Honestly, there is NOTHING better than combining two awesome and much loved recipes to create a simply outstanding dish!! Take for example, the principal subject of this post...
Fine, granted, it really came about because of some, well.... errr... not so great an outcome of first recipe. But, hey, serendipity has been the sole fuel of innovation so often! I mean remember the story of the tarte tatin, which, came about as a mask of a failed pastry attempt?!
So! I am betting that my Apple Pie Pudding will go down in the anals of food history as an accident that was simply waiting to happen! And, when it did, brought greater joy than either pie or pudding could have in of themselves....
Ummm.. OK. Here is what happened. I have been experimenting with different flours since well, it is interesting and I am a closet geek. Also, I am wheat allergic. Recently, I decided to test what wheat I am intolerant to. And, I have reading about how heritage strains of grain may not trigger the same issues as the mass produced, yield enhancing GMO versions (note: I am not against GMO, and that is whole other discussion. This reference is only to the current seed version that has an enlarged kernel and rather thin covering over it).
Einkorn has been one of those much talked about ancient wheat varietals that supposedly is less trigger happy than regular all purpose flour. The richness of its structure that extends beyond the starchy kernel is its main endearing quality. It is also said to have lower gluten, which, is the crux of this post. The current strain of industrially cultivated wheat is high on kernel ratio as well as gluten (I don't know if there is a correlation there but it is what it is), to maximise all those amazing qualities we love in our breads and pastries. Now, most gluten intolerant people, therefore should be better able to synthesize einkorn.
As it happens, and with only anecdotal evidence, I can say, that for me, it does stretch the limits of my tolerance. The only problem is that it is more dense and less glutenous. Therefore, it because markedly unlike regular flour. Think, low rise and less flaky.
So, when I decided to make apple pie, using the regular pie recipe, meaning, usual fat, flour, liquid ratio. I ended up with nor a flaky airy pastry but rather something closer to a cake crust!
So, from there it was a short leap to making pudding. I have to say, this was the best 'bread' pudding I have ever made! All the butter in the crust simply melted into delicious when soaked in egg and milk. It was the lightest, airiest, supple bread pudding I have tasted. And, the little pieces of apple that dotted through it all like fairy crumbs was simply delicious.
Now that I made this version, I know the secret lies in the inbetween nature of the einkorn pie crust, that is between a cake and a flaky crust. Basically, denser than cake and fuller than a pastry crust.
Apple Pie Brandied Einkorn Pudding
For the pies:
2 fuji or macintosh apples
1-1/2 cups einkorn flour
6 T cold salted butter
4-5 T cold milk
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp potato starch
3 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice
For the pudding:
2 small eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
3 T maple syrup
3 T Brandb
Preheat the oven to 400F.
First make the pies. I made them into two 4 inch pies but you can make one large one. To make the crust dough, sift together the einkorn flour and baking soda. Rub butter into the mix to make a crumbly meal texture.
Whisk together egg and milk and pour into the dry mix. Working quickly, without kneading, bring the ingredients into a dough. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the crust rests, peel, core and slice apples. Toss them with lemon juice, sugar, starch and nutmeg.
When the oven is ready, generously dust the counter. Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Roll out the larger disc to fit the base of your pie pan.
Pile in the apple filling. Roll out the smaller portion of dough to fit over the filling. Crimp and seal the edges. Score the center to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with egg wash or milk.
Bake for ~30 minutes until golden and crusted on top. Cool on rack. You can refrigerate or freeze the pies once completely cooled.
To make the pudding, chop the pie into 1 inch cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, brandy and maple syrup. Soak the pie pieces in the mixture for 15 minutes.
Transfer to a buttered baking pan or deep dish. Bake for 35 minutes at 400F until fluffed and browned on top.
Cool for a few minutes and serve warm with vanilla ice cream!