Fall foliage tops apple pie

  • Mix food coloring and water, then paint dough to make a pretty top pie crust.

  • The colors will blend and darken as the crust cooks. SARAH PEARSON photos / Monitor staff

  • Mix food coloring and water, then paint dough to make a pretty top pie crust. SARAH PEARSON—Monitor staff

LiveWell editor
Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Fresh, local apples and gloriously colored foliage are icons of fall in New England. 

So why not combine them for a cute, seasonal dessert? 

This dessert combines a traditional apple pie recipe with a somewhat unconventional crust idea for a dish that you’ll want to put on display.

But, you don’t have to make apple pie. Try making leaves for pumpkin or pecan pie, too.

Shapes of leaves decorate the top of the pie instead of a solid top or basket-weave crust. Use a leaf-cookie cutter, if you have one, or make a template and trace with a knife. Then, use a knife to add detail to the leaves, like veining.

A mix of food coloring and water acts as a pastry paint to give the leaves the hues of fall foliage. 

You’ll want to place the leaf cutouts before painting to avoid dying your fingers with food coloring.

Harvest Apple Pie

8 to 10 medium apples, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup butter (1 stick)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

2 pie crusts

red and yellow food coloring


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Combine apples, sugar, spices, butter and lemon juice. Stir until all the apple chunks are well coated.

Place one of the pie crusts in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Then pour in the apples.

Use cookie cutter to cut leaf shapes from the second pie crust and place the shapes on top of the pie.

Add several drops of food coloring to 2 tablespoons of water each to make the colors you’d like your leaves to be. Try 10 drops for a bright shade or mix red and yellow for an orange. 

Paint the leaves with a clean paintbrush.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes. This browns and crisps the pie crust first, then bakes the apples without burning.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


(Sarah Pearson can be reached at features@cmonitor.com, 369-3324 or on Twitter @SarahPearsonNH.)