Thursday, March 5, 2015

Little Salted Caramel Apple Pies (Back in the Day Bakery)

It is my turn to choose a recipe for this bake along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings and so I chose this...

In actual fact, I'm not the one who chose this recipe. It was my son. Based on the name of the bake, my son told that this salted caramel apple pie from the book, The Back in the Day Bakery cookbook must be super yummy and I have to bake this!

Yes, my little master. Mum will use this recipe...

Before informing Joyce and Lena my choice, I had a closer look of this recipe and thought that I really like it. I have noticed that I don't have to pre-bake the pastry or pre-cook the filling before baking the entire pie and also like the addition of salted caramel to enhance its taste.

So, this is how I baked my apple pie...

Instead of baking one 9-inch or 23cm round pie, I have used half amount of the pastry and one third amount of the filling to bake eight little 7 cm pies.

According to the recipe description in the book or here, the grandmother of the authors used to make this old fashioned flaky pie crust with lard. LARD!!! - I can see the beauty of this classic pastry ingredient but NO way that I'm using lard! Fortunately, this recipe has been changed to use a 1:1 ratio of shortening and butter. For my pastry, I have used a ratio of 1:5 ratio of shortening and butter instead and still managed to yield a lightly flaky pastry for my little pies.

salted caramel apple pies
Our Little Salted Caramel Apple Pies (adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook)
First, I made the pastry by cutting in the butter ans shortening into small peas.
Then, combine with eggs, water and vinegar to form a dough
While the dough is resting, I made the salted caramel and the rest...
Instead of using an electric mixer, I used a wooden spoon to beat the caramel until it looks combined.
These are the two gorgeous apples that I have used.
This step is easy - Just combine all filling ingredients together.
Roll and cut the pastry.
No blind-baking required. Just top the pastry with apple filling and a dollop of the caramel.
Assemble the pies with pie lids.
A final touch: Brush the pies with egg wash and sprinkle extra sugar and salt.
Beware!!! The bubbling-and-over-flowing caramel and the sprinkle of sugar might cause the pies to burn.
Cover the pies loosely with foil if the pies start to brown before the apple filling is cooked.
Gosh!!! Lucky me... Only one of my pies is slightly burnt.
salted caramel apple pies
The rest are beautifully baked!!!
Wait wait wait... The story of my bake is not over yet.
Do not throw away the leftover caramel!!! Place it in a piping bag...
salted caramel apple pies
... and drizzle on the apple pies when you are enjoying them!

Thanks, son! You are right! This is a fabulous recipe!
These little apple pies are super yummy!

Here's my adapted version from the book, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day or here and here.

For the old-fashioned flaky pie pastry:
150g unbleached all-purpose flour
75g unbleached cake flour (not self-rising)
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 large egg, about 70g each with shell and about 27g without shell
1/4 cup (60ml) ice water, plus more if necessary
1/2 tsp white vinegar
20g cold vegetable shortening, cut into cubes, preferably trans fat free Crisco
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the caramel:
65g caster sugar
40ml water
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or salt
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 tbsp cream with 35% fat

For the apple filling:
2 medium apples (I used Granny Smith and Pink Lady), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2/3 tsp lemon zest
20ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
12g unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
30g turbinado sugar

For brushing:
1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp milk, combine and beaten
fleur de sel and turbinado sugar for sprinkling

To make the old-fashioned flaky pie pastry:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, combine egg, water and vinegar.

Add the shortening and butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender, two knives or your finger tips to cut or rub the added fat into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the egg mixture, gently tossing and mixing with your hands or a fork just until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more ice water, about 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary.

Gather the dough together on a lightly floured work surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hr. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

To make the caramel:
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat and stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and cook the syrup without stirring until the syrup becomes a medium-dark amber colour (when the candy thermometer indicates 180°C or 350°F) and this step can take about 15 mins.

Carefully remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. Be careful of splattering caramel at this addition step. Do not worry if the butter starts to separate as it will come together once the caramel is cooled.

When the caramel is cooled to room temperature. You can either transfer it to the bowl and use either an electric mixer or a wooden spoon to beat the caramel until well combined. Set aside.

To make the apple filling:
In a large bowl, toss apples with the added lemon zest and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine together flour, cardamom, cinnamon, and turbinado sugar and stir in the flour mixture into the apples.

