What?! An apple pie that takes 2 days to make? Who’s crazy enough to do that? Well, Michel Richard for one and uhm…me. What can I say? I’m a sucker for this particular baked treat. When yet another apple pie recipe promises to be the best one and has a technique I’ve never tried, I get “sucked” in. (Though 2 days is an exaggeration and most of the time spent is waiting.)
The problem with fruit pies is the soggy bottom crust that naturally occurs when fruit juices start soaking up the prized bottom layer that supposedly supports the pie. I have successfully addressed this issue before by letting the apples macerate with the sugar and by boiling the juices down further. Additionally, I fill the apple pie and then refrigerate it until the fruit-mixture is well-chilled. This guarantees that the crust cooks first before the filling does, thus assuring a firmer crust.
So why, when a more complex recipe comes along, do I even want to try it?
Which killed the cat, if I remember.
I will state off the bat that I was not impressed with the result. I was rebelling with the recipe starting with the 12 fuji apples it required (though I think it was partly the thought of skinning 12 apples), not to mention that it was quartered and not sliced thinner than what I am used to. I really wonder how small were the apples used to test the recipes. Another glaring issue I saw was the low temperature used to cook the pie.
I have utmost respect for Monsieur Richard, because dining at his restaurant, Citronelle, has been one of the few brilliant fine dining experiences I savor unto this day.
He is a great storyteller in his new dessert book, “Sweet Magic”, which I enjoyed reading cover to cover on one chilly night while sipping a steamy cup of chocolat chaud.
I was disappointed in my execution of this recipe and realized I have a disconnect with the great maestro of whimsical cuisine.
My bottom crust, despite being par-baked, tasted like plain “floury” dough. I had quite the amount of leftover apples and I did cut thinner to lessen the chunkiness. The taste of the filling was good – not too sweet- but failed to justify the time spent to make the entire pie. I do not know how to describe the top crust whether it was too flaky or too delicate for a robust and homey dessert like apple pie.
Maybe one of you will have better luck. Please let me know.