Apple Lychee with Rosemary Crust
This pie was inspired again by my multi-talented friend, Linh. She is from Vietnam originally and has a love and talent for cooking that she shares through YEM Home Foods in Venice.
This pie is the first of a series that bring feelings of home from cultures around the world into a pie.
To kick the series off I thought it would be beautiful to highlight the melding of two cultures, as is the case for many here in the United States and I’m sure around the world. Linh is from Vietnam and lives in the US. Often people like her feel like they live in two different worlds.
I wanted to bring those worlds together.
The classic American pie is the Apple Pie. For many who don’t even eat it, they still identify with it as a symbol of the US and home.
Lychee (pronounced “lee-chee”) is a fruit from the tropics, and one Linh serves to her dinner guests regularly. In Linh’s culture, food is a love language, and I wanted to bring that into a pie.
This pie combines the two flavors and wraps them in a nice Rosemary crust – made with fresh Rosemary and homemade Rosemary syrup from my friend Kira. The Rosemary is from my other friend Aviva’s backyard.
The flavors come together in a beautiful, subtle way. This is a great pie any time of year and would add a nice twist to a traditional pie around the Holidays.
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour (+ a little extra for rolling)
1.5 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in cubes, close to room temp
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
leaves from 1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp rosemary syrup
1 c lychee juice (from canned lychee)
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 Granny Smith apples; 7 left whole, peeled and cored; one cut into 1/4-1/2 in slices
1 can lychees; 14 whole, rest cut in half
1 lg egg yolk
1 tbsp cream
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Combine flour, salt and sugar until mixed. Add rosemary syrup and lychee juice and mix. Add butter and hand mix until it resembles coarse meal with pea size pieces of butter. Once you can pinch the crumbles and they hold together, the dough is ready. Add rosemary leaves.
Place dough on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour (I like to use wax paper or saran wrap) and shape into 2 discs that will cover the size dish you are using. Cover the top of each disk in a light dusting of flour, wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and place in fridge for 20+ min.
Position rack in bottom third of oven. Preheat to 375 deg.
Combine sugar and spices in a large bowl. Add lychee juice, brandy and vanilla.
Role peeled, cored and whole apples in the spice and sugar mixture, add some between each layer.
Remove one disk from the fridge and place in 9 in pie pan. (You may need to let the disk thaw for 5-10 min if it’s been in the fridge for an extended period of time).
Place each apple that has been rolled in the spice mix in the pie dish on top of the bottom layer of crust until all 7 apples are placed. Coat the whole lychees in the spice mix and place two inside the center of each apple.
Add remaining chopped apple and lychee to remaining spice mix, coating evenly. Fill the gaps in the pie with the mixture.
Roll out second disk of dough and place over filling. Pinch top and bottom dough together. Trim excess. Use knife to poke 7-8 small holes in the top of the crust.
Stir yolk and cream. Brush over top of pie.
Bake 20 min or until crust begins to golden at 375 deg, then reduce heat to 350 deg. Bake until golden and juices are bubbling (an additional 30-45 min).
NOTE – Juices are likely to spill over – be sure you covert he bottom of your oven with foil, or use a cookie sheet below the pies to catch the juices.
Transfer to a rack and let sit 1+ hours.
Serve warm or at room temp.
Pair with coconut whipped cream for an added treat :)