Thanks to Mise en Place, I was forced to think of a dessert that would go with my class theme of a Sichuan inspired meal and something manageable within two hours alongside “saliva chicken”, dan dan noodles, and a cane and imperata arundinacea soup.
Inspired by a spiced apple baumkuchen (a layered cake originated from Germany) produced by a Yuan Le Cakeshop in Taipei, I decided to try my hands at making a Sichuan-spiced apple pie, and the result was surprisingly good! Here’s the recipe for those who are daring enough to try:
Sichuan-spiced Apple Pie
For the crust
2 ½ cups plain flour
¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks / 225g butter
7 tablespoons sour cream
For the filling
About 4 granny smith apples, cut into ½ inch thickness
½ cup honey
About 6 dried chilies, snipped in half, seeds discarded
About 10 pieces Sichuan peppercorn
Use a 9-inch pie dish
Mix flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream and blend in using on/off turns just until dough forms. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Form each half into a ball; flatten into disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Put in about 10g butter in heated wok. Gently fry dried chilies and peppercorns until fragrant. Add the sliced apples and honey. Gently simmer for about 10 minutes, or until apples soften.
Roll out 1 dough disk between sheets of plastic wrap to 13-inch round. Peel off top sheet; invert dough into 9 1/2-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Peel off plastic. Mound filling in pie dish. Roll out remaining dough disk between sheets of plastic wrap to 13-inch round. Peel off top sheet of plastic and using a dough cutter, cut into strips about 1cm thick. Braid and form lattice to cover the top of the apple pie.
Pinch edges of dough to seal. Trim excess crust. Crimp edges decoratively. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, covering with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour.
Serve with vanilla ice-cream.
Mise en Place is a cooking studio in Taipei opened by my friend Elaine Tsang. I'll be teaching and hosting private events there at irregular intervals. Check her website for more details.
Mise en Place is at no. 10, Lane 295, Dun Hua South Road, Taipei
tel: (02) 2784-7460
Mise en Place by 食旅概念在台北市敦化南路一段295巷10號1樓