I baked this pie over the weekend because…pie. There’s no other reason that matters, really.
Anyway, it’s a riff off my apple almond tart. I used a double batch of the same frangipane recipe. I used Alton Brown’s butter/lard pie recipe for the crust. And then for the apples, I used my old-school apple peeler/finger mangler thing (see below) to core, peel and spiral slice the apples.
The corer doesn’t fully slice the apples–all the pieces remain connected, so they’re “sliced” but actually still just one unit. Then I sprinkled them with a mixture of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon and let them sit for a few minutes. Depending on the water content of your apple choice, you may want to let them sit for up to a half hour to get out the extra moisture. I use honeycrisp apples, and they’ve been pretty solid.
Anyway, I sat the apples in the pie crust and spooned the frangipane around them and added a little bit inside the apple as well. Then I baked the pie for 30 minutes, covered the edges with tinfoil to prevent burning, and continued baking for another hour. Then let the pie cool.
I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but where I live it’s like:
This, of course, has caused me to retreat even further into the warm blankets on my couch. It also has caused serious cravings for comfort food like a good warm, flaky pastry.
This one is particularly delightful because it’s made from ingredients I regularly keep on hand, and it takes very little effort to put together but it looks fancy, and that’s what’s important. People see it, taste it, get impressed, and think I’m a better baker than I really am. Score!
The pastry part is easy–two sheets of thawed puff pastry with the edges cut into strips. The filling is a couple of apples peeled, cored, sliced, and marinated in a little amaretto and brown sugar, plus a layer of frangipane to glue it all together.
Frangipane is an almond pastry cream made of ground almonds, sugar, butter and eggs. Don’t feel intimidated by any of the previous words: it is extremely easy to make. I use whole almonds and grind them in my food processor; if you don’t have a processor, buy ground almonds and use those. The end product will still be delicious.
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 2 apples, peeled/cored/sliced
- 1/4 cup amaretto
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsps soft butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- extra sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Take the puff pastry out of the package, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it thaw and come up to room temperature.
- Put the apples in a large ziplock bag with the amaretto and sugar, tossing to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning the bag over occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Put the almonds and sugar into a food processor and pulse until relatively finely ground. Add in the butter, egg, and flour. Mix until you get a grainy creamy consistency.
- Drain the apple slices.
- Sprinkle a little flour down on the counter and lay down the first sheet of puff pastry. Roll it out a little bit to smooth over any creases. Carefully move the dough to a baking sheet that has been prepared with some parchment paper.
- Spread about half of the frangipane down the middle third of the pastry. Top it with about two layers of sliced apples.
- Take a knife or a pizza cutter and cut both sides of the pastry perpendicular to the frangipane into strips, stopping about a half inch away from the frangipane. Fold the strips over the top of the apples.
- Beat the egg with the water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the pastry. Sprinkle it with a bit of sugar (optional).
- Repeat the process with the other puff pastry sheet.
- Bake the tarts in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pasty is browned and set. Let cool, slice, and serve.
© Have Fork, Will Eat
I first wrote about apple syrup a couple years ago. I just wanted to remind you all that seriously, this stuff is legit. You should make some while you can still find unpasteurized cider in the store.
I do love living in Michigan for a number of reasons, but the apple harvest is definitely in the top ten. Josh purchased 15 gallons of freshly pressed cider to make hard cider. I had him pick up a couple extra gallons for me to make syrup. We got a cran-apple blend, and a semisweet blend.
The first syrup I’ve made this week used the cran-apple blend plus a couple of Tahitian vanilla beans and 40 minutes later, the result was a gorgeously amber-colored syrupy explosion of flavor. We actually drank a little from a cocktail glass; it’s that fancy.
I think that next will be a cinnamon-heavy blend for my french toast (yum). But seriously, go forth and make yourselves some yum.
Basic apple syrup recipe
As I mentioned in the apple dumpling post, we (Josh, Paul and I) recently took a mini-foodie-field trip to Dexter Cider Mill to stock up for Falltopia. (I’ve decided to re-name autumn from the pessimistic “Pre-Winter” to the more halcyon-sounding “Falltopia” in hopes of learning to appreciate it more. Will it work? Probably, right up until it gets cold again.) We got donuts, apples, and plenty of cider for drinking, making hard cider (Josh’s thing) and lots of other goodies. This apple syrup here is the first of those “other goodies.”
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