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Apple Pie with a Sous Vide Yellow Delicious Filling and an Embossed Crust Recipe

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WHAT? Why sous vide apples before baking them into a pie???  There are 3 reasons:

First, pectin begins to break down at 183°F (83.9°C), whereupon apples slices will start to turn into apple sauce.  And no one wants an apple sauce pie!  In contrast, pectin converts to a more thermostable form if held at 140-160°F (60-71.1°C) for a period of time.  This will prevent the apple slices from becoming too soft when subsequently baked to a higher temperature to tenderize them.

Second, different apples varieties, even the same variety at different times of the year, will release different amounts of juice when cooked.  I've measured greater than a 2-fold difference in the volume of juice released by freshly picked apples versus the same variety of out of season grocery store apples (the latter released more juices).  By sous vide cooking the apples first, the juices can be collected and exactly the right amount of juice can be combined with exactly the right amount of starches to create the perfect pie filling.  This will also prevent excess juices from bubbling out of the crust and creating an ugly mess on top during baking.

And third, raw apple slices shrink during baking.  Pre-cooking minimizes shrinkage and avoids an unsightly gap appearing between the top crust and the pie filling.

*NOTE: This recipe was submitted by the author as part of an online recipe contest. It has not been tested by ISVA.

From the ISVA Editors


Want more like this? Our comprehensive book Champions of Sous Vide is a great collection of more than 70 sous vide recipes from two dozen top sous vide cooks.


Apple Pie with a Sous Vide Yellow Delicious Filling and an Embossed Crust Recipe

  • Published: October 27, 2021
  • By Kevin Foley
  • Total Time: 1 hour, then 184°F for 1 hour
  • Cooks: 160°F (71.1°C) for 1 hour, then 184°F (84.4°C) for 1 hour
  • Serves: 8

Ingredients for Apple Pie with a Sous Vide Yellow Delicious Filling and an Embossed Crust

  • For the Spice Blend

  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg (reduce if fresh ground)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • For the Filling

  • 1350g golden delicious apples (~10), cored, peeled and sliced to 7mm slices
  • 1 golden delicious apple, peeled & coarsely grated
  • 100g sugar
  • 1.8g salt
  • 1.2g spice blend
  • 14g lemon juice
  • Apple cider
  • 17g corn starch
  • 17g tapioca starch
  • 28g unsalted butter, melted
  • 0.25 teaspoon rose water
  • For the Crust

  • 410g King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 12g sugar
  • 5.5g salt
  • 1.25g baking powder
  • 80g vegetable shortening
  • 220g unsalted butter, cold (not European-style butter)
  • 110g water, cold
  • 9.5g apple cider vinegar
  • For the Assembly and Baking

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15g heavy cream
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Cooking Instructions for Apple Pie with a Sous Vide Yellow Delicious Filling and an Embossed Crust

For the Spiced Blend

Mix all of the spiced blend ingredients in a small bowl.

For the Filling

1)    Core and coarsely grate 1 medium Golden Delicious apple

2)    Retain cores and peels

3)   Toss the sugar, salt and spiced blend with apple slices

4)    Separately vacuum pack apple slices and cores + peels

5)    Cook in a sous vide water bath at 160°F (71.1°C) for 1 hour, then increase to 184°F (84.4°C) for 1 hour

6)    Remove bags and let cool slightly, then cut corners of bags and drain juice

7)    Add apple cider to bring juice to 2 cups total

8)    Let cooked apples chill at least 2 hours in refrigerator

9)    Dissolve starches in juice, add to melted butter and bring to boil in saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly until thickens into clear, dark gel

10)    Let cool slightly, add rose water, then fold into cold apple slices

For the Crust

1)    In food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder

2)    Divide shortening into several pieces, add to flour and pulse 5 times

3)    Divide butter into 10-15 pieces, add to flour and pulse 5 times until broken up into quarter inch chunks

4)    Combine water and vinegar, drizzle over flour and pulse 10 times until just starting to come together but there is still some loose flour

5)    Knead dough briefly by hand to incorporate loose flour

6)    Weigh and divide into two portions: 58% (bottom crust); 42% (top crust)

7)    Form into two 1-inch thick round disks, cover with plastic wrap, smooth edges and cracks and refrigerate overnight

8)    Roll out bottom crust into a 1/8th inch-thick, 15-inch-wide circle, press into fluted, non-stick, 9.5 inch-wide, 2-inch-deep tart/quiche pan with removable bottom, and cool in refrigerator for 20 minutes

9)    Roll out top crust into a 1/8th inch-thick, 11.75 inch-wide circle, place on a silicon impression mat, roll one more time to emboss crust and cool mat and crust in refrigerator for 20 minutes

For the Assembly and Baking

1)    Pre-heat oven to 425°F (218°C)

2)    Spread filling on top of bottom crust in tart pan and brush egg wash along top edge of crust

3)    Lay top crust on top of bottom with embossed pattern facing upwards

4)    Press rolling pin at 45-degree angle along edge of tart pan to adhere top and bottom crusts together and to cut off excess crusts by pressing against edge of pan

5)    Cool pie in freezer for 20 minutes

6)    Lightly brush embossed top crust with egg wash so adheres mostly to high points of embossed pattern

7)    Use knife to cut 4 S-shaped vents in top crust

8)    Place pie on bottom rack of pre-heated oven, lower temperature to 400°F (204°C)

9)    Bake 55 minutes, rotating after 15 and 35 minutes

10)   Increase temperature to 450°F (232°C) and bake for 10 minutes

11)   Remove and let completely cool before carefully removing from tart pan and cutting


Want more like this? Our comprehensive book Champions of Sous Vide is a great collection of more than 70 sous vide recipes from two dozen top sous vide cooks.


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