October 31, 2019
I adapted this recipe from a wonderful blog, “Call me Cupcake”. She has gorgeous photos and wonderful recipes here, so check it out when you can. This is part cake, part cobbler, part cookie. The outer edges are crispy sweet, the inside is tender and cakey and well, ALL the apples. I tried a few varieties of apples and found that Opal, Breaburn, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious all worked well. You can also substitute berries during the summer seasons, or add some nutmeg or cardamom to the filling to make it your own.
I would serve this for Thanksgiving in lieu of an apple pie and be 100% confident and happy with this decision. Last thing to note, yes vanilla ice cream would be very good but the vanilla sauce is DEVINE so I would suggest taking the extra time to make it.
180 grams AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 grams unsalted butter, room temp
135 grams granulated sugar
1 large egg
3-4 apples (about 400g), I peeled mine
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
zest of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
pinch of salt (for filling)
turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Stir together the four, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or hand held mixer), cream butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat for 1 more minute. Add the egg and beat for another 2 minutes until well incorporated.
Turn the speed to low and add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. The batter will be sticky and thick. Set aside.
Peel and core the the apples and slice them about 1/8 inch thick into a medium sized bowl. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, orange zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Mix together.
Take about half the dough mixture and pat it down with your fingers on the bottom of the cake pan. Pour the apples into the pan. Dollap the remaining dough on top of the apples. Don't bother trying to spread the mixture evenly over the apples. The dough is too sticky and it will spread out and cover the apples while baking anyway.
Sprinkle the turbinado over the entire extravaganza before baking. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is a rich golden brown. Let cool in the pan to room temp.
This is basically crème anglaise. So rich and velvety and vanilla'y and really you will just want to eat it by the spoonful or drink it from the bowl. Don't be intimated by this. It is super easy, just follow step by step and have everything ready, ingredients and tools, before you start. Do you have a digital thermometer? If so, bring it out for this one. The main thing you want to be careful of is heating the mixture for too long and the egg will start to coagulate and scramble. You don't want scrambled eggs here. Make friends with your thermometer, or if you are confident, gently cook over low steady heat, continuously stirring, until it starts to thicken and will coat the back of a spoon. If you run your finger through, that line will remain and the sides won't start to come back together. (Also known as nappe). Quickly remove from the heat and stir to help it cool down a bit. Remember, whenever you are sautéing, roasting, baking, etc., once you remove an item from the heat source it will continue to cook in its own heat for a few minutes.
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean (I used a whole one. They are expensive so you can substitute with 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Have a fine strainer set over a bowl nearby.
Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean (if using, if not add the paste or extract) and combine with the milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and when it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and cover for 10 minutes. This allows the vanilla flavor to really get a chance to steep into the milk and cream.
Remove the vanilla bean. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until slightly paler in color, about a minute. Pour a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture into the egg and sugar, stirring continuously so the egg doesn't cook. Continue to add the rest of the milk, stirring all the while. You want the hot milk to slowly warm the egg mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, pour everything back into the pot and return to medium low heat. This is where we want to be super careful, don't stop stirring with a spatula and make sure to get into the corners of the pot too. There is not a lot of liquid here to heat up, so it will reach its temperature pretty quickly. Use your thermometer to test it and bring it to about 179/180 °F.
Quickly remove from the heat and continue to stir for a minute or so to help the cooling along. Let it come to room temperature before covering it with plastic wrap and putting in the fridge. It will continue to thicken as it cools. You can eat it right away or after it cools and thickens. YUM!