Deep-dish almond apple pie

Valerie Lugonja's almond apple pie recipe with homemade almond paste

Valerie Lugonja, Edmonton-based writer and editor, as well as the director of Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance, comes up with a recipe for a deep-dish apple pie that gives the regular apple pie a run for its money. You can use a variety of apples to enhance flavour: Macintosh for traditional apple flavour, Granny Smith to hold shape and for tartness, and Gala for sweetness.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a food processory, add flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter, add pulse to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and vanilla. Add to food processor and pulse until mixture begins to clump together.

Transfer mixture to a board, gather into a ball, and knead gently to combine. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight.

Roll chilled pastry into a 9-inch circle between two floured pieces of waxed paper (this is a very sticky, delicate dough).

Peel off waxed paper, as needed, and sprinkle enough flour over dough to prevent sticking. Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with the dough; press it up the sides of the pan (this will take some time).

Dock the pastry with a fork and put in the freezer to chill until firm (about 15 minutes).

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line chilled pastry with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in preheaded oven for 15 minutes, or until sides are set. Remove from oven and gently remove foil and pie weights (if any bottom crust comes away with the foil, gently lift it off the foil and place it back in the crust, pinching it back into place), then return to oven and bake another 5 minutes, until bottom of pie is dry.

Remove from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Almond paste

1 1/2 cup almonds, skinned
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract
1 pinch salt

In a food processor, pulse to grind almonds as finely as possible. Add sugar and pulse until completely combined. Add egg and yolk and mix for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice, almond extract and salt.

Starting at the lowest speed and working up to the highest speed, mix for 30 seconds, cleaning the sides of the bowl midway through.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.


3 lb B.C. Tree Fruits baking apples
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond paste

Peel, core and slice apples.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sliced apples, sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice and vanilla, toss together and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until apples start to release juices and is coated with a thick and translucent sauce. Remove from heat.

To assemble pie, chop almond paste into little bits and sprinkle evenly over bottom of par-baked pastry. Pour in pie filling and spread evenly.


6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
6 tbsp whipping cream
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring butter, whipping cream, honey, sugar and salt to a boil for 2 minutes without stirring. Add sliced almonds and boil for 1 minute. Spoon almond mixture evenly over the pie filling. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, until apples in the middle of the pie are soft (check after 40 minutes and cover with foil if the topping is getting too dark).

Cool completely before running a knife around the edge of the pie to loosen and remove side of the pan. Cut into slices and serve with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.

1 9-inch pie