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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Almond Apple Pie

I've been wanting to bake an apple pie with almond fillings for some time, but I couldn't find an apple pie recipe that would fit the bill in any of my books. So I decided to be a bit creative and modify an existing almond pie recipe. I started from a Bakewell tart, which combines an almond filling over a layer of jam. I replaced the jam with slices of apples instead and prayed for the thing to turn right.

What got me motivated to make the pie today was this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge 19 - Dinner and a DVD. You have to cook something to match one of your favourite movies. In this case guess which one goes with the apple pie... ? Yup, the famous teen comedy American Pie, where the poor and innocent pie suffered a humiliating fate. While my recipe is far from the classical apple pie, I hope it'll satisfy all the apple-pie lovers out there... but it's probably better enjoyed eaten:-p

american pie
Almond Apple Pie

(adapted from Bakewell tart recipe)

Pie crust

  • 125 g plain flour (shifted)
  • 90 g cold butter (cut into cubes)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ice water

Fillings

  • 90 g butter (soften)
  • 90 g sugar
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 3 drops Almond essence
  • 70 g ground almonds
  • 40 g self raising flour
  • 3 to 4 golden apples (sliced)
Almond apple pie Ingredients
Directions

Pie crust

  1. Preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F - gas mark 4). Lightly grease the bottom of the 20 cm diameter pie dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar together and put in the diced up butter.
  3. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it form chunky crumbs or lumpy.
  4. Make a small well in the middle, add in almost all the ice water. Mix the dough delicately with your hands until it forms a ball of dough. Add more water if the dough is too dry.
  5. Roll out the dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Gently place onto the pie dish and trim off the excess. Refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
  6. Line the pie crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill it with dry beans or rice. Bake it for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, cool a few minutes and carefully remove pie weights. Put it back in oven (without the weights) and bake it for an additional 7 minutes. The crust should be lightly golden. Cool completely before filling.

Fillings

  1. Peel, cored and cut the apples in slices.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until it is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add in slowly the beaten eggs while continually whisking it and mix in the almond essence.
  4. Using a metal spoon, mix in the ground almonds and the shifted flour.
  5. Spread a layer of apple slices on the bottom of the baked pie shell.
  6. Pour in the batter and smoothen the surface.
  7. Spread another layer of apple slices on top of the batter.
  8. Bake it at 180°C (350°F - gas mark 4) for 35 minutes. The pie should rise and golden brown.
The Verdict

It turned out surprisingly good. While it's a bit short of sugar for Pierre, it was most appreciated by the rest of the family. The texture is moist and soft, and has a nice almond flavor which fits very well with the apples.

Notes

In my hurry to get the pie ready for dinner, I forgot to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top of the apples as I had originally planned. And I would put more layer of apple slices (if thinly sliced) on the bottom and thicker slices on top.

Almond Apple pieAlmond apple pie
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Apple-Banana Chocolate Crumble Pie

The other day I was trying to figure out what do with 3 ripe juicy golden apples and 2 bananas sitting on my kitchen table. After much thinking, I said to myself 'hey, why not bake an Apple-Banana Chocolate Crumble?':-D Here's how it turned out :

Apple-Banana Chocolate Crumble Pie

Baking : 50 minutes
Makes : 1 - 12" pie

Ingredients

Pie Crust - sweet version (La pâte sablée)

  • 250 g Plain Flour
  • 125 g Chilled Butter (cut into cubes)
  • 80 g Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • A little water (ice cold)

Fillings

  • 4 golden apples - sliced (as shown)
  • 2 bananas - sliced (more if you prefer)
  • Dark Pastry Chocolate bars (cut up into pieces)

Cinnamon spread

  • 60 g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 120 ml Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Corn starch/corn flour

Crumble

  • 60 g Sugar
  • 90 g Chilled Butter (cut into cubes)
  • 100 g Plain flour
Directions

Pie Crust

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar together and put in the diced up butter.
  2. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it is crumbly (like sand). To make sure that all butter are rubbed in and there is no big lumps left, scoop some mixture into your hands and rub it in a rubbing motion.
  3. Make a small well in the middle, crack in the egg and just a little bit of ice cold water. Mix the dough mixture with your hands until it forms a ball of dough. It will be a little bit sticky but the dough should hold together and comes off the bowl easily. Do not work the dough too much.
  4. Wrap the ball of dough with a plastic wrapper and refrigerated it for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour: Roll out a clean piece of cloth on the table; sprinkle generously some flour on it.
  6. Flatten the dough slightly with your hands and dust the dough lightly with flour before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin. Start rolling at the centre of the dough and work outwards. Roll the dough into a circle and larger than the size of your pie dish.
  7. Put your pie dish face down to the centre of dough. Put your hand underneath the cloth (centre of the dough) and gently flip the dough over.
  8. Without stretching the dough, press the pastry firmly into the pan and trim any excess dough from the edge.

Crumble

  • Combine all of them together and rub the butter with your fingers into the sugar-flour mixture till it is crumbly (not as fine as sand but coarse crumbs).

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 210°C (410°F)
  2. Spread 1 layer of apple and banana slices in unbaked pie shell. Then sprinkle some dark chocolate pieces on it. Repeat the process till all the fillings are used up.
  3. Heat up and mix water, sugar and ground cinnamon together. Once sugar is dissolved, stir in corn starch till blend in. (in a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch with a bit of water - this will avoid having lumps in the mixture). Remove pan from fire and let it cool down a bit.
  4. Spread the sugary cinnamon mixture all over the fillings.
  5. Spread crumble all over the filling covering the whole pie.
  6. Bake in preheated over for 10 minutes (at 210°C / 410°F), then reduce heat to 175°C (350°F) for 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature. It is delicious on its own or serves it with a scoop of ice-cream.
la pâte sabléeapple crumble apple slicesapple crumble pieapple crumble
Conclusion

Normally I bake this pie with only apple fillings but I have decided to try it out with banana to see how the flavour would turn out. I added dark chocolate pieces to it just for my other half because he loves chocolates. To my surprise, it turned out to be very good. It has a nice mixed aroma of apple and banana with melted dark chocolate without any of them overpowering the other flavour.

The other day I baked this pie using only 3 apples and with milk chocolate simply because I didn't have any dark chocolate at that time. It turned out as delicious as usual but both of us agreed that an extra apple in the pie would taste better and that the dark chocolate version tasted better.

Note

As I do not like overly sweet stuff, this pie is just "nicely sweet". So for those who prefers it to be sweeter, please add more sugar to the crumble and sugary cinnamon spread.

If you cannot find any golden apples, royal gala is equally good as a replacement.

Sweet dough pie is rather fragile and it breaks easily. That's the reason why I rolled out the dough on a piece of cloth because it is easier to maneuver and transferring it to the pie dish than baking paper.

apple-banana chocolate crumble pie
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