Apple-Lakrids Pie (Apple + Black Liquorice) with Rye Crust

I’m not sure what business apples have growing right now in Redondo Beach, CA, but when my husband texted me the other day, “Hey Sue, I just picked some apples from our school’s community garden tree, do you think you can make a pie?”, I figured, why not?  I’ll make an apple-black liquorice pie and bring it to Fiesta Friday #22. Just what you would do in the middle of summer, right?

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These apples were very odd-shaped!

The poor fella thinks he’s getting a normal All-American apple pie, but he’s not, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. See I’ve had black liquorice on my brain ever since reading about New York’s $10 latte — the libation made with the wonderfully sweet and pungent raw Danish black liquorice powder called Lakrids, served at Budin, and I wanted to see if I could incorporate the flavor of black liquorice into a pie.

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I thought since fennel paired well with apples, that the flavor of wild fennel (which I thought was the same as liquorice) would pair well with apple in a pie.  Also my husband was really going to town on the black liquorice chews I’d bought for my homemade attempt at the $10 latte, so I thought he might like it in his apple pie!

It all started with our walk a couple weeks ago when we spotted acres of wild anise growing on the side of the road and the smell was making me dizzy (in a good way) . . . which led to wild fennel tea . . . and deviled eggs with fennel pollen.  Then I read about the Danish liquorice latte and made one at home earlier this week.

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Our Version of the Budin Lakrids Latte

As I was researching black liquorice, however, I was really surprised to find that it is not botanically related to fennel, even though the flavor is almost identical. The liquorice plant is a legume that is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds. Most liquorice is actually used as a flavoring agent for tobacco.  Liquorice in candy/chew form is popular in Scandinavian countries, and in Italy (particularly in the South) and Spain in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed and chewed as a mouth freshener. Throughout Italy unsweetened liquorice is consumed in the form of small black pieces made only from 100% pure liquorice extract; the taste is bitter and intense. In Calabria a popular liqueur is made from pure liquorice extract. Liquorice is also very popular in Syria where it is sold as a drink.

Liquorice is reported to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including stomach ulcers, as well as bronchitis.  It is also used topically to treat skin disorders such as excema and psoriasis.  Moreover, liquorice extract is a known natural brightening agent for skin pigmentation disorders or irritation.

I thought the liquorice flavor, with apples, would pair nicely with a rye flour crust, so I made an all-butter crust with half whole grain rye flour (that I got, freshly milled, at San Francisco’s The Mill, a joint venture between Josey the Baker and Blue Bottle Coffee).

Here’s the Recipe:

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Peel and Core 4 medium sized apples

Slice Apples 1/4 inch thick and soak in water with juice of 1/2 lemon

Slice Apples 1/4 inch thick and soak in water with juice of 1/2 lemon

Prepare a Pie Crust using half all purpose flour, half rye flour, sugar, salt and butter.  See my lemon meringue pie recipe for a standard pie dough recipe.

Prepare a Pie Crust using half all purpose flour, half rye flour, sugar, salt and butter. See my lemon meringue pie recipe for a standard pie dough recipe.

After pre-baking pie crust, fill with filling:  4 oz. black licorice, 1 Tbps Lakrids powder, 2 egg yolks and 1 egg blended for 2 minutes in a blender.

After pre-baking pie crust, fill with filling: 4 oz. black liquorice, 1 Tbps Lakrids powder, 2 egg yolks and 1 egg blended for 2 minutes in a blender.

Toss Apple slices with a pinch of flour and sugar and water and place over licorice filling

Toss Apple slices with a pinch of flour and sugar and water and place over licorice filling

Cover pie with foil or parchment and cook for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  Uncover and cook at 375 degrees for 20 more minutes.

Cover pie with foil or parchment and cook for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Uncover and cook at 375 degrees for 20 more minutes.

Let the pie cool for at least 1/2 hour.  Serve with raw apple slices and raw fennel fronds if you like, which nicely brightens the earthiness of the rye crust.

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*Update:  he liked it!

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45 Comments on “Apple-Lakrids Pie (Apple + Black Liquorice) with Rye Crust

  1. What a great combination of flavours. It will be a while before apple pie season reaches us up north here, but will keep this in mind. It makes me think I should be using some of my liquorice flavoured alcohols into my baking.

