Tuesday, March 11, 2008

TWD: Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits. I don't know that I ever would have made this recipe had it not been chosen because I don't usually go for fruity desserts and I'm not a big fan of apple pie. I'd rather just eat the crust of the apple pie without the apples. Well maybe a tiny bit of apples. Anyway, I was happy that I made this because it's something different and I've never heard of or tried a pie-cake like this.


As a person who hates rolling out dough, I was really happy with how this dough turned out. I refrigerated it for a few hours, then let it sit out on the counter for about 20 minutes to warm up a bit. I rolled it between pieces of plastic wrap, which made it really easy. I would highly recommend anyone who fears pie crusts to try this recipe out. Overall it was easy to make, and not too time consuming (aside from cutting up a billion apples). The only things I changed were to use half the amount of raisins and 8 apples instead of 10 (Fuji apples are huge!)


Now the taste. Well this cake is good, for me it's not amazing. I think it took me some time to get over the fact that this was not an apple pie and so I couldn't expect a crispy crust. The cake "crust" was very soft almost bordering on crumbly. I liked the edges where it got a bit crisp (see, there I am hoping for that crisp pie crust). The one thing I found a bit odd was how dry the apple filling was. How do you get a gooey apple pie filling? I guess this one was not mean to be that way. This dessert is not too sweet, and after trying a second piece of it later on, I decided that it's a very homey and comforting dessert. Not sure if I'd make it again though it is beautiful and bumpy looking. Go check out all the other lovely Tuesdays with Dorie members and their apple pie-cakes!


Other Dorie Greenspan recipes I've made:
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Orange Berry Muffins
Chocolate Chip Cookie Topped Brownies
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake
Adapted Baking: From My Home To Yours

For The Dough
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For The Apples
10 medium apples, all one kind or a mix (I used gala)
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Coarse sugar, for dusting

To Make The Dough: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Add the lemon juice - the dough will probably curdle, but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if you think it looks more like a batter than a dough at this point, add the extra 1/4 cup flour. (The dough usually needs the extra flour.) When properly combined, the dough should almost clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

To Make The Apples: Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if you want. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lemon juice - even with the juice, the apples may turn brown, but that's fine - and add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly. Taste an apple and add more sugar, cinnamon, and/or lemon juice if you like.

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter a 9x12-inch baking pan (Pyrex is good) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll and it cracks, either let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin to get it moving. Once it's a little more malleable, you've got a few choices. You can roll it on a well-floured work surface or roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. You can even press or roll out pieces of the dough and patch them together in the pan - because of the baking powder in the dough, it will puff and self-heal under the oven's heat. Roll the dough out until it is just a little larger all around than your pan and about 1/4 inch thick - you don't want the dough to be too thin, because you really want to taste it. Transfer the dough to the pan. If the dough comes up the sides of the pan, that's fine; if it doesn't that's fine too.

Give the apples another toss in the bowl, then turn them into the pan and, using your hands, spread them evenly across the bottom.

Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Cut the dough so you've got a 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang and tuck the excess into the sides of the pan, as though you were making a bed. (If you don't have that much overhang, just press what you've got against the sides of the pan.)

Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.

Bake for 65 to 80 minutes*, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature. You'll be tempted to taste it sooner, but I think the dough needs a little time to rest.

*Mine was done at 55 minutes, and maybe a touch too brown so check it around 45-50 minutes.

40 comments:

Sarah said...

Your pie-cake looks great! It was a strange taste the first bite because your mind is telling you is should taste like pie and it doesn't. Good job!

CB said...

Yours definitely looks more cake like to me. I love the close up picture of the crust and sugar! Great job!
-Clara
http://iheartfood4thought.wordpress.com

Erin said...

Your cake looks great! I wasn't too sure what to expect either in terms of taste but I did like it. Great job!

smellslikehome said...

Great job with your pie-cake! The top is perfectly browned!

slush said...

It looks perfect! Sorry you werent taken with it, there is always next week!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Yours does look more like a cake texture than mine and many others I have seen. How interesting! It was a nice dessert, though not one I will likely do again either.

Dianne said...

Your crust looks fabulous!

noskos said...

Nice looking pie-cake!!!

VeggieGirl said...

even though you weren't COMPLETELY smitten with that pie-cake, you certainly made it look beautiful and tantalizing to me! :0D

carrie said...

