Recently on Pinterest, inspiration for all things, I found this ingeniously delicious idea for a cinnamon bun apple pie. I got all excited and immediately put it on my “Must Try” board where recipes go to die lol.. But, this time the idea stuck and I decided to make it for my mother’s birthday dinner.
On Pinterest, it was the base or bottom crust that had the cinnamon bun swirls. I found that it would be much prettier if the cinnamon bun part was on top where you could see it, no? Of course I found that my idea already existed on Food Network.com. I adapted the recipe, using a trick or two from my Mother-in-law, who makes the best apple pies ever.
My cinnamon bun top was less than perfect. The rounds were a little wonky; It was my first time after all. 😉
Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie
- 1 14 .5-ounce box refrigerated pie dough such as Pillsbury
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon (1tsp for cinnamon bun crust and 1/8tsp for apples)
- 5 assorted apples, such as McIntosh and Granny Smith (about 2 pounds)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 heaping tbsp of cornstarch (optional but I like it)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 piece of dough; refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Peel and thinly slice the apples. Toss slices with the lemon juice, vanilla and the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Allow to marinate for minimum 30 minutes. You will notice liquid will be exuded and slices will be pliable. Discard liquid and fill your pie plate with apple slices evenly over your bottom crust.
Make the cinnamon-roll crust: Lay the remaining piece of dough on a lightly floured surface and spread or brush the butter evenly on top. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over the butter, then gently press with your fingers to help the mixture adhere. Roll the pie dough into a tight log. Trim and discard about 1 1/2 inches from both ends; cut the remaining log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Arrange the pieces cut-side down in a snug circle on floured parchment paper. *Lightly dust with more flour, then gently roll out into a 10-inch round. Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to assemble the pie.
*Do not use too much flour here or your rounds won’t adhere to each other. Dust your roller instead. Pillsbury dough is not like homemade so its not very sticky to begin with.
Transfer to the dough-lined pie plate; invert the cinnamon-roll crust on top and peel off the parchment (it’s OK if the individual rounds separate a bit in the process). Pinch the top and bottom crusts together; fold the overhanging dough over or under itself and crimp as desired. Brush with the beaten egg.
Set the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven; bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.) Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons milk in a bowl until smooth. (Add more milk if the glaze is too thick.) Drizzle over the pie after it has cooled or it will just melt into your pie.