Saturday, February 27, 2010

Apple Pie Tiramisu, Daring Bakers Feb 2010

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.
I know some of you might be completely mortified by how much I've strayed from the traditional tiramisu here. As soon as I saw what the challenge was going to be this month I thought about making a lovely traditional tiramisu (a dessert which I love), but I could make a regular old tiramisu any day of the year, and this was for Daring Bakers! I had to go a little crazy.
I tossed up several ideas, but time and money constraints reined me in. I thought about doing a dark chocolate and raspberry tiramisu with butterscotch schnapps, or a strawberry margarita tiramisu with lime juice and tequila soaked ladyfingers and strawberry mascarpone served in a cocktail glass with a sugar/salt crusted rim. But I was determined to get this dessert prepared for our annual family Chinese New Year's Ever dinner...and this recipe really does require a whole lot of prep. So I kept it simple. But tasty. Apple pie and tiramisu, two favourites, two classics....together in one dessert, by using apples cooked until tender with butter, sugar & cinnamon, and a sprinkling of apple pie crust on top. And all of us were really surprised by how tasty it was in the end.
I usually hate recipes that require this many separate elements and so much prep and chilling time. I like things you can bung in the oven once and be done with. It seemed like a huge shame to make this beautiful zabaglione and then mix it up with all these other creamy things so it was lost amongst it all. But then I made it, and it was soooooo good. For those of you who are tiramisu purists, I don't blame you. But try not to think of this adaptation as ruining a classic, and more that it is taking inspiration and creating something fun and new.
I really enjoyed the flavours and textures, with the soft, sweet ladyfingers that had the lovely scent of brandy, the beautifully smooth and creamy mixture, cinnamon flavoured apple pie mixture and the crunch of the crumble. I might make this again, but hugely cut down the prep time by only using bought mascarpone and cream for the mixture and buying lady finger biscuits.
The mascarpone was easy to make, I've made ricotta before but the mascarpone was a little different. It only thickens when it curdles, so it's not completely obvious that anything has happened after you add the lemon juice. But after chilling it overnight it was lovely, creamy and smooth. The sponge fingers turned out exactly like I imagined, soft and fluffy with a crisp outer layer. The apple pie filling and cinnamon crumble are dead easy to make, and I also used this as an opportunity to finally use our fancy fruit juicer that can take whole apples!
I made two versions of this dessert, as individual sized portions in these amazing glasses. A's Mum brought them back as a present from their trip to Thailand, they have pointy bottoms so they roll around like spinning tops, which looks cool but turned out to be a pain to keep still for photos, haha! I also made a larger one with the leftover ingredients in a loaf tin that was line with cling film so that I could lift it out after freezing it and slice up. It froze beautifully and you could clearly see all the neat layers of sponge, apples and cream. It even tasted great and was really smooth while it was still frozen, like a semifreddo. But I still preferred the individual portions the best, it was the easiest to eat and the prettiest to look at. And the perfect, light way to top off a very heavy meal.
Apple Pie Tiramisu
To assemble the Apple Pie Tiramisu:
Vanilla Pastry Cream
Whipped Cream
2 cups/470ml fresh apple juice
1/2 cup brandy
750g granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup caster sugar
30g butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese (Vera's recipe)
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less) (Check Aparna or Deeba's challenge posts for the recipe, when they get posted)

For the crumble:
85g self raising
60g sugar
30 butter
1 tbsp water for mixing
ground cinnamon