Even if the taste isn't what you were expecting, it does look very pretty.

Gigi said...

Beautiful looking pie-cake!

Kevin said...

Baked apple desserts....mmm...

chelley325 said...

Looks wonderful! Even if it wasn't your favorite, it's good to hear that you enjoyed trying something a little different!

Melissa said...

Looking good! Your crust looks great.

amanda. said...

Yum! Your pie-cake turned out beautiful! I'm sad to here that you weren't too thrilled with it though. :(

giz said...

I can't tell you how much this cake reminds me of my mother standing in the kitchen 100 years ago making her "old country apple cake" that looks just like this. What a nice memory.

Jhianna said...

Yours came out with such a beautiful golden color! I gotta admit though - it was a little confusing for me too. Not quite a cake, not really a pie at all... I'm definitely going to try the dough again either in a cookie or as a turnover.

Dolores said...

Yep, I had the same initial reaction to 'apple pie cake' that you did... but I'm glad we both tried it out.

Johanna said...

That recipe does look very cakey - I am with you on rolling out dough - it always ends in a mess with me - even with rolling it between two pieces of plastic - I have quite a few non-rolling pastry recipes I mean to try some time!

I also am not a huge fan of stewed apples but fancy a cheese crust on an apple pie! But I can't remember where I saw this idea! Anyway your pie looks good and sounds like an interesting experience for you!

Bellini Valli said...

You did a beautiful job with this Dori recipe. Id does sound unusual...but I do love apples. My boss has a fuji apple orchard. I have even put the little bags on the apples to create the special ones that say happy birthday, Merry Christmas, etc.

Piggy said...

your apple pie-cake looks great. but i wonder why your apple filling is dry, mine is gooey though. i think it could be due to the types of apple that we used..

winedeb said...

Whew so nice looking! The second photo with it all in the pan looks like clouds or hey, even roasted marshmellows! It has my interest as it is such a different way to cook with apples, besides a pie!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

This looks delicious! I love apple pie, but don't love making the crust, so I'll have to give this one a try.

Vicarious Foodie said...

This looks amazing. I've been hearing a lot about Dorie Greenspan lately but I haven't tried any of the recipes because I'm not much of a baker. This is inspiring me though--I don't want to miss out!

Hannah said...

For someone who can't decide whether to make a cake or pie, this sounds like the best of both worlds. Sorry it wasn't your favorite, but it still looks tasty!

Jaime said...

your crust looks beautiful! my filling wasn't too dry, but maybe that's b/c i added juicy pears?

eatme_delicious said...

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments. :)

Peabody said...

A lovely looking pie cake.

Gloria said...

This Cake looks really fantastic!!!! xx Gloria

Cakespy said...

My name is Cakespy. You killed my father. Now you must die. (Sorry, channeling that scene from the Princess Bride). Basically what I am saying is that I must eat this. If not now then soon.

Lisa said...

You might not like apple pie, but I'm glad you made this apple pie cake. It looks like it turned out perfectly. Thanks for the idea!

Holler said...

I love fruity desserts! So I think I would like this one. It looks very yummy!

Helene said...

What a great looking cake. Looks delicious.

Mallow said...

Interesting - I can where you might feel a little cheated - missing out on the best thing about a pie, and the best thing about cake! It looks gorgeous though.

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

I thought the same thing about the filling. It was good, but I was surprised at how dry it was. Someone told me that adding more sugar to the apples would make them more gooey. Maybe give that a go if you are willing to try again. Your presentation is lovely.

toro said...

Hellow!
I live in japan.
I'm gethering date about ice cream and dessart.
please link this site.

eatme_delicious said...

Thanks everybody. :)

Foodaholic said...

Wow, it looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing something different. A cake/pie.

eatme_delicious said...

Foodaholic: Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, and this looks lovely (among other things!!)... About the "gooey" apple stuff, I could tell you how to get it more juicy and gooey, but because it's a cake and not a crust, I'm afraid that even if you added more sugar and butter (that's what makes the sauce so yummy), that the cake on the bottom would soak it up. What I usually do, because my husband is like you and loves apple pie with 90% crust and 10% apple, is I just make the crust doubly thick. It comes out really tasty, too. :O) Anyway, just a thought. This does look quite nice, though. :O)