Friday, January 18, 2013

Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream & Maple Caramel

This is a riff on an all-American composition from Bill Yosses.  The three elements of apple pie, a tart ice cream and a garnish of maple caramel turn out to be a very harmonious pairing.

I mentioned in my last post that I always have lemons available in my kitchen and I feel the same way about apples.  Apple desserts are among my favorite and who doesn't love apple pie?  This one is topped with a cinnamon streusel like the American version of Dutch Apple Pie.  The Sour Cream Ice Cream adds that creamy and luxurious mouthfeel and a nice tart contrast to the sweet notes.  The Maple Caramel is a layer of buttery maple gooeyness with a hint of salt.  It's a good old fashioned American festival on a plate.

This is Yosses' wonderful concept but I altered the recipes a bit for easier home production and a bit less richness.  I use a simple butter dough that can be made in a food processor and eliminated the eggs from the ice cream.  I also thought the maple caramel sauce was too sweet, so I reduced the brown sugar and added some vanilla and a slight splash of brandy, just for fun.

This does take some preparation but each component is very simple, takes just a few minutes for each and can be staged over a few days to make assembly fairly easy.  This is a super delightful way to enjoy apples, ice cream and caramel!

On another note, I keep forgetting to say I've joined twitter and Pinterest.  If you're there as well, please let me know how to find you so I can follow you.  Thanks! 

Bench notes:
- To stage this out over 2 - 3 days, make the ice cream and store in your freezer.  Make the streusel and store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 days ahead.  Prepare the pastry dough the morning you expect to bake or the night before.  Prepare the apples and caramel just before baking.
- I used Fuji apples.  Since apples bake down a bit, mound them slightly as you place them in the pie shells.
- If you prefer, make the pie in a regular pie dish or tart pan rather than individuals.  You'll want to use more apples (probably twice the amount here) and would need to increase the baking time.
- I eliminated the egg yolks, added more sugar (about 2/3 cup total) and about 1/8 teaspoon salt to Yosses' ice cream.  If you don't have a vanilla bean, add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or do as I did and leave it out entirely.  So the idea here is to taste as you whisk it together and adjust to your own preferences on all these dimensions.  If you prefer to make Yosses' custard style recipe, he uses 4 yolks and cooks it using the usual method.  The sour cream is added last to the cooked custard.
- Substitute your favorite vanilla ice cream if you don't have an ice cream maker.
- Yosses plates this dessert with a small nibble of honeycomb and 2 cheeses: Toma Celena, an Alpine-style rich and nutty hard cheese, and Colby, a soft and mild cheese.  Both are made from cow's milk.

Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream & Maple Caramel
Makes 6 servings and about 1 1/2 pints of ice cream

Sour Cream Ice Cream

2 C sour cream
1 C half-and-half
1/2 C sugar [I used about 2/3 C]
1/2 vanilla bean [I left this out]
pinch salt [my addition]


1/3 C flour
2 T sugar
2 T dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 t cinnamon
1 1/2 oz (3 T) cold butter
pinch salt, to taste

Pastry Dough

1 C flour
1 1/2 t sugar
1/8 t salt
3 oz cold butter
1/4 C cold water

Maple Caramel

2 oz butter
2 T dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t brandy (optional)
pinch salt, to taste

Apple Filling

1 lb (2 very large) apples
2 T sugar
1/2 t flour
pinch cinnamon
1 t lemon juice

For the ice cream, whisk together the sour cream, half-and-half, sugar and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean (if using).  Add salt, to taste.  Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Churn according to your machine's instructions.  Pour into an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.

For the streusel, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt.  Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.  Toss the mixture, coating the butter with flour.  Rub the mixture together with your fingers until the butter is roughly worked into the dry ingredients, pinching it here and there until it collects into clumps and resembles coarse crumbles.  Chill until ready to use.

For the pie dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined.  Cut the cold butter into 1/2" pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse until it looks like very coarse meal with small bits of butter that are about 1/8" - 1/4".  Add the cold water and pulse just until the dough starts to clump.  It will look a bit like small curd cottage cheese.  Do not overmix.  Remove the dough, shape into a flat disc and wrap in a piece of plastic.  Chill for at least an hour.

Place six 3 1/2" ring molds or tartlet pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured piece of parchment or work surface.  Let it sit for a couple of minutes to take the chill off.  Lightly dust the surface of the dough with flour and roll out to about an 1/8" thickness, keeping the work surface and dough lightly floured as needed.  Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Lift each piece into the ring molds or tartlet pans and gently shape to fit closely into all the contours of the pan.  Chill the pie shells until ready to use.

For the Maple Caramel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add brown sugar and whisk to combine.  Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Bring to a boil for two minutes.  Add maple syrup and boil another two minutes, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl.  Add vanilla, brandy (if using) and salt, to taste.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core apples.  Cut into 1/4" slices and then cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces.  Place in a bowl and toss with the sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Add the lemon juice and toss to coat.

Nestle the apples into the pie shells until they are slightly mounded.  Top each pie with streusel.  Place the pies on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the fruit juices are bubbling and the pastry has slightly browned.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of maple caramel.


Kate said...

Flaky pastry, subtly spiced fruit, tangy ice cream AND salty caramel.. all in diminutive portions.
The presentation is delightful and luxurious.
You've outdone yourself again.
My wanderings to your Friday postings always gives me visual pleasure... now, if technology could deliver scent-a-vision and taste-a-nation I'd camp right here until next Friday! :)

pastry studio said...

Your presence is always welcome, Kate! I'm with you on that scent-a-vision and taste-a-nation bit. If only!


Foodiewife said...

What a beautiful presentation. I'm intrigued by the sour cream ice cream. I'm a sucker for anything with caramel, and I love this dish!

Stephane in AK said...

This is gorgeous; I would be most delighted for the opportunity to devour it!

pastry studio said...

Debby, caramel is one of the most important and delectable flavors in all of pastry! I love it.

Stephane, wish I could have served you a plate as I had 2 extra!