Placed diced apples and butter in a medium saucepan and add sugar and cinnamon. Stirring regularly, cook apples on medium heat until tender and golden. Remove from heat and cool completely. (Can be done the night before and kept in the fridge)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place butter, flour and sugar in a bowl and rub the mixture between your fingertips to combine them. Lift the mixture up high with your hands and let it fall so it traps a bit of air. Add about 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, then gradually add a 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time, while still combining mixture with your fingertips until it starts to clump together in nice crumbly pieces. Spread in an even layer on a lined baking tray and bake until golden, fluffing regularly with a fork. If the bits of crumble are stuck together after removing from the oven, allow to cool completely and then break up using your fingers. Can be stored in an air-tight container until ready to serve.
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice. I prefer using individual serving glasses.
Mix together the apple juice and brandy in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
Now to start assembling the tiramisu. I first used cookie cutters to give each of my round ladyfingers a neat edge, so that it fit well against the side of my serving glasses. Working quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers (or one disc at a time if making individual glasses) in the apple juice mixture, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
Spoon a single layer of cooked apple mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Cove this with one-third of the cream mixture (about two table spoons for an individual dish) , then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. (I only had enough to create two layers) Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight. (I froze my larger tiramisu to make it easier to slice up into portions before defrosting in the refrigerator)
To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cinnamon crumble. Cut into individual portions (or keep in individual glasses) and serve.
Many thanks to Aparna and Deeba for being lovely hosts this month and selecting an awesome challenge recipe!


  1. Your biscuits are so adorable and I love the idea of apple pie in anything! And you made your own apple juice! :D I like, I like...

  2. I always love your creativities. This is indeed a very good twist to the traditional tiramisu. Very well done :)

  3. Ahhh, beautiful! Two of my favourite desserts too =) And love those individual glasses - must be fun to eat out of?

  4. HOLY CRAP!! Talk about thinking outside the square! I love the idea. Hoenstly, who doesn't like apple pie, and combined with tiramisu- ahh Magic. haha did you get the idea from the gelato place? =D

  5. That looks insanely beautiful and delicious! Glad I found your blog :) Will definitely be following it now!

  6. You are a genius Steph!!! Mmmmm I love the apples and cinnamon combo but you've taken them one step further by incorporating them into a tiramisu dessert!

  7. That looks delicious. Wonderful presentation as well :)

  8. Hi Steph - I love the idea of the apple and mascarpone - it looks beautiful in the glass where you can see it all! Great job!!

  9. Who would've thought of marrying apple pie and tiramisu? Great idea, I love both desserts and having them both together would be awesome!

  10. Apple pie in Tiramisu? That would be my kind of dessert. Love both!
    Thanks for baking with us.

  11. What a great flavor choice! I just may have to try that... Beautiful job on the challenge.

  12. I think it's wonderful that you strayed a little from the traditional. It would be boring to see everyone do the same thing. I love your idea!

  13. Beautiful presentation of what I can only dream must be a delicious, delicious dessert. Oh yes, I am dreaming. Great variation on the original!

  14. This is a wonderful and unique take on the traditional dessert! You are obviously very creative. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I bet the apple pie mixture was a nice counterpoint to all the cream. It looks amazing!! I made a traditional one, but my favourite was the raspberry Amaretto version.

  16. Who cares about tradition - these look PHENOMENAL!!! The second I saw these I started craving Apple Pie... yum!! :) They look fantastic as well - lovely presentation :)

  17. I think its great that you stepped outside the square and did something completely different. I love apples and if I had my hands on your dessert it would have been gone like the wind.

  18. Best of everything in a glass. Love your creativity and believe this is the first time I've seen Apple Pie Tiramisu, and I'm loving it!
    It was a pleasure playing host!!

  19. Love creative thinkers, I'd sit down and polish one of those off very easily! :)
    Nice variation!

  20. This sounds really refreshing with the apples. I've never heard of an apple tiramisu before - very creative! I made a raspberry tiramisu.

  21. I sure swear by the classic version but this sounds delicious, great job for being so inventive!

  22. Great idea Steph! I like the idea of combining two great desserts!

  23. The other ideas sound awesome but I loovee apple pie so this is a total winnah for meee ^^! mmmm

  24. wow apple pie tiramisu, sounds so original! it looks yummy too!!

