Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Gooey Apple Pie

This is it. This is the gooey apple pie recipe I have been searching for. I love those gooey apple pies you get in retro diners where the waitresses wear aprons and call everyone "Darlin" or "Sugar". I've tried many times, in vain, to recreate that gooeyness in my homemade pies. Finally, with this recipe, I had success. I even added some conrstarch to the original recipe to ensure maximum gooeyness. Unfortunately, I took these pictures the day after I made the pie, so they don't adequately convey the consistency of the pie filling. You will just have to make it for yourself to see how good it is.

Gooey Apple Pie

1 recipe for pastry for a 9-in double crust pie I used this pastry recipe)
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
6-7 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour to form a paste. Add a little bit of the sugars and spices and bring to the boil. Reduce the temperature and let simmer. Gradually add the water, as needed, to prevent the syrup from drying out.

Place the bottom crust in your pie dish and brush with egg whites. Mix 3/4 of the syrup with the apples and then fill the crust with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with pastry and brush with the remaining syrup.

Bake 55-60mins, until the apples are soft. If the apples are not soft, lower the temperature to 250*F, place the pie on the bottom rack and bake for an additional 20mins. (You may need to cover the top of the pie in foil to prevent it browning too much).

Let cool completely before serving.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the first year that I have been able to spend my sister's birthday with her in a very very long time. It felt so good to be able to make her birthday cake for her again after all these years. I always make the birthday person's requested dessert for their special day. My sister's favourite cake is spice cake, so that's what she requested. After many hours of research, I decided on a recipe from Bon Appetit, but changed the quantity of spice in it. This cake turned out really well. It is a light, tender, moist cake with a mellow spice flavour.

Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:For the cake:2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk

For the frosting:4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 cup butter, room temperature
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

To make the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350*F. Butter three 9-in cake pans (I only used two pans). Line the bottoms with waxed paper. Butter and flour the pans, tapping out the excess flour. Sift the first 9 ingredients into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy (about 3 mins). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with sour cream and milk. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted comes out clean, about 25mins. Transfer pans to racks to cool 10 mins and then turn out the cakes onto the racks to cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

To make the frosting: Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 mins. Reduce speed to low and add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

To assemble: Place 1 cake layer on a platter and spread 2/3 cup of frosting over. Top with the next cake layer, spreading another 2/3 cup of frosting over. Top with the third layer (if you made 3 cakes). Cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with a cake dome and store in the fridge.

Cake recipe adapted from Bon AppetitFrosting recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes