I will start this post by sharing a bit about myself.
In our home, I am the one always impatient, always in a hurry. My zing – you know, from Hotel Transylvania - aka my boyfriend, is the most patient man on Earth. Oh my God, his patience even annoys me sometimes, it’s just beyond my limit of comprehension.On the other hand I admire this quality he has, since it comes in very handy especially when I’m in a crisis and I need to be “saved”. He’s always my hero.
This weekend, he was craving apple pie but I wasn’t in the mood for cooking. In fact it wasn’t about cooking, the thing was I was upset because the weather was nasty and I hated it. And so I snapped at him and told him I wouldn’t help him do anything.
Without getting upset or anything, he started browsing through the cookbooks we have, magazines and family recipes to find an idea. He found a recipe for a sweet shortcrust in Raymond Blanc’s book and then he read one or two recipes for the filling, but he ended up improvising and making his own recipe just the way he wanted it.
It’s obvious that I couldn’t stay away from the kitchen, so I ended up helping him and so we spent our Sunday afternoon baking apple pie together. It was quite nice.
Apple pie was never my thing since I don’t like apples very much but I ate on my own one of these mini-pies that we made and my only reproach would be that it was a bit too sweet for my taste. But this depends on the apples you use and you could also leave out the toffee sauce or you could add less sugar to the apples (this is what I would recommend if you want it less sweet). Or you could omit the powdered sugar on top. Or maybe I just have a problem with sugar since even dark chocolate is too sweet for me sometimes.
For this recipe I only have the measurements in grams, since I had no intention of posting this recipe. In Europe almost all the recipes are written in grams and I (almost) always use a kitchen scale, so on other times when I post recipes, I first weight the ingredients and then I also measure the volume. If you want to make this recipe without using a scale, you could try using an online converter.
Toffee apple pie
Ingredients for 6-7 individual pies in 4 in ramequins
Sweet shortcrust pastry – from Raymond Blanc’s book “Cooking for friends”
250 g plain flour, sifted
2 egg yolks
75 g icing sugar
120 g butter, creamed
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp water (only if necessary)
Cream the butter with a mixer, then add the icing sugar, egg yolks, salt and baking powder and incorporate them. Then add the flour to this mixture and rub together using your fingertips until it has a sandy texture.
At this point you should add the water if the dough doesn’t stick together and doesn’t have the structure of a dough. (In our case we didn’t need to add any water, since the dough had a good texture.) Flour your work surface and knead the dough with your hands so everything is well incorporated, then cover it in cling film and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
4 medium Granny Smith apples diced (about 550 g after you peel them and remove the core)
70 g sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Place the diced apples in a sauce pan and add the sugar, then let them cook for about 10 minutes or until all the water from the apples evaporates. When they are done, remove from the heat and add the cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice and mix to cover all the apples. Set aside and allow them to cool until you make the toffee.
30 g butter
55 g sugar
20 g flour
Melt the butter and then add the sugar and flour and mix constantly. The sugar will caramelize and you should get a confection that holds it’s shape. With a rolling pin roll it into a sheet or pour it into a small and shallow tray and allow it to cool.
Assembling the pies:
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F.
Divide the pastry in 6 or 7 equal parts, keeping some dough aside for covering the pies. Roll the dough and make sure to cover both the bottom and the walls of the ramekins.Then add equal amounts of apple filling to each ramekin, divide the toffee and place it on top of the apple filling.
From the dough you have left you should make some strips and form a grill over each apple pie.
Place the ramekins in a large baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they have a golden-brown crust.
Powder with icing sugar before serving and add a doll up or whipped cream or vanilla ice cream aside.