Baked Apple En Croûte
A few years back, I saw these baked apple delights in an organic Italian bakery. Yummy cold or hot out of the oven, you can count on making a loved one happy with this recipe. I am sure the recipe originated in the Trentino region of Northern Italy where apples are grown and the cuisine is more close to German than Mediterranean. Wouldn’t this make a perfectly original dessert for your Thanksgiving table? For our gluten free friends, we bet your best recipe for gluten free pie dough will work fine, we just didn’t have time to test that for you.
2/3 cup (75g) pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup (60g) golden raisins
2 tbsp (36g) maple syrup or honey
1 tsp (2g) lemon zest
¼ tsp (1g) cinnamon
¼ tsp (1g) nutmeg
6 tsp (60g) apricot preserves
Juice from 1 lemon
Splash of milk
¼ cup (31g) Jovial einkorn flour
1 Tbsp (13g) sugar
½ Tsp (2g) cinnamon
Einkorn Pie Dough
2½ cups (220g) Jovial einkorn flour
2 sticks (227g) butter
1 tsp (8g) sea salt
¼ cup (59g) ice water
In the bowl of a food processor add flour and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add butter and pulse until combined but not over-mixed, you should still be able to see pieces of the butter-chunks, (to mix by hand combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl then cut in butter with a pastry cutter).
With the machine running, add ice water just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky, not more than 30 seconds.
Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together if it’s still too crumbly add a bit more water, one tbsp at a time.
Divide dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen up to a month; thaw overnight in a refrigerator.
In a small bowl, mix together the nuts, raisins, syrup or honey, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and apricot preserves. Set aside until ready to use.
Butter a baking dish big enough to fit all your apples and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a wide, shallow dish combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and set aside.
Zest lemon then extract the juice. Peel your apples and using a pastry brush to coat each apple with lemon juice. Make sure you coat each apple after it is peeled, don’t wait until they’re all peeled before coating with lemon juice or they will start to turn brown. Using an apple corer or melon baller, remove the core of each apple and scoop out some of the meat so there is room for the filling. Fill each apple with filling, making sure to press it into all the nooks and crannies. When all the apples have been filled, roll each one in the flour mixture, making sure it is fully coated.
Take your pie dough from the fridge and remove a piece large enough for one apple (about 85g for a small-medium sized apple, slightly more for a large one). Put remaining dough back in the fridge while you wrap the apple. Roll out your dough into a circle wide enough to accommodate your apple. Place apple in the center of the circle and begin to gather the dough around it. Where the dough comes together, cut off the excess and with a little water, glue the seam together. Be sure your seams are well stuck, or they will split during baking. If, once you have wrapped the whole apple, there is a hole at the top, use some of the extra dough to cover it. Save extra dough for making leaves. Place pastry-encased apple in the baking dish and transfer to refrigerator. Repeat with remaining apples.
Once all the apples have been wrapped, take the extra dough you’ve been saving from the fridge, roll it out, and cut out a leaf for each apple. Remove apples from fridge, make a dimple in the top of each, and adorn each with its leaf. Beat together the egg and the milk and brush each apple with the mixture. Bake for about an hour or until the crust is golden.