  2. This looks delicious Sue. I’ve never heard of lakrids pie before, but you’re making me glad that I did today 😉

  3. Not the biggest fan of liquorice to be honest, Sue. I love the haribo version of it… 🙂 well, but as I’m always searching for something interesting and new, I would really like to try this. It deifinitely is some combination. Never heard of the fennel-apple combo either. Will definitely come back to that!! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing and have a great weekend! 🙂

  4. I agree with Arl! But I would be interested to see how this flavor combination tastes! I find that unique flavor combinations often sway my distaste for certain foods! Are those his initials on the pie??

  5. Welcome to Fiesta Friday Sue! It feels funny to be on this side of the fence without you!! 🙂 But we did both bring pies…. and wow…what a gorgeous pie you’ve made! I didn’t know that you could get liquorice in the form of powder. And how genius it was for you to add it to your apple pie, with a rye crust to boot! Just delicious…. and when I first saw the first photo…I thought,,,did she put an “A” on the pie? And then I saw that you put an A and an L on the pie. Too cute! You have me intrigued on the health benefits of this liquorice, I’m definitely going to read up on it..there is a very good chance I’ll be ordering some today! Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful pie to our table today… I know that everyone will love it just as much as I do! ❤

    • You are welcome and thank you for the warm welcome Prudy! I have to tell you the pie was really a winner! Still want some strawberry goodness from your table though!!!

  6. I love liquorice in any form – sweets, fennel, pastis – especially pastis!! I didn’t know about all the health benefits nor that you could get it as a powder – will have to see if Sous Chef stock any – they seem to have everything. Genius paring it with apple, Sue and rye too. How sweet of you to make a pie in the summer just because he asked…awww love it!

  7. I love liquorice (and not because it has both the word liquor and the word rice in it). I often have it in a candied form, but am intrigued by using it in a pie and in that crazy ten dollar latte. Nice combo with the rye crust!

    • This is funny, Ngan. You have a point. Rice and noodles are kind of your middle name, right? I just tasted the pie myself and I have to tell you, it was REALLY good. The crust was a tad dry and I might do more whole wheat flour and less rye next time, maybe with some caraway seed for the rye flavor. Thanks!!

  8. Well, every time I read your posts I learn something new! I have never heard of the liquorice powder, but it intrigues me because I really love liquorice. Hats off to you, Sue for your amazing creativity! I would love to try this pie!

    • Thank you Julianna, you should try it! I just did and I have to admit it was really delicious, the crust maybe a tad dry so that I would do less rye flour next time.

      • Yes, and my mind was imagining these flavours on a sweet pastry crust. I imagine we could use all kinds of pastry crusts that would be delicious too!

  9. What an interesting pie – I am in luck as I love apple pie and licorice, especially red. I would love it if I could use red – I guess I can check online 🙂

      • A very interesting ingredient – no red powder however but an online site does have the red licorice and a number of other products – thanks for introducing me to something new 🙂

  10. Ooooo this looks absolutely delicious. Just love apple pie, and this is a different version, I’ll have to definitely try this one. Licorice is a great addition.

    • Right! By the way welcome back from your trip!!! Can’t wait to see and hear all about it!

  11. I live in Lakrids heaven here in Copenhagen & the danes love putting it in everything, tea, icecream, candy of course. They have given up on me as I can’t stand it. Your pie looks amazing though 🙂

    • Haha! I know the Danes love their licorice and I was hoping to hear from you on this one! Here’s something funny, though . . . last night my son drove up for dinner and when he arrived he said “do you have anything to eat” and I gave him some pie, not telling him there was black licorice (or a rye crust). As he was devouring the pie I asked him “do you like black licorice?” and he said “I can’t stand it.” !!!! It was actually barely detectable . . . at least to his tastebuds!

    • Funny, thank you. I will see if I can do that. Yep, I just high fived myself, that was fun. You should try too for your milk and salt and ginger focaccia recipe!

  12. Would never think of pairing liquorice and apples, but now that I think about it, I can imagine it being very lovely together, great recipe and your husband looked very happy!

  13. Love your combination of ingredients, Sue! Need to take lots of inspiration from you and try new ingredients and combinations! The pie looks really good.

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