- Northern Spy
- Kerr Mini
Looking to revisit Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal in a format far superior to Quaker's instant, I finely diced odd bits of apple from the other recipes and slid them into my trusty bread machine for another go at Apple Jam. Unfortunately, these meticulous chopping efforts were in vain. The McIntosh variety disintegrated, causing the formula to be grittier than viscous. There were a few bits that retained their shape - probably Mutsu and potentially Creston - but, for the vast majority, the jam was more reminiscent of applesauce.
A combination of Norther Spy, McIntosh, and Fuji were utilized for the first Apple Pie attempt. Majority of the slices held their shape after being submerged in hot water for ten minutes, however it should be noted that the lack of a lattice top had allowed too much moisture to escape during the baking process, causing them to roast instead of tenderize.
Utterly dissatisfied with the earlier turnout, I set out for redemption. The apple count was drastically reduced from six medium-large mixed varieties to four small-medium ones. Blindbaking was not undertaken/accounted for. A proper lattice was constructed, inclusive of flower-shaped embellishments.
- Chilled pie dough should be allowed to rest for 15-20 mins at room temperature prior to rolling out. Rolling immediately while cold resulted in cracking, which only worsened with a well-floured surface.
- Frozen pie dough can be gradually thawed for use from the freezer by: first transferring to the fridge the day before and then to room temperature for improved work-ability. That said, frozen sheets are often found to achieve less volume as freshly-made (never frozen) dough and brown quicker when baked. Tl;dr: Use fresh pie dough for best results.
- For SK's recipe, the dough should ideally be portioned into 40:60, or maybe even 30:70 for use in a lattice top applie pie. There is quite a bit of leftover after cutting out the lattice, and any small decorations burned rapidly, appearing coal-like as opposed to warm and golden.
- Egg wash is mandatory, as is coarse sugar.
In future attempts, I shall likely increase the quantity to three tablespoons, or combine 2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp glutinous rice flour. The apples were delicious, and held up well throughout the baking process. The quantity should really not surpass three large apples or four small-medium ones.
I had chopped the apples into bite-sized chunks the night prior, allowing them to macerate in a mixture of brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. This extra shot of sugar was forgotten as I proceeded to hurriedly compile several recipes in the span of a few hours the next day.
My item of desire would possess an airy cross-section, an element I knew only to be achieved with an oil-based batter. The inclusion of apples and their brining liquid would lead me to reduce the quantity of milk from 150g to 74g. In hindsight, I ought to have added a bit more (80-90g?) and perhaps up to 1/2 tsp of baking soda to offset the double dose of brown sugar in the recipe.
They were spiced and delicious, just as I had anticipated, but, regrettably, far too sweet. The sweetness was overwhelming to say, in the least.
This three-part tart constituted the most complex dessert of the lineup. Formed the evening prior was a chocolate tart shell that used one egg yolk for structure and stability and almond frangipane. The latter required up to three hours of chill time before use. As the tart shell would also need to be chilled before rolling, both were left to reside in the fridge overnight.
These slices were supposed to macerate for ten minutes after being tossed in lemon juice and granulated sugar. Though, I think they ought to have been left longer for improved flexibility.
It sufficed to conclude that gustatory satisfaction levels were disproportionate to effort expended. The flavours weren't quite harmonious, in spite of the complementary textures. That said, I was proud of myself for undertaking the seemingly elaborate design. Aesthetic appeal in food items are not specialty, after all.
Of the four apples I had thinly sliced for the Apple Frangipane Tart, only two were utilized. Thinking quickly, I resolved to use the remaining half-portion of dough I had constructed for the second Apple Pie.
I was eager to find a purpose for the too-tart, applesauce-like jam, and individual cheesecake cups seemed a good idea, especially with a group gathering nearing. Apple Jam V2 (not pictured) emerged as a too-sweet, gelatin-stabilized formula. The two were combined without hesitation to form a brown sugar-laden layer with discernible pieces of apple.
From there, I piped and spooned the layers into disposable plastic containers, alternating apple and cheesecake until there was none left. Surface gaps were filled with Salted Caramel Sauce, which was the sole element to never fully set.
Several errands were fulfilled throughout the week, including acquisition of a doctor's note for extreme stress levels and picking up a local "Food Zine", which featured my birthday buddy as a co-artist.