Apple Pie-in-the-Sky

Taking the apple pie to heights never before seen!

Apple pie-in-the-sky with apple cider jelly

Man, this truly almost became a pie-in-the-sky project! I’ve been thinking of apples and how to use them in the Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Challenge and as Nate hinted at in yesterday’s Mulled Apple Cider Konnyaku post, this was supposed to be part of that post.

Why wasn’t it part of the post? Well, obviously there were some hiccups so we had to problem-solve the issues and thankfully, it all worked out and here it is now today. Better late than never!

Think Outside the Cone

I absolutely love pies and wish there were pie shops here in Kuching. We Malaysians love dessert and yet, I feel that pies have not really caught on here whereas in the US, you will find pies sold everywhere! I especially miss good fruit pies like apple pies, blueberry pies, fresh strawberry cream pie to name a few. What do you do when you can’t get them here? Well, make them yourself I guess!

And I have. Especially with apple pies (because thankfully, we can buy apples here for a reasonable price whereas berries are just way too prohibitive in price to consider making into pies). So far, I’ve experimented with four different pie recipes and am still on the lookout for the best one.

For today’s post, I had to think outside the cone to bake the crust and the filling since the Royal Selangor Jelly Mould cannot be used in baking.

The base was made by cutting a circle of pie crust that was wider than the base of the mould and folded around to get a higher edge. I still wanted to create a lattice top for my apple pie so what I did was to crumple up some aluminium foil inside the mould to get the shape of the mould.

Making foil cones

Then I wrapped some parchment on the outside of the mould and stapled it. This I slipped on top of the moulded foil. I made two of them so that I could bake two pies.

Apple Pie-in-the-Sky Crust Recipe

adapted from The Best Recipe
Prep time: 1 hr / Total time: 4 hrs
Ingredients
(makes 2 pies for the Royal Selangor moulds with leftovers for some turnovers and another Banana Cream Pie)

12.5 oz all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting dough and work surface
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 Tbsp all vegetable shortening, chilled
6-8 Tbsp ice water

Method:

1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Scatter butter and shortening pieces over the flour mixture, and rub it in with your fingers until it resembles coarse, sandy meal. You should not have any butter pieces that are bigger than a pea.

2. Sprinkle 6 Tablespoons ice water over mixture. Fold the water in quickly to the mixture using a spatula until the dough just comes together. If the dough is not coming together, add the remaining water. Divide dough into two balls and flatten each into 4-inch-wide disk. Dust disks lightly with flour, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.

3. Sprinkle some flour unto your work surface (adding more as necessary). *Roll one disk out (save the other for another open faced pie), starting from the center of the disk and working your rolling pin outwards, until you get about an even 1/8 inch thickness. Using your Royal Selangor Jelly Mould as a guide, cut out two bases which are about 1/2 inch wider than the mould base. Fold the outer layers in to form a double layered wall around the circle. For the lattice tops, cut out 12 strips of dough (long enough to drape from one side to the other over the top of the mould). Lay three strips on each parchment mould replica to form the vertical lines. Lifting alternate strips of the vertical dough, use a short strip to create the first horizontal circle at the top (joining the ends together). For the second horizontal layer, lift the alternate vertical strips to create a weave design. Finish by laying the last longest horizontal circle near the base, again lifting the first set of vertical strips. Repeat with the second mould.

Apple Pie in the Sky lattice

4. Preheat the oven to 210 C or 425 F. Brush the lattice dough with an egg wash mixture to give it some shine. Weigh down the base doughs with some heavy duty foil (and some pie weights if you have them). Bake for 12 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool before assembling the pies.

*I find that when making a regular pie crust, rolling out the dough between two plastic wraps is best as you don’t need to use too much flour (which will make the dough less flaky). This also helps to ease transferring the dough to your pie plate when you’re making pie crust—just remove the top plastic, pick up the dough with the bottom plastic wrap attached, flip over on to your pie plate and remove the bottom plastic.

Think Inside the Cone

As for the filling, I had to pre-cook the apples as I could not bake them in the crust. This is where we faced our hiccup. I had chopped up some Granny Smiths and Galas and cooked that with some butter, spices, brown sugar and apple juice. To thicken the filling, I had used some tapioca starch.

I was confident that once I put them into the mould and refrigerated them, they would stay put. Nate was more dubious and thought this could become an issue. I, however, brushed his concerns aside and confidently placed them in the mould (lined with plastic wrap). Several hours later when the crusts had baked up beautifully, we took the filling out only to find they were soft and unable to hold their shape.

You know the saying, ‘pride comes before a fall’? Yeah, that’s me. I should have listened to Nate when he was expressing his doubt. So, it was already 8pm and the pie filling wasn’t ready. I frantically mulled over my options. I could stick the whole thing into the freezer and get it into shape that way but then how would we eat it?