To assemble:
Dust your hands and your rolling pin with flour. On a lightly floured piece of baking paper or any non stick mat or surfaces, roll out the chilled dough into pastry with 3mm thickness. Using a 10 cm round pastry cutter, cut the rolled pastry eight into rounds and line the rounds onto the 7 cm tart tins. Carefully press the dough onto the tins and trim any excess dough. Prick the lined pastry gently all over with a fork.

Layer apple slices into the lined pastry, making sure there are no gaps between the apples. Spoon a dollop of caramel (about 1 tsp) on top of the apples. Reserve the remaining caramel for serving.

Gather all the unused dough. Roll out the remaining dough into pastry with 3mm thickness. Using a 8 cm round fluted pastry cutter, cut the rolled pastry into eight pie lids. Using a really small cutters, cut 3-4 vent holes in the center of each pie lid and reserve the cutout pieces to decorate your pie. Place the pie lids over the pie filling and press the edges to seal. Place the cutout pieces of dough to decorate your pie lids. Cover the assembled pies with plastic or cling wrap and chill them in a freezer for at least 30 mins or a fridge for at least 1 hr. 

To bake:
When ready to bake, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C or 180°C fan forced.

Brush the pies with the egg wash. Sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar and a pinch of fleur de sel. Place the pies on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 mins. Reduce oven temperature to 340°F or 170°C or 150°C fan forced and bake for an additional 30 mins, until the apple fillings are thoroughly cooked and the pie crusts turn golden brown. If the pie crusts start to brown too quickly before the fillings are cooked. Place a layer of foil loosely on the pies and continue to bake until the fillings are cooked. 

Remove from the oven and allow the pies to cool slightly (about 10 mins) before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely. To serve, place the remaining caramel in a piping bag and drizzle each of pie as desired.

The pies are best served the same day, but it can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or kept frozen up to 1 month. 

Happy Baking
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  1. Your little salted apple pies look so so so cute and too cute to eat! They look like savoury pies, and if you don't tell, I would think they are meat pies or chicken pies or curry chicken pies or tuna pies, oh dear, you are making me hungry early morning.. Now, I'm craving for tuna&muchroom gratin puffs from Delifrance.. Sigh..

  2. aww look adorables and delicious!!!

  3. What glorious looking apple pies! Yummy

  4. the sound of salted caramel already makes me salivate!!! this is a lovely bake.. i had to throw out a jar of homemade salted caramel before i left... sigh.... i should hv done this.. should hv..

  5. Hi 5 to your little boy for selecting this recipe and another Hi 5 to mommy for agreeing with him! My daughter really liked this apple pie. Eating it with the gooey sticky caramel is so yummy, and I like it that the pie is not too sweet. Both you and Lena have made mini pies, and they look fabulous! p/s: Yeah, the NM pastry book is simply awesome! wink...!!!

  6. Oh my goodness Zoe! Your son made a wise choice! These are just oozing out hot delicious goodness! I totally need to make an apple pie! That will be the first thing I bake once our wall oven is working again! It's been out of order for 2 months now!

  7. Yummy! It's nice that you decided to make little cute cakes instead of big one :)

  8. Your boss sure knows to pick a good recipe eh! ;)

  9. They are so cute and look delicious.

  10. Love your pretty yummy mini salted caramel apple pie !

  11. This look s like fun project! And they look so adorable!

  12. yummm!!! bet these tasted delicious!!

  13. Zoe, your little pies are adorable! I bet your son was so happy you baked his choice :) I've got to try baking apple pie one day.

  14. the best thing abt making this pie was making the salted caramel..glad that at least i've attempted it and was really nice with the pie. do you know that the fleur del sel that i used is the one that i got from the spice shop ..lasting hor? heheh

    1. Time really files!!! It has been years when we first met and you bought this salt at the spice. Good thing that salt won't go off or deteriorate over time :D

  15. Now , now , no lard bashing , okay ?! lol I'm gonna render my own lard this week , okay , if my laziness won't rear its ugly head again ugh ! Love the look of your mini apple pies , the caramel alone is worth making :D

  16. Cute little pies! I have this book and have been thinking about making this pie. I love caramel with apples! :)

  17. Wow looks good. I salute you, lena n Joyce for gg very strong w yr bake offs!

  18. Delicious and cute apple pies... :)

  19. Thanks for choosing this recipe. I get to make salted caramel sauce for the first time;D