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Apple Pie Covered with Leaves

Scott Phillips

Servings: eight.

For this pie, I like to use Braeburns, Empires, Jonathans, Jonagolds, or Northern Spy apples.


  • 2 disks Butter Pie Dough
  • 5 to 6 firm, tart apples
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut up


  • To make the pie crust and decorative top: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough disks into a 12-inch round that’s 1/8 inch thick (trim an edge to check the thickness). Fold the dough in half, ease it into a 9-inch pie pan, and unfold it. Press the dough up the sides and over the rim of the pan, and trim it to the outer edge. Chill the dough while you cut out the leaves.
  • Pat the scraps into the bottom of the second disk and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick (the shape doesn’t matter). With a paring knife or a leaf cutter, cut out as many 2×1-1/2 inch leaves as you can, veining them with the dull edge of a paring knife, if you like. Pat the scraps together, roll out the dough again, and cut out more leaves. You’ll need 45 to 55 leaves to cover the pie. (You can make smaller or larger leaves, if you like; you’ll need more or fewer leaves accordingly.) Set the leaves aside in a cool place (but not in the refrigerator).

    Cut out as many leaves as you can with a paring knife.

  • To make the filling and bake: Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut them into 1/4-inch slices to get 7 cups. Put the apples in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss gently and layer the apples into the pie shell, tucking in any apples to create an even, smooth dome. Dot the apples with large flecks of the butter.
  • Starting at the rim of the pan, stick the dough leaves on the crust and apples, using a little water on the bottom of the leaves to help them adhere. You needn’t press the leaves together; they’ll seal during baking. Continue to overlap the leaves in concentric circles as shown in the photo below.
    Casually overlap the leaves in concentric circles toward the middle of the pie, minimizing the overlapping areas.

  • Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 15 min. Meanwhile, position two racks to the lower third of the oven, set a foil-lined baking sheet on the lowest rack (to catch any drippings from the pie), and heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake the pie on the second-lowest rack until the crust is deep golden all over and the apples are tender when pierced with a long, thin knife blade, 60 to 80 min. Let the pie cool completely before serving so that the juices have a chance to set up and the filling won’t be runny. Serve at room temperature or refresh briefly in a 400°F oven to warm the crust.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • ancomb | 01/11/2018

    Delicious and a beautiful pie. Making the leaves is honestly not as difficult as it seems and it looks great even if your leaves are all slightly different sizes (mine definitely were). I used braeburns for my pie and loved them. Definitely keep an eye on the crust in the oven because you will want to cover it with foil at some point to keep the edges from burning (this is true for most pies of course, depending on your pie dish.)

  • Mastohcheffpp | 10/23/2016

    Time consuming but oh so worth it. For the crust I used 6 oz of butter and it seemed fine. Thanks fine cooking for the recipe - first dessert I made as a married woman

  • User avater
    capsaiCyn | 11/29/2013

    The best apple pie I have ever eaten in my life, and a beautiful presentation to boot!

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