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Sep 26, 2010 09:56 PM

Double-decker deep dish apple pie?

I've got this deep dish pie pan staring at me just begging to be used.

Which got me thinking.

Has anyone ever made a "double-decker" apple pie? As in pie crust, topped with apple filling, then another layer of pie crust, then more apple filling, then pie crust to top it off?

Every time I have a deep dish pie (2 inches thick) I always feel like it is unbalanced -- to much filling to crust. The ratio is just off.

Is this possible? A double-decker apple pie? Would the middle layer crust cook through, or would it be still half-raw when the rest of the pie is done?

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Ridicule?

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  1. great idea in theory, but i suspect the middle crust would get too soggy and basically disintegrate/collapse. i think the only double-layer pies that really work are those in which at least the bottom layer is a solid (probably custard) base...e.g. pumpkin or chocolate.

    1. I think you nailed it when you questioned whether or not the middle layer would cook through or not. I don't believe that it would and the center layer of pastry would be a soggy mess.

      1 Reply
      1. re: John E.

        Try a strudel -- apples and spices rolled in pastry...might be a better balance for you.

      2. I agree that it wouldn't cook in the center. You could do it in piece parts--first the short pie, going up 1/2 the pie pan, then turn out something like a tarte tatin over it. I think a tarte tatin is an ideal ratio--almost equal crust to apple.

        7 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          If I did a tarte tatin, I would still need to bake the top crust right?

          I'm just thinking this through my head.

          If I baked the bottom half -- pie shell, half of the apple filling -- then filpped the tarte tatin over that, I would still need a pie crust top which I would still need to bake, even though the rest of the apple is already done.

          This would be a problem, me thinks.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            It's the middle crust that's tripping you up. Putting the raw dough between the layers of apple means that the raw dough will never bake correctly, and could either more or less disintegrate into the filling, or sorta-kinda bake into a glutinous mess. Ugh, either way.

            If you bake it first, it will be a little on the dry will pull the moisture out of your filling, leaving you with dry filling and a baked, but still soggy, middle layer.

            I think you need to head more toward apple dumpling (more or less individual apple pies) or another type of pastry (chaussons aux pommes, maybe, strudel as above, or maybe even some sort of variation on baklava?)

            1. re: sunshine842

              I could perhaps just bake two apple pies.

              One with a top, in my deep dish pie pan.

              Another that's topless in a regular pie pan.

              Then invert the topless pie onto the pie in the deep dish?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                The liquid from the filling is still going to soak into the crust that's in the middle.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              I was thinking you'd make a pie in the deep dish pan, with the top crust. Then top that with the upside down tarte tatin so you are making two pies, essentially. But, since the tarte tatin is baked and less juicy, you won't have a problem w/ the center layer of dough getting soggy.

              1. re: chowser

                Oh, I see what your saying. Flip the tarte tatin TWICE before placing it on the apple pie. Gotcha.

                I was also thinking I could top my topless apple pie with some streudal to prevent the soggy crust issue.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Sorry, yes, I was expecting you to read my mind. Flip twice so the top is still the top. I was thinking of flipping it over, when it was right side up already.

                  You could brush white chocolate over the crust but you wouldn't get the nice tenderness then. But, if you brushed it well w/ egg before baking, it might help some. Streudel never hurts, though.

          2. Just found this post by accident. I made a double-decker apple pie last year for a friend. I just got 5 orders this year. What I do is: line the pan with crust, bake until light brown, add apple filling and another layer of pastry on top of that. cook until the crust light brown, remove and fill with remaining filling and final crust. Lightly dust top crust with butter and sugar.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cbarnes

              Does the bottom crust layer not overbake?