Cherry/Apple Pie With Granola/Nut Topping
This is the third and last in my little three-part series on our Southern-inspired dinner party.
I’m dividing this series up into
- appetizer and salad: Southern corn fritters (4/23/2012)
- main course: mac & cheese and black raspberry chicken BBQ (4/25/2012)
- dessert: cherry/apple pie with granola/nut topping (4/27/2012)
No lavish American dinner can be complete without a great dessert. Adam requested pie, and I was happy to comply. I discovered my new-found love for pies a couple of months ago, but I always “Europeanize” them to an extent. I can’t help it; I guess you can take the German out of Germany, but not Germany out of the German.
The book that made it happen for me back then was Ken Haedrich’s “Apple Pie Perfect”. His crust recipes are great, and in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, it is typically me not following directions (OK, I can also attribute some of the success to the method in Wayne Gisslen’s “Professional Baking”, but I don’t like the crust recipes there as much as I love Ken’s). I own the Kindle version of his book, which is formatted a little weird, but hey, I don’t care about that. All I care about are the recipes, and the two or three that I’ve tried are worth the purchase.
The first recipe I ever made from “Apple Pie Perfect” was his cherry/apple pie. It’s made with a single crust, and you add the topping about halfway through the baking process. I can safely say this is one of those cakes that don’t last long at our house. The one issue I had with it, though, was the coconut in the topping of the original recipe. I tried it “as is”, I tried it toasted – but I always found the texture weird and it didn’t “marry” itself well with the sliced almonds. The only other thing I did was to turn the filling into a “cooked” one, instead of using the traditional method. In my estimation, you have better control over the liquid, and in this case it will help prevent the crust from getting soggy.
So, spontaneously I completely reinvented the topping while we were cooking our Southern dinner. Adam had vanilla granola handy, and this can go down in history as one of the VERY few occasions I have treated a processed food item as an ingredient in its own right (maybe excepting mayonnaise ). Naturally, I’ll be looking to make my own granola soon, just to satisfy the food snob in me. Be that as it may, the granola and chopped nuts added the crunch I had expected in the original recipe and better fit in with the overall flavor of the cake. Enjoy!
What is your favorite apple pie recipe?
- 235 g (1¾ cup) flour
- 15 g (1 tbsp) sugar
- 4 g (1/2 tsp) salt – omit if using salted butter
- 115 g (1/2 cup) butter, cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 40 g (3 tbsp) cold water (1/2 cup or 60 ml liquid total)
- 575 g (5 cups) peeled, sliced apples
- 345 g (3 cups) pitted sour cherries (compote or can)
- 40 g (2 tbsp) sherry
- 20 g (1 tsp) vanilla flavor
- 20 g (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 145 g (1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp) sugar
- 25 g (2 tbsp) starch
- 140 g (1 cup) flour
- 140 g (2/3 cup) sugar
- 100 g (3/4 cup) sliced almonds
- 100 g (3/4 cup) chopped walnuts
- 130 g (3/4 cup) vanilla granola
- 170 g (3/4 cup) butter, cold and cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) cubes
- 15 g (1 tbsp) milk or cream
- Sift the flour and sugar into a mixer bowl.
- Add the butter pieces and cut the butter into the flour with the paddle attachment.
- Slowly add the liquid (egg yolk and water).
- Stop the mixer when the crust resembles a coarse meal.
- Turn everything onto a work surface and combine into a ball. If the crust seems too dry when a little bit is squeezed between two fingers, add a tablespoon or two of more water.
- Pat down the dough into a thick disk, wrap in clear plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Heat the apples, lemon juice, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan (something with a thick hull works best).
- Once you have drawn out most of the liquid, add the starch and continue heating until the mixture turns thick and bubbly.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cherries and sherry. Set aside and let cool completely.
- Combine all ingredients into irregular streusels.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Roll out the pie crust so it will comfortably fit into a 9 inch pie form.
- Transfer the crust onto the pie form, trim and crimp if desired.
- Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork a few times and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Add the pie filling and spread evenly. If crust seems too soft, place back in the fridge for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling starts to bubble and/or the crust starts to brown. Add the streusel.
- Drop the temperature to 375 F and continue baking for 20 – 30 minutes more or until the streusel is a golden brown.
- Let cool completely before serving.