One of the things I really love, is to host guests for dinner, nibbles or simply drinks (in the best case scenario this all comes together:)).
And even though there are loads of articles written on the subject already (I really like this philosophy), I’m happy to chip in bits of my strategy.
Whenever there are guests coming over, I do truly believe that a cake makes any guest feel special, especially if it is visible on a nice stand somewhere around, even if you will slice into it later.
Also, as a host it is tremendously relaxing to know that there is a dessert or treat around that does not require any last minute work.
This Apple Pie is pretty luxurious due to the almond paste on the bottom and the generous layer of dough, that will actually stay really nice and firm due to the almond paste. The apples are kept unsweetened to make their true colors shine, and are only kept fresh with some lemon juice. With different steps, this cake requires a little work, but has the upside that it holds up very well over the course of at least a week (!). I am not suggesting you leave this cake standing a full week before your guests arrive, but it does give you the flexibility to prepare this the day before.
Even if you’re not having guests over, this cake secretly is so worth it to make and just to have around as a real great treat. The guests might just follow automatically.;)
Apple Pie with a layer of Almond Paste
Dough (⅔ will cover the bottom and sides, ⅓ to be saved for the top)
- 250 grams of softened butter
- 250 grams of soft white sugar
- 500 grams of plain flour
- 6 grams of salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of water (30 milliliters)
- 100 grams of ground almonds
- 100 grams of sugar
- 1 egg
- zest of one lemon
- around 1 kg of apples, peeled, cored and sliced, preferably a tart kind that is crisp and holds up well
- juice of 1 lemon
Start with mixing the ingredients for the dough and knead this into a coherent dough. Wrap this in cling film and let this chill in the fridge while you prepare all the other ingredients (preferably up to an hour). In case you just want to prepare, you can also very well freeze the dough in this stage.
Make the almond paste by mixing all the ingredients. The volume of the paste reduces after being mixed. The almond paste will help the bottom of the cake stay crisp and dry.
For the filling, prepare a large bowl by squeezing the lemon juice into it. This will prevent the apple slices from turning brown once you drop them in there.
Peel, core and slice the apples and make sure they’re covered in a little lemon juice.
Assemble the cake by pressing two-third of the dough into the bottom and sides of a buttered cake tin (or – if you’re playing safe – one that is lined with baking paper). I’ve found that it doesn’t make a difference what shape or size baking form you use. Just make sure the dough is able to cover all and that you have enough apples.
Now that you’ve covered the cake tin with dough, spread out the almond paste on the bottom of it. The paste will be sticky, and just be careful not to damage the dough layer. Roughly spread it out (it doesn’t need to be precise). Pour the apples, including the lemon juice in the cake tin.
Roll the remaining ⅓ of dough in long strands (or as much as your patience can bare), and cover the top of the cake with this in a manner that fancies your liking.
Bake in a moderately hot oven, around 180 degrees Celsius for around 45 minutes or until the cake looks brown and ready. Enjoy!