Yes, you read that correctly. Apple cake pie. Because why have just a cake, when you can have one inside a pie?! Best of both worlds. I’m definitely one of those people who finds it hard to make a decision when it comes to dessert, and I was really struggling between all these gorgeous dutch apple cakes I keep seeing on insta, and a classic apple pie.
So I put the cake inside the pie, and it is every bit as delicious and indulgent as it sounds. Make this and invite some friends round. Make a big pot of tea, slice up some cake pie, pass around the jug of cream and have a good old catch up. Obviously, apples have to have cinnamon, but I wanted more. So I opted for pumpkin pie spice, which is so much easier than fiddling around with 4 or 5 different jars of spices. It smells absolutely divine while it’s baking. Your house will be filled with the aromas of fall baking and sweet apple. Who needs scented candles when you can smell your cake and eat it too!?
I’ve finally got my photography set up sorted out here in England, so I’ll be coming at you with plenty of delicious goodies! I may have had a sneaky prop-buying trip to Tesco and, unsurprisingly, bought more cocktail receptacles. So there will be no holding back on the festive beverages! You should have seen the look on my parents’ faces when I told them the latest Amazon delivery was a bottle of tequila…
I baked this cake pie using Bramley apples. I don’t know if they have anything similar in the US. They are large, tart, cooking apples and are an old English tradition. Cooking brings out this unique texture in them that is softer and more yielding than a regular eating apple, so they’re perfect here. I’m a real sucker for sour things so I can’t resist eating a few slices raw while I’m cooking. I always used to get told that I would get an upset tummy when I was little, but there was no stopping me. And before you ask, yes, I used to suck lemons too. I was one of those children, the sort that whips around a grown-up drinks party hoovering up all the olives in sight and preferred a pan-fried Dover Sole to a chicken nugget any day.
I really owe my mother a lot in that sense. She went to so much effort to give me a wide variety of food and to develop my palate from an early age. And now she gets to reap the fruits of her labour when I cook! I couldn’t be more grateful, and I think cooking food for someone is one of the most personal ways to show gratitude and thanks.
Spiced Apple Cake Pie
For the pastry
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 sticks butter cold, cut into cubes
For the cake
- 1 stick butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch salt
For the apples
- 1/2 cup sugar (you can reduce this to 1/4 cup if you have sweeter apples)
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 small lemon juiced
- 6 cups diced apples (I used cooking apples, but feel free to use your favourites if you can't get hold of cookers)
To top it
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
To begin, make the pastry by adding the sifted flour, baking powder, pie spice, sugar and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it resembles small breadcrumbs, then add the eggs. Process again until a stiff dough has formed.
Remove the dough from the food processor and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350f, on its convection setting (for more info see notes at the end of the recipe). Next, whip up the cake batter.
Begin with the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat it until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat it again until everything is well mixed (pop the speed up to high if it looks as if it is curdling). Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pie spice and salt. Beat again until the mixture is smooth.
In another bowl, combine the diced apples (I like mine just under an inch) with the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and pie spice. Stir it well to make sure everything is incorporated.
Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform tin (make sure it is high-sided). Once your pastry has sat in the fridge for 30 minutes, take it out and flour your worktop.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry into a large circle, until it is about 1/2 cm thick. Very gently, roll the pastry around the rolling pin and lift it onto the springform. Unroll it, letting it sink into the tin. Carefully, using your fingertips, push it into the nooks and crannies of the tin. Leave the edges hanging over the tin for now.
Alternate tablespoons of the cake mixture with cups of the diced apples until it is all used up. Drape the remaining pastry over the cake, like you would with a galette. Brush the top with a little milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Place the springform onto a baking sheet, and bake for 55-60 minutes. Test the cake by inserting a skewer and checking if it comes out clean.
Regarding ovens! I like to bake using the fan, or convection setting on my oven. This means the heat circulates better so things tend to cook quicker, but also causes the oven to sometimes run a bit hotter. If you are baking using convection, it should take about 55 minutes at 350f. If you are just using your regular oven setting, preheat it to 400f. I would also start checking it at around the 50 minute mark, but it may take towards 65 minutes to cook through. Happy baking!