Saturday, March 27, 2010

Apple pie tian

So... you though you were gonna get rid of me? Nop, here I am! And guess what? I brought dessert! I know you're allways up for that!

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

As you can guess I didn’t follow the orange road. I was more in an apple mood, so I decided to turn the whole Tian into a sort of "apple pieish thing". I’ve also done mine much higher than suggested in the recipe, using a plastic mould I've made with the same size as the cookie cutter.

For the Pate Sablée:

  • 2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
  • Granulated sugar: 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams
  • Vanilla extract: ½ teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter: ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed
  • Salt: 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
  • All-purpose flour: 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon; 4 grams

Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor. Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle. Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

For the Apple Segments:

The number of apples you’ll need will depend on their size and the thickness you’ll slice them. Peel and core the apples and cut them into 4. Cut slices and cook them for a couple of minutes in the caramel (recipe follows). Remove from the caramel and cool on a plate, trying to separate each slice so they don’t glue once cooled.

For the Apple Jam/Butter:*

  • 6 apples
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup water

Cut the apples into medium chunks, leaving the core, skin and all. Put in a pan with the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 20 minutes in medium heat. Purée the whole mixture and pass it thru a sieve. Return to the stove and cook until it thickens a bit more, also depending on your liking. * I usually make big batches of this and keep it in the freezer divided in plastic bags.

For the Whipped Cream:

  • Heavy whipping cream: 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
  • 3 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 tsp Gelatine
  • 1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
  • Apple jam/butter (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.

For the Caramel:
  • Granulated sugar: 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
  • Water: 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams

Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it. Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the water. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, add the apple slices. Reserve the leftover the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.

Assembling the Dessert:

Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer. Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone. Have the jam, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use. Arrange the apple slices at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snugly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Once you have neatly arranged one layer of apple slices at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle. Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of apple jam on each circle of dough. Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact. Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes. Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately (I’ve spread my caramel on a layer that crystallized making a crème brulée effect).

Now if you excuse me I’m gonna leave you to eat that missing piece on the photo! Enjoy Spring (or Autumn if that’s the case), have fun and check all the other Daring Bakers’ Tians!