Apple Breton Pie

By Chef Megan Joy / July 9, 2013

Hello everyone! I hope you are all have an enjoyable summer. I can’t complain- June was filled with a few trips all over Colorado and Utah, as well as lots of wedding cake work. We’ve been getting a few rain showers each week which is such a blessing compared to our dry, kind of scary (wildfires!) summer last year.

I’ve been taking in all of the wildflowers this year. We didn’t have a whole lot last year, and they add a fun dynamic to hikes. I always see new ones tucked among the familiar faces.

For the Fourth of July there were what felt like a million people in town. My little brother makes fun of me for complaining about what I call ‘traffic’, but when you live in a small town any extra surge of visitors feels like a lot.

I had a wedding cake to do, but once that was done and delivered, we just laid low. The afternoon thunderstorms are also a good excuse to stay in and be a little bit lazy.

And so, along with celebrating America’s independence,  it’s only fitting that I share this amazing recipe for the American favorite- apple pie. Take note, however, that this is not a traditional style apple pie. The pastry is a rich sugar dough that is pressed into a deep cake pan, filled with cooked fruit filling, and topped with another layer of dough. The whole thing bakes until golden brown and is tender and oh-s0-good. We also love eating this with peach filling made from our local Palisades fruit.

And the best part about this pie? It’s tastes great freshly baked, and even better the next day.


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How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:

Apple Breton Pie
Adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

5.0 from 2 reviews
Apple Breton Pie
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2½ lbs apples, peeled, halved, cored, and each half cut into slices
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla or 1 vanilla bean
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2½- 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pan.
  3. Add the apples and sprinkle them with the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla (if using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape out the seeds, adding both the seeds and pod to the apples. Remove the pod when they are done cooking).
  4. Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and most of the juices have evaporated. You don't want your filling too soupy or it will seep through the crusts. A little liquid is fine.
  5. Remove from heat when they have cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  8. Combine the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Cream in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. This will make the baked dough light and delicate.
  9. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
  10. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour. Start with 2½ cups; if the dough seems very loose still add another little scoop. The dough should look like cookie dough- stiff and just slightly sticky.
  11. Place half the dough in the bottom of a 10" cake pan that has been greased and lined with a round of parchment paper.
  12. Use your fingertips to push the dough evenly over the bottom and about 1" up the sides.
  13. Spread the cooled filling (it's ok if it's a little warm) over the dough.
  14. Flour the remaining dough and roll or press it into a 10" disk on a cardboard or tart pan bottom. Use a long bladed knife or spatula to make sure it isn't stuck to the cardboard.
  15. Slide the dough off the cardboard and onto the filling. Pinch the edges to seal the filling.
  16. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and trace a lattice pattern with the tines of a fork.
  17. Bake the breton until the dough is well colored and baked through, 45-55 minutes.
  18. Cool on a rack in the pan for 30 minutes, then unmold and turn right side up again. Cool completely on a rack.
Note: This recipe was adjusted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, increase the flour to 2 3/4 cups. Take note that baking times may vary slightly.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

Ramee Hyde - July 10, 2013

Are the filling measurments and ingredients the same if I use peaches?

    Chef Megan Joy - July 10, 2013

    Hi Ramee, for a peach filling the measurements are not the same. I usually eyeball it (I’ll try to write it down next time) but I melt a little butter (maybe 1-2 tablespoons), add a bunch of sliced peaches (4-6?), some sugar (taste and see how much they could use), a pinch of cinnamon, and some vanilla. I cook it over medium heat, where they will release their juices and then start to thicken as the liquid evaporates out. It takes awhile. Sometimes, if the peaches are still pretty soupy, I’ll mix some cornstarch (1/2-1 tablespoon or so) with a little cold water (make a slurry) and add it, making sure to bring it up to a boil to cook out the starch taste.

Lisa Drake - July 11, 2013

This looks amazing! 🙂

kelley {mountain mama cooks} - August 17, 2013

I can’t wait to make this when the apples are plentiful in the next few months. Gorgeous!

Mary Jewell - November 11, 2013

This was a scrumptious pie. Only one problem I had–the bottom crust was not totally done in the middle. Should I omit the Parchment paper? Also the liquid in the apples just wouldn’t go away. I had to pour much off before I filled the pie pan. Any suggestions?

    Chef Megan Joy - November 18, 2013

    Hi Mary, next time try baking your pie a little bit longer. If it starts to darken too much, just lower the oven temperature. The parchment paper is there just for easy removal from the pan it bakes it, but it’s totally optional. Sometimes I have to pour a little liquid off too, it just depends on the apples sometimes.

Carol Thuerbach - December 29, 2013

Megan: I attended your Vail Mountain Club High Altitude baking class and plan to make this pie for a party tomorrow. I seem to recall your saying NOT to use a springform pan for this recipe; is that correct? I have cake pans but they are not the deep style you used. Mine are probably only 1 inch deep. Suggestion?

    Chef Megan Joy - December 31, 2013

    Hi Carol, you can use cake pans of any size, just keep in mind that a 1″ deep cake pan will yield a shorter pie and will use less pastry and filling. But, with the extra, you could make two pies instead of one! The baking time will also be a little shorter. I don’t recommend a springform pan for this particular recipe. Happy baking!

Melissa Garcia - January 11, 2015

Loved this recipe, perfect!

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