A few days ago I saw an episode of Bake Off Italia in which apple pie was prepared and I felt like trying to make it at home. Since I am not able to follow a recipe exactly, I interpreted the original recipe from the episode of Bake Off Italia with the apple pie original american recipe that I found on Laura Evans' website putting in a bit of my own to facilitate the homemade preparation of this fabulous cake. Well, the result was amazing and my husband literally went crazy with it too! Let me just tell you that he normally falls asleep very early in the evening, but tonight that I prepared it he was super operative until the second slice! 😄
Apple pie original recipe: ingredients
Apple pie original recipe: the filling
- 600 g green apples (Granny Smith)
- 100 g caster sugar + 8 tbsp sugar
- 30 g butter
- 30 g cornflour
- the juice of a lemon
- 1 level teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 3 tablespoons of water at room temperature
Apple pie original recipe: the 'tart' or pie crust
- 320 g 00 flour
- 220 g cold butter
- 10 g caster sugar
- 5 g fine salt
- 7 tablespoons of very cold water
- 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
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Apple pie original recipe: the recipe in 6 easy steps
Apple pie original recipe /1: prepare apples
- Peel the apples with a peeler and cut them into large cubes, say 2 cm on a side. Remember: large cubes! No thin slices that will fall apart during cooking! Put the apples in a bowl capable of holding them and mix them comfortably.
- Squeeze the lemon and add it to the apples.
- Add 120 g sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Mix carefully and allow to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour, but generally the time for the remaining preparations will be sufficient.
Apple pie original recipe /2: prepare pie crust
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with your hands.
- Tip the mixture onto a work surface and knead it quickly until it is smooth, but without kneading too much.
- Divide the dough in half. Shape into two balls and flatten them into two disks. Wrap them with cling film or put them in two freezer bags, then leave them to rest in the freezer for 30 minutes (or 1 hour in the refrigerator at your choice).
Apple pie original recipe /3: preparing the cake tin
- Take one of the two discs out of the freezer (or fridge). If you have chilled the dough discs in the freezer, put the second disc in the fridge. If you have chilled the pie crust in the fridge, take only one out and leave the other one in the fridge.
- Roll out the dough with a silicone rolling pin until it is fairly circular in shape and as thin as you can, say about 2-3 mm.
- Butter the glass cake tin well... glass, I recommend, because then you can see if it is cooked underneath. I bought this glass tart mould on Amazon (only €8.99 shipping included, unbelievable!) which I find fabulous and also decorative as it is perfect for serving apple pie on the table!
- Roll out the pastry on the cake tin and don't worry if you don't roll it out perfectly or there is a bit of dough missing somewhere: simply remove any excess and add it where you need it! Place it tightly on the edge as well until it just barely sticks out.
- Set aside in Frigerio 15 minutes.
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Apple pie original recipe /4: prepare the filling
I made 2 preparations for the filling and combined them together, mindful of what I saw on Bake Off Italia!
- Heat half a glass of water (100 ml) in the kettle and keep it aside.
- Put 8 level tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan and let it melt over a low flame (I put 3 out of 9 with induction).
- As soon as the caramel takes on the colour you want, i.e. not too dark brown (it must not burn or become too bitter) remove from the heat and add the boiling water, stirring quickly with a whisk. It will make a little smoke, but don't worry: it stops immediately!
- Let it cool down just long enough to prepare the other sauce!
- Set aside two tablespoons of caramel sauce! (You'll soon find out why...)
Apple juice sauce
- In a saucepan, melt the butter.
- Using a strainer, separate the juice from the apples and add it to the butter.
- Let it cook on a medium flame (I set it to 5 out of 9) until it boils, then add the cornflour and stir with a whisk. As soon as it solidifies and takes on a creamy consistency turn off the heat and slowly add the caramel sauce while continuing to stir.
- Mix the mixture you have obtained by combining the two apple sauces very carefully.
- Place the bowl of filling in the freezer for the time to roll out the topping.
Apple pie original recipe /5: make the pie
- (Turn on the static oven at 220 °C)
- Take out the disc of dough you left in the fridge and roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1-2 mm.
- Take the cake tin and filling out of the freezer, then place the filling all over the surface of the tin, making a little mound in the centre.
- Put the disc of dough in the centre and fold it towards the edge... if you have the mould like mine, the shape helps to have a perfect result even if you don't have the skill to make the closing curls. You can simply push the dough with your fingertip until it sticks to the edge.
- With a small, sharp knife, make 4 or 5 cuts in the centre as in the picture.
- At this point, the original recipe calls for brushing the cake with beaten egg yolk, but I don't like it because I can taste the eggy flavour that annoys me in these preparations. So I brush with caramel sauce (the famous two tablespoons I kept aside) and sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar.
Apple pie original recipe /6: baking
- Put the pie in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes. Please note: the apple pie is baked on the lowest shelf of the oven!
- In my oven it is ready in 35 minutes, but consider 5 minutes of possible variation depending on how your oven cooks. To tell if it is cooked you first have to see the surface of the cake 'boil', then check the base of the cake (that's why it is best to use the glass mould!). If the cake is golden and dry even in the base, remove it from the oven, if not, extend the baking time by a few minutes.
- Caution! The surface of the cake must not darken! I have seen that with my oven there is no problem, but if you happen to have to prolong the baking time just in case, move the cake to the base of the oven and lower the temperature a little. Don't use tin foil in the oven because it is dangerous for your health (aluminium transfers to food at high temperatures), mind you! If you look at other recipes and they tell you to cover the cake with foil DO NOT DO IT!
- Take the apple pie out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. When it is warm, for me, it is the perfect time to eat it! Don't unmould it: the glass baking dish is not afraid of a knife and is perfect for serving!
My husband and I like to eat apple pie for breakfast, so I don't have any pictures of it paired with wine. However, I can always recommend one if you want to use this pie as a dessert at the end of a meal.
To construct a correct wine pairing, I advise you to take into account four elements that characterise this cake:
- the overall sweetness
- the spicing of the filling
- the acidity of the filling, given by the apples and lemon, which balances the sweetness
So I would dare a sweet martinotti method sparkling wine served well chilled with an important aromaticity and a light spiciness, and I have one in mind: the Sweet Malvasia di Casorzo d'Asti. I am reminded of PantaRei of Cantina di Casorzopossibly forgotten in the cellar 1 or 2 years: an absolute spectacle!
Ah, the apple pie keeps perfectly 2 days at room temperature by covering the baking tin with cling film, but you can pull it up to 3 days. Anyway, it's so good that one slice pulls the other and it's over in no time!