I enjoy baking apple pie or apple tart, as apples are available all-year round. My favorite apple tart recipe is the thin-crust apple tart, filled with almond cream and apple puree, and topped with thinly-sliced apple.
This time, I wanted to try a double-crust apple pie, one that is filled with chunky apple fillings. I prefer to use a loose-base tart pan, instead of a pie dish, for easy removal. For the top crust, I cut out heart-shaped dough and arranged them on the apple filling, an idea from watching the Martha Stewart show. You can use any cookie cutters, not necessarily heart-shaped cutters. Martha uses fluted round cutter in her recipe, but I find these little heart-shaped toppers more adorable!
And since I still have some dulce de leche in the fridge, I decided to pair it with this apple tart. I wondered how the DDL will react with the tangy apples!
(makes one 8" pie)
400g plain flour
4 tsp fine or caster sugar
200g unsalted butter
1.5 egg yolk + 4 to 5 tbsp water (use the remaining 1/2 egg yolk as egg wash)
Pinch of salt
1) Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and rub in butter (using your finger tips) till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2) Stir in the egg yolk mixture and combine to form a dough.
3) Divide the dough into 2 portions, wrap and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
4) Roll out the first portion between baking paper and cling wrap. The roll-out dough sheet should be slightly bigger than the tart pan or pie dish. Transfer the dough sheet to cover the tart pan and trim the edges. Keep chill in fridge.
5) For the second portion, roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters (I used 3 different sizes) to cut out heart-shaped dough. Chill the dough for another 15 minutes.
While the rolled-out dough is chilling in fridge, preheat the oven at 185C and prepare the apple filling.
5 to 6 green apples, peeled, core and cut into small pieces
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar (Suggest: use at least 4 tbsp, mine is a little bland)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 heaped tbsp dulce de leche
1.5 tsp corn flour
Egg wash: 1/2 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
A little caster sugar for sprinkling on top
Toss all ingredients together, except for butter.
1) Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Dot small pieces of butter on top of the apple filling.
2) Arrange the cut-out dough pieces on the apple filling, working from the rim to the centre, overlapping each dough pieces slightly.
3) Brush the pie with egg wash and sprinkle a little caster sugar on top.
4) Bake in preheated oven at 185C for about 75 minutes. Mid-way into baking, cover the top with foil to prevent burning (insert a piece of foil at the bottom of oven to catch any juices spilling out from the pie).
[Note: Let the apple pie cool down completely (about an hour), before removing and slicing it. This will prevent the juice from flowing out and the pie from breaking]
I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of "Not the Kitchen Sink!".
I mentioned earlier in this post that I added dulce de leche for this apple pie. Sad to say.... I cannot taste the DDL at all! I guess 3 heaped tablespoon of DDL is not enough. And since I added DDL to this recipe, I reduced the brown sugar to only 2 tbsp (about 30g) and it tasted a little bland (I used 1/2 cup sugar, approx 110g for my previous apple pie and it tasted just nice). So while the DDL is thick and creamy, it is not as sweet as it looks! In the end, I warmed up the apple pie and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for that added sweetness. Who can resist that melting vanilla ice-cream with warm apple pie..... YUM!