and the rest of the apples with more apple slices. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top of the pie.

Image via Kalistrya

Admire your work and blink in disbelief that you actually managed to do that. Take a photo to share with your friends so they can look lustfully upon your creation. Then remember what you were doing and put the pie in the oven. After a few minutes some of the edges of your apple petals will start to brown, cut out a circular piece of parchment paper and put on top of the apples to stop them from drying out and having edges burn. You can also do this before you put the pie in the oven if you like.

Image via Kalistrya

  • After 20 minutes, place a pie crust shield to stop the edges from browning further. Turn the temperature down to 375°F and bake the pie for another 20-25 minutes. If you don’t have a pie crust shield, you can make one from aluminum foil. Just google for directions.
  • Take the pie out of the oven and let cool down. Feel filled with optimism about the election because if you can make this pie, then surely things will turn out okay. Then refrigerate for at least an hour to help the custard firm up.

    Image via Kalistrya

    Eat pie and feel pleased that this pale pie is a lot less dangerous to your white clothing than a cranberry or blueberry pie would be.

    Image via Kalistrya

    Just don’t have the time, manual dexterity, and/or patience for arranging an apple rose?

    Well, you don’t have do it that way! You can always just slice your apples into somewhat thin wedges and arrange those on top of the custard. Or you can even chop up the apples and then pour the custard on top of them. It’s your apple pie, have it your way. If you use larger apple chunks, it may be helpful to cook them for 2-3 minutes in the microwave to make sure your apples have a little head start in baking through.

    Image via Kalistrya

    Or if you just can’t manage the pie thing or you’re simply on Team Cake. You could totally do a bad ombre cake. Just make sure to make it a mini one for small hands.

    The Apple of My Pie

    Another note about this recipe is that it really depends on your apple variety. This pie requires a firm apple that keeps its shape after baking. Firm and tart apples also tend to brown less. Pies like this need an apple that doesn’t exude a lot of juice when baked or you’ll get an Apple Rose with Climate Change Pie.

    The available apple varieties depend on where you live, so you may need to experiment a little to see what variety would work best for you. You can get some guidance from food sites that have run their own apple tests like Serious Eats, The Kitchn, and King Arthur Flour’s Blog.

    Next: Ben & Jerry’s Fights Voter Suppression with Empower Mint

    Happy election day! Eat pie, be merry, and hope for the best!