I’m contemplating. Am I really against Christmas preparation in November or not? It looks like I should have an opinion. On one hand I can agree, we should focus what’s currently on. It’s still autumn, so we can talk about apple pies, hearty soups and stews. We will have whole December and probably beginning of January to talk about Christmas, won’t we? But on the other hand I love Christmas lights and Christmas cakes and I don’t really shop too often, so I can easily ignore the marketing part of the fuss.
So this year I decided in favour of not showing any Christmasy recipe before December. Instead here it is an apple pie with hazelnut crust. It’s not perfect, I was baking from a half of portion, but I used too big pan, so the cake came out too low. I ran out of icing sugar, so I couldn’t sprinkle it over the top, but still the hazelnut crust is so worth trying.
For 23 x 33 cm pan
- 1 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 2 1/3 plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 230g butter, cold and diced
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1kg apples, peeled and sliced finely
- juice from 1 lemon
- 40g butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1 Tbsp corn or potato starch
- plus 2 Tbsp dried bread crumbs
- 3 egg whites
- 100g caster suga
Grind the hazelnuts finely in a food processor. Add flour, baking powder, spices, icing sugar. Stir together.
Add butter, egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix until you get a smooth dough.
Cover the dough with cling film and chill it in a fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Mix apples and lemon juice.
In a big pan put butter, cinnamon and brown sugar over a medium heat until the butter will melt.
Add apples and cranberries and stir.
Simmer until most of the juices will evaporate (around 10-15 minutes). Save 2-3 tablespoons of juice and mix them with corn/potato starch and add just to apples before taking the mixture of the heat.
Leave it to cool.
Line 23 x 33 cm pan with parchment paper.
Spread the dough out evenly with your hands covering the bottom of the pan (you may try to roll it out, but mine was too crumbly)
Sprinkle it with dried breadcrumbs.
Spread the apples at the top.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks, then add gradually the sugar.
Spread the mixture atop of apples.
Break the rest of the crust into small pieces and spread it on the top.
Bake in 175ºC for 50 minutes or until golden.
Let it cool.