Picture Perfect Pie - Modernizing the classic apple pie recipe with a leafy, sharp cheddar crust.

Becky Sue Wilberding, Baker. Blogger. Photographer. Designer. Stylist.

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8 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. 01 Intro - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 2. 02 Secret Weapons - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 3. 03 Mix it Up - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 4. 04 Roll Out - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 5. 05 Fill It Up - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 6. 06 Top It Off - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 7. 07 Bake It Off - Picture Perfect Pie

    • 8. 08 Outro - Picture Perfect Pie


Project Description



It's simple, Picture Perfect Pie takes practice. Your homework is to make not just one, but two Apple Cheddar Pies! I know it sounds like a lot of work but it gets easier and you'll become more confident with practice, plus you'll get to eat two incredibly delicious pies!

In the first round, I really want you to focus on building your dough by following my tips and techniques in the video. Don't worry so much about the design, Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • If you want to use the cute leafy pie dough stamps, you can find them here on: Amazon Or simply cut them by hand with a sharp paring knife.
  • Use a European style butter that's higher in fat and contains less water.
  • Extra sharp white cheddar pairs well with the sweet and spicy apple filling.
  • Keep your ingredients cold, ice cold baby.
  • Keep your chill, if you're stressing the dough will know.
  • Don't knead or overwork the dough, gather and pat.
  • Roll from the center outward, rotating the dough to prevent sticking.
  • If things get too warm, you can always put the dough in the fridge to rest and chill for a few minutes.

For the second round, you should feel a little more comfortable with your dough development skills and now you can really hone in on the decorating skills and start to create that picture perfect pie. 

  • Remember your training and what techniques worked best in the first round.
  • Practice makes picture perfect pie, so practice!
  • Form follows flavor, ultimately your pie needs to taste great and the design is secondary.
  • Keep your chill.
  • Keep on Baking The Goods!


After your first round, post your thoughts and let me know which tip or technique you found the be the most valuable to your pie baking experience and why. I am a sucker for pretty food photography, so if you’d like to share a shot of your baking process and/or finished product you get extra credit and a gold star!

Then after you've baked your second pie, I'd love to hear how you improved from your first round. Again, photos get extra credit. :-D

These methods take practice, so don't feel discouraged if you don't nail them right away. Keep at it. I am here for you if you need help along the way. Feel free to contact me here on Skillshare or through my website bakingthegoods.com

For more Pie inspiration check out my Pie, Hand Pies and Galettes page on bakingthegoods.com.

(also available on bakingthegoods.com)

Extra Sharp Cheddar Crust
all purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
unsalted butter, cold and cut into small 1/4" cubes - 1 cup (2 sticks)
granulated sugar - 1 tablespoon
salt - 1 teaspoon
ice cold vodka - 1/4 cup
ice cold water - 2-4 tablespoons
grated sharp cheddar cheese (preferably white cheddar) - 1 cup

Apple Pie Filling
tart crisp apples (I like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp) - 6-8 medium-large sized apples
brown sugar - 1/2 cup
granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
cinnamon - 1 tablespoon (1 teaspoon if you are't a super fan of cinnamon)
unsalted butter, cut into small pieces - 1-2 tablespoons

Egg Wash
egg  - 1
sparkling or turbinado sugar - 1-2 tablespoons

Prepare The Dough:

  1. Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl with high sides.
  2. Blend the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a food processor, pastry blender or the butter knife method. Stop mixing when the texture of the flour changes from silky to mealy; this shouldn't take long. Don’t worry if a few larger chunks of butter remain.
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture and drizzle the vodka in while gently pulsing in food processor or mixing with a fork or dough blender until fully incorporated. Check the hydration of the dough between each addition of water by gathering a small fistful; if it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough is still too dry, slowly add the water; 1 tablespoon at a time, testing the dough by pinching it occasionally.
  4. Be careful to add only as much water as it takes to combine the dough into a ball or disk. The exact amount of water can vary depending upon the moisture content of the flour, the quality of the butter, and the weather. When it has the proper amount of water, the dough will come together without much effort or deliberate packing. If you need to add more water, make sure the ingredients are still cold.
  5. Add the grated extra sharp cheddar and use dough blender or fork to roughly blend in the cheddar until just incorporated. Form the dough into two disks and wrap them in plastic. Chill for at least 1-2 hours before rolling and forming.

Rolling the Dough

  1. 1 Remove the dough disks from refrigerator and roll out the first disk onto a lightly floured surface into a 12" round about 1/4" - 1/8" thick.
  2. Gently transfer the dough disk into a 9" pan, leaving a 2" overhang all the way around. Tuck the edge underneath itself to form a ring around the edge of the pie plate and use a fork to create a crimped design around the edge. Place in the fridge.
  3. Roll the second dough disk into a round shape 1/4" - 1/8" thick. Use a cookie stamp or cookie cutter to cut out the leaf shapes, transfer them to a baking sheet and place in the fridge of  freezer.

Apple Pie Filling

  1. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1/4" slices. Place in a large mixing bowl and toss with the lemon juice, sugars, and cinnamon. Set aside for at least 15 minutes so the juices begin to release from the apples.

Assemble The Pie 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°, if baking right away.
  2. Pour the apple filling into the bottom shell, forming a mound that is taller in the center of the pie. Dot the filling with 1- 2 tablespoons of small butter chunks.
  3. Top with the frozen dough leaves in desired pattern or to create this lovely leafy design. Begin by layering the leaves around the outer edge of the pie along the rim. Then keep adding concentric leaf circles (alternating directions) until you get to the middle. Be sure to layer the leaves so that natural vents are formed for the steam and heat to release while baking.
  4. At this point, you can either prepare the egg wash for baking or wrap in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil to freeze. I actually prefer to make the pie ahead of time and freeze it, I think it bakes up even better if it's been frozen first.

Baking The Pie

  1. Prepare an egg wash by gently whisking the egg. Gently brush a thin layer of egg wash over the top leafy crust. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Place pie plate directly on a lined baking sheet for easier clean up.
  2. If baking immediately, bake at 400° for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° and bake for another 40-55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust turns a deep golden color, you may need to cover the edges and or/tent the pie to keep from over-browning. If baking a frozen pie, go directly from freezer to oven without thawing. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° and bake for another 50-75 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The frozen pie will take 10-20 minutes more to bake than an unfrozen pie. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust turns a deep golden color you may need to cover the edges and or/tent the pie to keep from over-browning.
  3. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 1-2 hours before cutting, I know how hard it is. 
  4. Take photos of your beautiful work and share them here and all over the internet for you friends and family to see what a superstar baker you've become. Yay you!
  5. Slice it up and serve with vanilla bean ice cream or freshly whipped cream. 

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