Friday, December 4, 2015

Apple Cherry-Marzipan Pie

by Sheila Connolly

I know I keep promising NO MORE APPLE RECIPES, but today is Meg and Seth’s wedding day, and also my grandmother’s birthday (no mere coincidence there), so there must be a dessert, and this one is definitely different. My grandmother was a confirmed dessert lover, and she believed that the sole reason for the existence of cake was to support the frosting. A lot of frosting. She kindly passed this trait along to me. (She lived to be 94, so apparently it did her no harm.)

This recipe is a bit different than most apple pies. For one thing, it includes dried cherries (which are both tart and a little sweet); for another, there’s marzipan! Bet you haven’t seen that in an apple pie! Marzipan is almond paste with added sugar, so it counter-balances the tartness of the cherries. All good!

Apple-Cherry-Marzipan Pie


8 oz (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 lb plain white flour
1/4 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
Water (about 5 Tblsp), chilled

Place the butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and salt and pulse again.

Place the water in a cup or pitcher and add slowly until the mixture holds together to form a dough (you may not need all the water, but it shouldn’t be crumbly).

Knead on a floured surface long enough to combine. Wrap it in plastic wrap or put in a plastic ziplock bag and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.


Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/3 white sugar
4 Tblsp cornstarch
6 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2” slices (I used the last of my home-grown Cortlands)

7 oz marzipan, cut into small cubes
1 cup dried cherries (or you could substitute cranberries)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch.

Flour a board and a rolling pin. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Divide into two portions, one half the size of the other (bottom and top). Roll out the larger piece and fit it into a 9” pie pan (the pastry should overlap generously), pressing it against the sides of the pan. Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.

An aside: this recipe worked better than most of my pie crusts. For a 9” pan, this must be rolled fairly thin, but it held together well and was elastic enough to fit into the pan. When baked, it was nicely crumbly and light. It’s a keeper!
Arrange a layer of apple slices in the pie dish and sprinkle with the marzipan cubes and cherries. Repeat in layers until the pan is nearly full at the edges and heaped in the middle.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough to make a lid that fits over the apples. Crimp the edges of the bottom crust over this to seal. Make a hole in the center of the crust to let the steam escape.

If you like, beat an egg yolk with a little water and use as a glaze over the crust.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown (test to make sure the apples are soft). If it’s getting too brown after 25 minutes, cover the top with foil to keep the edges from burning.

In honor of Meg and Seth's special event, and the coming holidays, I'm giving away a copy of A Gala Event--and an alpaca! No, not a real one, but a very cute stuffed one. If you know someone who would enjoy it as a Christmas gift, here's your chance to win one. (And if you want to keep it for yourself, that's fine too--I had to have one of my own!) Just leave a comment here and I'll pick one lucky person.

And if you don't win, A Gala Event is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and bookstores everywhere.


  1. pie.....

  2. The pie looks so good! Thank you for the recipe, and the awesome giveaway. :)
    Happy Holidays!

  3. As a confirmed apple lover, I will never complain about more recipes for them! Cannot wait to try this one . . .

  4. Recipe sounds delicious! Cute alpaca!

  5. I love the idea of adding cherries to the apples, and a December wedding! Thanks!

  6. The pie looks yummy! I'd love the book and I know a little one who would love the alpaca!
    Thanks for the chance!

  7. I'm definitely making this pie. I'd love the alpaca for my great niece, but give the book to someone else if I win. I've already bought this and preordered your next Irish book. Two of my favorites.

  8. The alpaca's cute.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  9. There can never be too many apple recipes. Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. Just a follow-up note: we couldn't finish the pie before we left the country for two weeks, so I just wrapped it up and stuck it in the freezer, then thawed it when we got back. It came out just fine. (And I recommend the Cortlands for cooking--they're the right balance of sweet and tart, and they cook without turning into mush.)

  11. Oh my lord, marzipan. And that alpaca is so darn cute!

  12. Love the delectable recipe and so perfect for the season. Alpaca is adorable and sweet. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. An irresistible treat. Love it as well as the great alpaca. Grandkids would love him. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  14. What fun! An apple, cherry, almond pie.
    I'd love to get the book and alpaca. My daughter is from Peru and alpacas are common there.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  15. The pie looks good and so does your book!

  16. The pie looks delicious! I would love to win the book and the alpaca. I love alpacas! Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. I love Apple Pie...yummy and I hope I can do this justice. The Book looks great too and I love the Cover. Thanks for the giveaway..

  18. Yum! This apple pie looks amazing - must try it. Thanks for your generosity with the book and alpaca. Naturally, I would love to win! stitchkat at gmail dot com

  19. I can almost smell that pie baking! Thanks for the contest.

  20. Mmmmmmm...pie!!! My favorite dessert ever! :) Thanks for the chance to win!

  21. Looks scrumptious! Love apple pie and the alpaca is adorable! Thanks for the chance!

  22. Yummy looking pie. Thanks for the recipe and a chance to win a copy of your book.

  23. YUMM -apple pie looks wonderful and what a cute alpaca-never seen one as stuffed animal :)

  24. That pie looks and sounds amazing!! And the stuffed alpaca is just the cutest thing ever!


  25. Your pie looks and sounds amazing! I think that your a wonderful author and the alpaca would be a great add to my quirky shelf ! Thank you !

  26. Exciting giveaway! I love apples and try to add them to "almost" everything I cook. Can't figure how to use them in my savory recipes yet! I love Sheila's books!

  27. Is there a better combination than cherries and almond? This pie sounds delicious. Thanks for the giveaway.

  28. Amy F.--Looks like a great recipe! I know my nephew would love the alpaca. Thanks for your kind giveaway...

  29. Yum! Aaah, so cute. Look, a book, too.

  30. Oh my goodness, that looks amazing. I just had an apple for snack so I love all things Apple! If I won this, I would have to keep the book and the alpaca. I would cuddle the alpaca while eating an apple, so it would be in good company. I might have to fight off the kids however.... Thank you for the fantastic recipe and giveaway!