Flat Apple Pie with Earl Grey Crust

Happy Thanksgiving, tea friends! My contribution to the Thanksgiving table is pie this year, specifically a Flat Apple Pie. So what’s a Flat Apple Pie? It’s a matter of proportion really. Bite for bite, a Flat Apple Pie has a more even ratio of crust-to-filling. The crust is rolled out thinner than your everyday pie, making it lighter and flakier, almost strudel-like.

To make this Flat Apple Pie, you’ll need a pizza pan instead of your typical pie pan. The amounts of crust and fruit are exactly the same as with a regular pie. What makes this recipe extra delicious is Earl Grey tea, which adds a fragrant layer of sweet citrusy essence in the crust.A total of 8 tea bags are used in this recipe, which means that each standard pie slice gets 1 tea bag’s worth of tea. Using the tea in the crust gives it a taste similar to tea shortbread cookies. I also like that you can see the flecks of tea studded in the pastry, a hint that you’re in for something a little different. I’ve never had luck with baking a pie from raw apples. I end up with a filling that’s either too liquidy or not juicy enough. Here, a pre-cooked apple filling helps to assure that the apples are cooked perfectly every time. Reducing their liquid content also helps to prevent air pockets from forming under the top crust during baking.For a decorative finish, you can drizzle the top of the pie with a simple glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice. This is a nice way to serve the pie if you cut it into squares instead of slices. The tangy lemon juice icing tastes amazing with the Earl Grey, like you’ve added a slice of lemon to your tea!You’ll want to be patient and wait for the pie to cool completely before cutting your first slice. Your patience will be rewarded with perfectly clean edges and absolutely no juicy overflow onto the empty space on the pie pan.Make this Flat Apple Pie with Earl Grey Crust when you’re craving a slice that’s just a little different from the ordinary, yet still humble and homey. And don’t forget to serve this with a big, steamy cup of Earl Grey on the side…any other drink just wouldn’t be right! 
Flat Apple Pie with Earl Grey Crust

Makes 1-12″ pie.



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

8 Earl Grey tea bags, tea removed from filters (make sure the tea is in little bits)

2 sticks unsalted butter, diced into 1/4″ cubes

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

6-8 Tbsp ice-cold water

bench flour


8 medium apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thinly (I used 4 Fuji and 4 Granny Smith)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

{Finish for Top Crust}

1 egg white, beaten

sanding sugar


2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

extra tea, to scatter on top


food processor fitted with steel blade

large piece plastic wrap

work surface

12″ pizza pan with 1″ sides

sharp knife

large bowl

large skillet

large baking pan




large baking sheet

cooling rack

serrated knife


Make the Crust. Place the flour, tea, sugar, and salt into the food processor and pulse until everything is mixed together evenly. Add the diced butter to the dry ingredients. While pulsing, add the cold water in a thin stream. The dough is ready when the crumbs hold together in clumps when squeezed together. Over a large piece of plastic wrap, shape the crumbs into a flat square of dough, about 6″x 6″. Wrap the dough tightly in the plastic wrap, then let the dough chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make the Filling. In a large bowl, mix together the sliced apples, lemon juice, sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. In a large skillet, melt 3 Tbsp butter until just foamy. Add the seasoned apples to the skillet, continuing to gently toss and cook them on medium heat for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, reduce the heat to low, then continue to cook the apples for an additional 7 minutes, tossing them frequently. After the apples are cooked and tender, transfer them to a large baking pan in a thin layer to cool completely.

Roll Out the Dough. On a floured work surface, divide the chilled dough in half. Work with the first piece to create the bottom crust of the pie. Roll the dough into a 14″ circle. Gently transfer the circle of dough to the pizza pan, pressing the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Use a sharp knife to trim off any excess dough off the edges. Set this bottom crust in the fridge to rest. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and place a rack in the lower 1/3 of your oven. Now roll out the second piece of dough, forming a 12″ circle this time.

Assemble the Pie. Take the bottom crust out of the fridge, then spoon the cooled apple filling into it. Distribute the apples evenly in the pan so that the apples all fill the pan at the same level. Gently transfer the top crust over the top of the pie. Trim off any excess crust, then use a fork to press into the edge to create a decorated pattern. Use a skewer to poke several small holes into the top of the pie crust, every few inches in the center area. Brush the pie with a thin layer of beaten egg white, then generously scatter sanding sugar on top.

Bake the Pie. Place the pie on a large sheet pan, then bake for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, until the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature.

Serve & Enjoy! Optionally, make a lemon icing by mixing the lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle on top of the pie, then scatter some extra tea on top to finish. When completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut the pie into slices or bars.