Introduction: Apple Pie in the Apple

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate c…

My mother sent me a picture of this delicious encapsulated dessert: an apple containing its own spiced innards, capped with a cute lattice-topped pie crust. I had to try it. (And, being me, I looked at a picture but completely neglected the accompanying directions- though skimming them now, I think my way is easier.)

But a week or so went by, and I still hadn't made the pie. I live in a dorm, so I don't have the spice rack I wanted to do it justice. And then one of my suitemates brought in these beautiful, gigantic, delicious-smelling apples. So this evening, I decided it was time. And I made do with what I had around, which turned out to be pretty good after all: I chai-spiced the interior, and improvised a thick espresso crust.

When I set out to make this, I was really just going for the visual effect. But I've been so much more pleased with the flavor and consistency of the pie. It is the baked apple, reinvented. The taste is sweet, fresh, natural, healthy even. And it was surprisingly easy to do. A++, will cook again.

Step 1: Ingredients

Spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg)
Pie Crust (here's the one I normally make, but I improvised this one- more on that in the Crust step)

Step 2: Take the Top Off

Score a smallish hole at the top of the apple.
Use a smaller knife than the one I've pictured, if you can.
Carve a conical section out, so that you can remove the top.

Step 3: Scoop It Out

Use a combination of a small knife and a spoon to scoop out the interior of the apple.
Spoon the meat of the apple into a bowl, separating out the not-so-delicious seeds and sharp bits of the core.
Be careful not to make the walls of the apple too thin- they are your structural support!
You might find a grapefruit spoon helpful. I didn't have one, but wished I had.

Step 4: Spice the Filling

Add your favorite spices to the scooped-out meat of the apple.
Traditionally, I use a mix of flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and lemon juice. Maybe some honey, if your apple isn't already sweet.
Here in my dorm room, I used chai tea & spices, to pretty decent effect.
Mix it all up.

Step 5: Stuff Apple

Spoon your delicious spiced apple chunks back into the apple. You might have to cram them in a little.

Step 6: Add Crust

Again, I normally make pie crust like this. If you skip to the last step, it has some instructions for weaving a lattice top.

However, I didn't have the ingredients I really wanted to make pie crust, so I made something up. It turned out to be really good:

Espresso "Pie Crust"
Put ~1C flour in a bowl.
Open up about six single-serving packets of Promise or some other too-soft-not-actually-butter and cut them into the flour.
Add some sugar and salt- maybe 1/8C sugar, a pinch of salt?
Add about two tablespoons of espresso.
Mix with water until something resembling the right texture (but softer than normal) is achieved.

Top apple with crust. Cut ends to be even, and press them into a defined shape at the bottom.
Like a hat. Sorry, couldn't resist the mustache picture. (If you're interested, Danger is my Middle Name is selling those mustache stickers...)

Step 7: Bake

This will depend on the size of your apple, and probably somewhat on your oven.
For mine, 350F for 30 minutes was perfect.
I think you know it's done when the apple begins to split and sizzle at the base.

Step 8: Serve

I think it works best if you cut it into quarters. Then it stays together enough that you can eat it with your hands.
Enjoy your chai-spiced apple pie in an apple topped with espresso crust.
Fancy! Innovative! Tasty!