Sunday, July 11, 2010

Apple Goodness

Why hello there. Thanks for visiting BCBites! We are delighted to have you. We haven't posted in over a week, seeing as Charlotte has been in Nantucket and Byrne at softball camp. Still, that doesn't mean we haven't been baking! Now we are reunited, in Nantucket, and we have plenty of delicious treats to share with you.
During that brief period of time when we were apart, we both happened to make delicious apple goods. Byrne made mini apple pies, an adorable and mouthwatering confection. Charlotte made an apple crisp, not as charming, but definitely flavorful.
The apple pie recipe was found on ZoomYummy, one of our new favorite blogs. You can find the original post (and plenty of helpful pictures) here.
Byrne used half whole wheat flour, giving the pies a darker tone, but we would not recommend following in her footsteps. She simply ran out of all-purpose flour. The whole wheat made the dough more difficult to work with.

Mini Apple Pies

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Apple Filling:

8 medium apples; peeled, cored and diced

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

a little vegetable oil (for the pan)

  1. Put the flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl. Stir it all together.
  2. Place the butter into the bowl, and mix with an electric mixer.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup water into the bowl in a steady stream until the dough holds together when pinched.
  4. Put plastic wrap over the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Peel, core and cut the apples.
  6. Place the apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt, cornstarch and melted butter into a bowl. Mix it together.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  8. Grease your regular sized muffin tin.
  9. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough, and cut circles out of the dough. For each pie, you will need to cut out a larger circle (for the bottom) and a smaller circle (for the top). You can use cookie cutters, glasses or anything you find around the house.
  10. Press the larger circle into the muffin tin.
  11. Fill the dough with apple mixture.
  12. Take the smaller dough circle, and place on top of the pie.
  13. Press the edges down.
  14. Make 2 slits in the center of the pie, to allow steam to escape.
  15. Place in the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Charlotte's apple crisp didn't win the beauty contest for desserts, but it was extraordinarily simple and tasty. The whole recipe took just a few minutes. If you're not in the mood for apples, you can also use pears, peaches, plums, or a different fruit of your liking.

Apple Crisp
Adapted from Baking Illustrated

For the topping:

6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the filling:

3 medium Granny Smith apples

3 medium McIntosh apples

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup granulated sugar

  1. Place the flour, sugars, spices and salt in a bowl or food processor, and mix or process briefly to combine.
  2. Add the butter, mix or process. The mixture should look like slightly lumpy wet sand. Refrigerate the topping for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. Peel, quarter, core and cut the apples into 1-inch chunks.
  5. Toss the apples, zest, juice and sugar in a medium bowl.
  6. Place the fruit mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
  7. Distribute the chilled topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit, and bake for about 5 more minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping turns deep golden brown.
By the way, we didn't win the cake contest, but we are featured on the website as one of their fifteen favorite cakes. The very first cake won (the one with the eagle head). We have googled the winner and it turns out she is a professional. However, we still wonder whether it might be possible that only 15 cakes were entered in the competition? Several of those featured are, in our opinion, boring and uncreative, repetitive and made with poor craftsmanship. Oh well. We will win the next one!

1 comment:

  1. awwww byrne your mini apple pies are super cute :)

    oh. hey there char. your crisp looked -gulp- good. delicious even...