The Internet has certainly helped with me learning how to cook and bake, but often words are not enough. Previously I have tried to make pie crust from scratch, following instructions on food blogs, and I failed miserably with cracks all over, difficulty rolling them out, etc. My brother had the same luck with another recipe. PIE CRUST, Y U SO EVASIVE?!
But of course, thank goodness for social networking sites as well. My friend on Facebook shared a Youtube video of this Japanese man making karaage and I found one of him making Japanese style apple pie (embedded at the end of this post). And if you ask me what makes it Japanese, I have no answer! When I first made it, I followed the recipe to the letter and I really liked it, except the biscuit layer was really quite unnecessary, so I’d advise you to skip it unless you didn’t cook down the apples. I even made the lattice pattern which looked really pretty, but my pastry-loving mother would disapprove of me wasting any bits of pastry. Also, I was lazy. Guess which was the more influential factor?
This time, I wanted to make a bigger pie with the addition of fresh strawberries, and I had a feeling that his dough (really, his dough) wouldn’t be sufficient. So using his recipe for pie crust, I adapted it to make an apple and strawberry pie in a 9-inch tart tin. For those of you who are new to making pie crust and would like to try your hand at it to produce a 9-inch pie, you can use my ratio of ingredients and follow the instructions in the video. The only thing I’ve changed about it is I added a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of icing sugar to make it a tiny bit sweeter. Otherwise, you can replace with defrosted store-bought shortcrust pastry.
Caramel sauce is sold in bottles, so you should be able to find that easily in your supermarket or you can replace it with chocolate/strawberry sauce or a fruit jam of sorts. I also used Granny Smith apples, but really, I’ve never quite seen the logic behind choosing a specific type of apples for baking. In fact, I would be happy to use red apples any given day. Feel free to substitute the rum with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. By the way, I didn’t blind-bake the crust, and it was a mistake because the bottom crust was a bit soggy, so I’d advise you to do so (which I’ve also included in my directions) or you can try runnyrunny999’s biscuit layer technique.
I’m all about the full disclosure. Kinda.
This pie is amazing with the usual suspects: vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream, and thickened cream. By the way, if you have a second helping, don’t feel bad, because I don’t want to have to experience that guilt too, thanks.
Caramel Boozy Apple & Strawberry Pie
Adapted from runnyrunny999’s recipe
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted and chilled (+ extra to dust your workbench and rolling pin)
150 g cold unsalted butter (+ 1 tbsp for frying apples and 1 tsp for greasing tin)
80 ml ice-cold water
2 apples, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup caramel sauce
5 tsp icing sugar
3 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
pinch of salt
- Slice the strawberries and put them in a bowl. Add 3 teaspoons of icing sugar to macerate for 20 minutes.
- Heat the tablespoon of butter in a pan and when heated through, add the apple cubes and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Fry for five minutes on medium heat before adding the rum and vanilla essence. Simmer for another 15 minutes until the apples are tender. Let cool.
- Put the cold flour, pinch of salt and remaining 2 teaspoons of icing sugar in a mixing bowl and combine quickly. Add the chopped butter into the bowl. Use a whisk to cut the butter into the flour mixture by pressing it lightly, and stir this (look at the video to see how this is done). Do not knead the mixture.
- Pour 1/4 of the ice-cold water into the bowl and incorporate this. Repeat thrice.
- When the texture resembles dry scrambled eggs, stop mixing.
- Pour all the dough mix onto a sheet of cling wrap and wrap it tightly in a ball shape. Chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
- Dust your workbench and rolling pin with flour. Remove the dough and lay it out on the dusted surface.
- Using your rolling pin, press the dough down to flatten it from one end to the other (which elongates it).
- Fold the dough from one end to the other four times.
- Rotate the dough ninety degrees.
- Repeat steps 8 to 10 thrice.
- Now you should be able to press down and ‘roll out’ the dough with the pin as it becomes pliable. Do this about 4 to 5 times (so in total, you will roll out the dough about 8 to 9 times).
- Wrap the dough in cling wrap again and chill it in the fridge for 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Grease the tart tin with 1 teaspoon of melted butter or cooking spray.
- Dust your workbench and rolling pin again with flour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and pinch off half the dough, returning the rest to the fridge. Roll out to a circle about 2 inches larger in diameter from the tart tin and layer the bottom of the tin.
- Place a sheet of baking paper onto the crust and add pie weights/beans/rice. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Spread caramel sauce at the bottom, then layer with apple filling and macerated strawberries.
- Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and roll out. Place on top to form the pie’s top crust. Trim off excess dough from the sides, which you can use to make decorative pieces (re: the heart shapes on the pictured pie crust!) and press the rim down with a fork to make a pattern.
- Make four slits on top and brush with egg yolk. Stick on your the decorative pieces and brush them with egg yolk as well. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar all over the crust.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let cool and slice. Serve your dinner companions and hide the rest when they ask for second helpings. The cheek of them, really.