Deconstructed Apple Pie is in a way just having fun with food. I have basically used all of the same ingredients as a traditional apple pie but combined them differently. The dish is actually Apple Confit with a Tuile Biscuit, Cheddar Crisp and a Salted Caramel Sauce.
This takes a while to make and needs to be done over two days but each step is not that hard and I took lots of pictures to make it easy to follow along.
Step 1: Apple Confit
Apple Confit is basically thinly cut apples slow cooked in its own juices until it is very soft.
10 apples (I used Gala but any good cooking apple will do)
100g unsalted butter, melted
150g cup super-fine sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/3 cup Bourbon
1/3 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 large orange
Grease a loaf tin with butter. Line sides of pan with baking paper.Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place 75g of the sugar in a small, heavy-bases saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until sugar melts and turns a light caramel colour. Pour into the loaf pan.
Combine butter, vanilla, remaining sugar, Bourbon, lemon juice and orange zest in a bowl.
Peel the apples one at a time, using a knife or a mandolin cut each apple into thin slices. Dip apple slices immediately into the Bourbon mixture, then place overlapping into the mould.
Repeat process until mould is filled with apples up to 1/ inch above the rim. Cover with baking paper, then wrap with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300°F and bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove the foil and the baking paper, reduce oven temperature to 285°F and bake for another 1.5 hours.
When done, you should be able to insert a knife into the apples with ease and all the excess cooking liquid should have evaporated. Let cool to room temperature.
Wrap a piece of cardboard in plastic wrap and lay it over the top of the confit. Weigh it down with food tins and cool in the fridge over night. (I found putting another loaf pan overtop made the process easier - see pictures)
Step 2: Tuile Biscuits
Tuile Biscuits are a French desert biscuit that can be shaped while still warm to provide some fun & texture to a dessert.
1 large egg white
60g caster sugar
30g plain flour
Few drops of vanilla extract
30g butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the egg white in a medium bowl. Whisk it lightly with a fork, then whisk in the sugar to a froth. Sift in the flour, add the vanilla extract and mix in the melted butter.
- Put 4tsp of the mixture spaced apart on the a Silicone baking mat. Spread it a little, using the back of the spoon, then bake for 10 minutes or till slightly browned (my fist batch in the photos were not quite done enough).
- Take off the mat with a wide knife and lay them over the rolling pin to set into a curl. For a better look put them "Top" down on the rolling pin).
- Cook the rest of the mixture in batches.
- Cool and store in an airtight tin. They will keep for a week, and for a month if frozen.
Step 3: Cheddar Crisps
These decorative chips give a savoury not to the dessert and add some additional texture. Cheddar is also a very common accompaniment in traditional apple pies.
1 cup roughly grated mature cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a Silicone baking pad on a baking tray.
- Place handfuls of the cheddar onto the pad and put the tray in the oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese has a lace-like appearance and golden colour.
- Remove the tray from the oven, and carefully dab some kitchen roll on top to soak up the oil.
- Put the tray back in the oven for another minute or so to crisp up the cheese.
- They are done when just golden. Remove from the oven, allow to cool.
Step 4: Salted Caramel Sauce
Salted Caramel is a sauce that tastes like caramel candy but stays in a "liquid" form to be drizzled on desserts or spread on the plate.
15g salted butter
Sprinkle of Fleur de Sel (Flaked Salt)
- In a clean saucepan melt the sugar on medium heat with a 2 table spoons of water.
- Continue to cook until it has turned to a dark caramel.
- Carefully add the cream to the caramel and bring to the boil (pour slowly as it will bubble up).
- As the caramel and cream simmers whisk continuously while slowly adding the butter.
- Remove from the heat and let cool.
- When ready to serve sprinkle the salt flakes on the plated caramel.
Step 5: Bringing It All Together!
- Run a knife around outside of the apple confit to loosen the sides. Dip the pan into hot water to loosen the caramel at the bottom. Then turn out the apple confit onto a chopping board. Slice into 1 inch wide slices.
- Prepare your serving plate by putting a smear of salted caramel sauce on the plate and sprinkling the salt over top.
- Place a Tuile Biscuit on the plate and carefully place a slice of the apple confit on top.
- Drizzle some caramel sauce over the apple and again sprinkle some salt flakes on top.
- Cut a cheddar crisp in half and set vertically on the apple confit.
You are done!
Step 6: The Final Dish...
This is it! A deconstructed apple pie with all the traditional textures and tastes just presented a bit differently.
One thing that I should have done is added an "ice cream" element as when I was done the final dish was a bit too much one color. Some sort of cream on the top of the apple under the cheddar chip would have made this over the top!
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed making it (and eating it!).