Today, I decided to detail the making of the apple pie! For me, this is the most technical pie in the pastry degree program. In fact, I find it representative of the “CAP syndrome”. What is the CAP syndrome? Well, it’s when you realize that the pastry you thought you knew how to make (after all, who doesn’t know how to make an apple pie?), in reality you don’t know how to make it at all – according to CAP criteria anyway. It was with this recipe that I realized, like Plato, that “all I know is that I know nothing” and that I really started working on the program.
In reality the apple pie is not so complicated but it is made of a succession of hyper codified steps that it is difficult to improvise if you don’t know the procedure to follow.
What pie dough for an apple pie?
As a Norman girl, I know a thing or two about apples! For a pie, you should of course choose a variety that melts in the oven (no Granny Smith or Pink Lady). Braeburn or Golden apples are good choices. They melt well but still hold their shape when cooked. At the CAP pastry school, you will probably be given Golden apples.
What pie dough for an apple pie?
For an apple pie, there are two possibilities for the pastry: a sweet pastry or a shortcrust pastry. I personally prefer sweet pastry, but at CAP the recipe is very often made with shortcrust pastry. This is the pastry I am detailing in this apple pie. But if you want to adapt the recipe with a sweet pastry, don’t hesitate to check my recipe for walnut tarts.
And yes, a successful apple pie also requires careful peeling of the apples! With the paring knife, start at the top of the apple and peel it finely (in one go if possible!) all the way down. Avoid taking the flesh at the same time as the skin. You should also avoid using large blows with the blade. Mine are not very regular because they were slightly damaged apples from the garden. You won’t have this problem when you examine them.
To peel evenly, you need to keep the round shape of the apple as much as possible (and therefore make small strips even if it takes a little longer). If you go too fast, you will have unsightly angles on the edge of the slices that will show when you assemble the tart. In terms of organisation, I advise you to do this step when you first chill the pastry.
How to properly cut apples for a pie?
When your apples are well peeled, you remove the core from 4 apples with an apple corer and cut them in half. Then cut them into thin slices. CAUTION, there is a way to cut the apples and it is certainly not the way you think!
Indeed, for a nice visual effect, we cut the apples from the top to the bottom (and not on the side as we tend to do). As a result, there is a strong gradient in size between the small slices (top and bottom) and the large ones (middle). In addition, the curve is more pronounced when you cut in that direction, so it looks better.
The rest of the apples are cut into large cubes and put into a heavy bottomed pan with a little water to stew. After 20 minutes, the apples will have melted. Then simply mash them with a fork and place the compote on the pie crust.
The rose window
Finally, the pie is assembled. The first tip is that ALL the apples must be used. You have to squeeze your slices very tightly to fit everything in. You will have to make 2 or 3 rows of apples in addition to the middle rosette. A little self-criticism on mine: I didn’t put enough apples. They should normally be tighter.
How to place the apples to make an apple pie?
To begin with, I advise you to sort your slats by size (keep the small ones for the middle rose window). Keep the scraps and the least beautiful strips to put in the middle, under the second and third row (so they will be level and not wobbly).
Start by placing a slice on the edge, but slightly askew by about 30° to the right (it is not the tip of the apple that should touch the circle, but the bottom of the rounded edge of the slice that should coincide with the pastry). Then place the rest of the slices to go all the way round (don’t hesitate to adjust them as you go along so that they are even). Finally, slide the last strip under the first one so that the joint is not visible.
Then continue with the second round but this time go in the other direction. Do the same with a third round if necessary (always in the opposite direction). And to finish we make the middle rosette. Honestly I’m not very good at this step so I won’t give you any advice ^^(but I’m willing to give yours).
Sprinkle with sugar or brown sugar and sprinkle generously with strips of butter.
Baking the apple pie
For the cooking, know that the cooking of an apple pie is very long (1h-1h10). This is how the top will have coloured nicely.
How to make a shiny apple pie?
The glaze is the glossy layer that will give your tart the appearance of an “apple tart like in the pastry shop”. The glaze is applied as soon as it comes out of the oven. You can use new professional glaze or apricot jam. Many people don’t really like the topping, but it is a compulsory step on fruit tarts for hygiene reasons. Indeed, it is a protective layer against oxidation and it prolongs the conservation.
Apple pie topping before or after baking?
The neutral glaze is applied to the apple pie when it is baked and comes out of the oven. To be used, the glaze must be boiled with a little water. Once it has been diluted, brush it generously over the pie.
And to know if you have succeeded in making an apple pie according to the criteria of the CAP pastry, ask yourself if this pie would have a place in the window of a bakery. If the answer is yes, then you have succeeded!
So, between us, did you really know how to make an apple pie?
French degree pastry apple pie
- 1 baking tray
- 1 sheet of silpat or baking paper
- 1 22 cm pie circle
- 200 g of flour
- 100 g of butter
- 4 g of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 70 g of water
- 7 apples
- 60 g of sugar
- QS cinnamon
- Mix the flour and salt. Add the butter and mix well to create a sand-like consistency.200 g of flour, 4 g of salt, 100 g of butter
- Add the egg yolk and mix well, then add the water little by little. The dough should not be overworked.1 egg yolk, 70 g of water
- Form a 2 cm thick cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Peel the apples carefully. Set aside 4 apples for the garnish.7 apples
- Cut the remaining 3 apples into large pieces and put them over a low heat in a thick-bottomed saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon and a little water.60 g of sugar, QS cinnamon
- Keep an eye on the compote throughout the preparation. When the apples have melted and you can mash them with a spatula, you can remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
Casting the pie
- Take the dough out and let it come to temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Spread it out to a thickness of 2 mm and place it in a pie circle.
- Tickle the edges and chill for a few minutes.
- Take the remaining 4 apples, cut them in half and then into thin strips. Sort them roughly according to their size.
- Remove the tart from the fridge and spread the compote on the bottom. Arrange the apple slices starting from the outside. This step is quite long and can take 15-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with sugar and arrange slices of butter.
- Bake for at least 1 hour at 170°C.