Mini apple crumb pies
October 29, 2006
Phew! I baked these pies almost a month ago, but I’ve never had the motivation to upload the pic and post an entry until now – but here it is! :D
So last month, I went apple picking, and by that time I’ve already decided to bake an apple crumb pie. I’ve been dreaming of Rockaberry’s apple crumb pie day and night, especially when I was away dorming. Honestly, I really dislike baked fruits, especially apples, but they seem to be the only fruits that would hold their shape and allow the pie to be humongously huge like Rockaberry’s. Even Rockaberry’s couldn’t figure a way to avoid flat crumb pies for fruits other than apples!
I’ve done crumb pies before, but the topping was always the “rub-flour-with-butter-until-cornmeal-like” type and not crumble-ish at all, like the cookie-like topping for which Rockaberry’s is so famous for! I’ve later learned that their topping is actually more of a cobbler topping, not a crumb topping. They also once mentioned that their topping consists of flour, butter and a secret ingredient – and searching around Cook’s Illustrated’s recipes for cobbler toppings, I think I’ve found out what this ingredient is! It took me quite some time to decide which recipes to combine and to them scale accordingly.
Mini Apple Crumb Pies
a mixture of recipes from Cook’s Illustrated. Makes 12 muffin cup pies.
Crust – Pâte sucrée
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream (I used milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1/4 C sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 lemon zest
5 apples, cut into 1/4″ slices (preferably a mixture of sweet and tart apples)
1 C all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp bakingp owder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/3 C plain yogurt (or flavored if you want)
Crust: Whisk yolk, cream and vanilla. Pulse flour, sugar and salt in food processor, or rub with fingers until mixture resembles coarsemeal. Add egg mixture, and toss and fold until dough just comes together. Wrap dough with plastic wrap, and press into a 6″ disk. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, then roll it out and line the muffin cups. Pre-bake with pie weights on 350F for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Filling: Mix all ingredients, except apples and lemon juice. Toss in apples and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender but still holding their shape, around 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then drain off the most juice you can (to avoid a soggy crust). Sprinkle and toss in lemon juice, then fill the tart shells.
Topping: Mix all ingredients except butter and yogurt. Pulse in processor (or rub with fingers) the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Toss in the yogurt until there’s big blobs of dough. Spoon dough onto pies and bake at 350F around 10-15min or until light golden (or broil for the last few minutes if it won’t darken).
Yup! So the secret ingredient is indeed…….. *dun dun duuun* YOGURT!! Yup! The yogurt makes the biscuit topping perfectly crunchy, and gives a nice little tang :D Yuuum! Since the ratio crust/crumb-to-filling is pretty high, these little pies taste more like filled cookies than actual pies. But as I said, I don’t like baked apples, so these have just the right amount of filling to provide a little moistness and balance the dry crumb/crust :D
Entry Filed under: Pies