Then I thought, GELATINE! Yes, we will cook it over and add some gelatine. So we did and this time, I prayed hard and hoped for the best. I removed the filling from the mould, placed it back in a pot to reheat and using an extra ¼ cup water, I added 3 teaspoons of gelatine to bloom in the water and then mixed that into my pie filling.

Thankfully, that did the trick and about 2 hours later (using the freezer to hasten the setting), we had our pie filling well formed and staying put. It was beautiful!

Apple pie filling on bottom crust

Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Ingredients

3 small Granny Smith (green) apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ½ inch cubes
2 small Gala (red) apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ½ inch cubes
2 oz butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp sweetened cranberries (optional)
pinch of ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup apple juice
3 tsp gelatine powder
1 Tbsp tapioca/corn starch

Method:

1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the chopped apples and stir till the apples are coated in the butter and are starting to turn a little opaque.

2. Add in the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and cranberries. Stir them in until sugar has dissolved. Mix apple juice with corn starch and then sprinkle gelatine powder on top. Wait till gelatine has bloomed then stir the apple juice to combine. Add the juice to the apples and stir to thicken the apples and ensure that all the gelatine has dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool.

3. Line the Royal Selangor moulds with plastic wrap and then spoon the filling into the moulds until full. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 3-4 hours in the fridge, or 1.5-2 hours in the freezer.

Apple Pie in the Sky filling

4. Assemble pie: Remove filling from moulds and carefully peel off the plastic from the base. Place the base crust over the uncovered filling and turn over and set on a plate. Carefully remove the rest of the plastic wrap from filling. Place the lattice top crust over the filling. Serve with some ice cream or whipped cream if you wish.

Topping Apple Pie in the Sky

Was it worth it?

Oh yes, the crust is definitely to-die-for good. And the filling reminded me very much of fried apple pie filling. Nate and I devoured one whole pie late at night (which I, of course, regret today as eating late and then going straight to sleep is never a good idea!).

Apple Pie-in-the-Sky with Mulled Apple Cider Jelly

Apple pie-in-the-sky with apple cider jelly

So, please enjoy this recipe if you have the Royal Selangor moulds and would like to create a different kind of apple pie. For a regular apple pie recipe, please wait as I continue to tweak mine for the bestest apple pie possible (though I believe this is THE crust to use).

Enjoy!

Cheers, Annie

Breast Cancer Management: Stage 0, 1 and 2 cancers are considered early breast cancer and the primary treatment is surgical. Breast conservation surgery does not involve loss of the breast, but it is suitable only for small tumours less than 4 cm. Early detection is key. For more information, please visit the Breast Cancer Welfare Association of Malaysia website.

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Winston says:

    I really like how you guys went to extra lengths for this one, it looks fantastic! I’d really love to devour that glorious tower of apple pie and savour all of its goodness if I can. Again, I really commend your efforts on this! I’m sure the final reward of eating it was nothing short of gratifying =)

  2. Alaiyo Kiasi says:

    When I saw “House of Annie” in my e-mail, I rushed to open it, because I knew there would be something amazing inside. Still, I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. That’s some feat of kitchen physics getting that apple pie vertical. This has been such a fun experience seeing what you both will come up with next during this challenge!

    Alaiyo
    (Big Fan)

  3. Wow! Great effort (literally, it seems)! I love apple pie and would have never thought of making it this way!

  4. sophia says:

    omg omg omg!!! That is just TOO awesome!!! Pie crust is hard to make and you actually created a delicate cage out of it. Damn you’ve got skills!!

    • Annie says:

      Hehehe–thanks for those kind words Sophia. Actually, I broke one of the cages–they are really delicate things. Thankfully, the other one held up. So far, I’ve been very fortunate. Some of my ideas are way crazy. I’m just grateful they’ve all worked.

  5. Louise says:

    Are you bringing your Apple Pie in the Sky to the Cookbook Party Annie? Please say yes because I’ve just entered it, please! It looks heavenly!!! Wow! You sure did think outside everything this time!!!

    I better go check my email right away.

    Thank you so much for sharing…simply incredible!

  6. babe_kl says:

    You guys are incredibly creative! It’s certainly a nice 3D effect apple pie

  7. Pam says:

    Wow! A apple pie tower! I’ve never seen anything like it. Great job!

  8. lynn says:

    Great, creative idea :) I just stopped by from Louise’s cookbook party. Fun..

Leave a Reply




About Us

My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

Learn more about us by clicking here: About House of Annie.

Find and Follow Us

Follow House of Annie on Twitter

Shop Amazon and Support HoA

Some posts have links to products sold on Amazon.com. House of Annie receives a few cents on the dollar when someone follows the links and buys a product. Thanks for your support!