  25. So precious! Apple pie tiramisu must be the ultimate dessert. It looks just amazing!

  26. love this version. my husband would kill to get his hands on something this delicious looking.

  27. Your Apple Pie Tiramisu looks amazing! Great job! And I think your other ideas sound equally awesome - especially the strawberry margarita one! Maybe next time, right? :)

  28. Wonderful, Steph! How good is apple-pie-anything! I like the idea of eating it frozen too, as I used to love eating frozen pie (shhh!).

  29. Wow so creative, you really thought this one through to give it a lovely new angle. Love apple crumble and love tiramisu, talk about a double delight

  30. I love your non-traditional take on the tiramisu! It looks delicious, and so creative!

  31. your biscuit is perfect! i love apple pie, i can imagine this will be just as lovely! well done!

  32. How beautiful! I love tiramisu and I love apple pie, but I would never have thought of combining them. Wonderful job on the challenge and beautiful photos!

  33. Wow I love your creativity on this challenge, I wish I'd done a bit more with it but I'd never made tiramisu before..maybe next time.
    Yours looks beautiful and I certainly bet it was delicious!

  34. Love it! Love both desserts, so I imagine the combo would be awesome! Beautiful presentation as well, I'd definitely pay for that! :)

  35. Two classic desserts in one? Ooh, twice the pleasure! Love the brandy in it, too. ;)

  36. I love your new tiramisu ideas - all your possible flavour combinations sounded delicious! A wonderful reincarnation of the classic - and I love your mini glasses :)

  37. I know you contemplated others but this version looks perfect to me! Great job.

  38. wow.. this looks really good !!! Well done!!

  39. What a great idea, looks delicious!

  40. Your apple tiramisu is simply fabulous! I tried making it a while ago, and it was a hit with my family. Everyone loved it! It also went really well with a cup of hot espresso Please continue to share more great recipes. Kudos!

  41. Karen - Haha thanks! Yeah I feel so guilty everytime I see that expensive juicer, it felt good to use it!

    Ellie - Thank you so much Ellie :)

    mademoiselle délicieuse - The glasses were my preferred way of eating it, much less messy and so pretty!

    linda - Haha no no, I actually got the idea from the Counter Apple Pie Shake! But yes, the gelato is quite similar too!

    Mel - Oh yay! New followers always make me happy :D thank you!

    Trisha - Haha thanks!

    Liz - Thanks so much!

    Trissa - Apple and mascarpone work really well together! Thank you!

    Jacq - Haha only a silly person like me :P Thanks Jacq!

    Aparna - I love both too! Thanks again!

    Kristy Sayer - Thank you! And you're very welcome :)

    shelley c. - Ooh do give it a go, it's really delicious! Thank you :)

    Brenda - Thanks! Glad you don't think it's a travesty :)

    Conor - Haha thanks!

    Donna - Aww thanks so much!

    Memória - Thanks!

    Mary - I think it was, it gave it a good balance. Mmm sounds great!

    Eyes Bigger Than Belly - Hahaha yeah! Screw tradition! Thank you

    A cupcake or two - Thanks! LOL yeah it didn't last very long!

    Deeba PAB - Oh thank you! You were a great host!

    Lisa - They were very easy to polish off! Thanks!

    ap269 - I've seen a couple of apple tiramisu recipes around but I loved the idea of adding a bit of pie crust to the mix! Raspberry tiramisu sounds great!

    Gala - Yeah I think I'm trying to think of it as less of a real tiramisu and just as a completely separate dessert! Thanks!

    Lorraine - Thanks! Haha it's my thing apparently.

    FFichiban - :D yay me too! I'm glad I picked it cos I think it ended up being quite easy!

    chef_d - Thanks so much!

    Lauren - Haha I'm sure there are many other great combinations to invent out there :) Thanks!

    Wic - Try making it! It's really easy if you buy the sponge fingers, apple juice and mascarpone :)

    Jenni - Thanks so much! Haha maybe, that was definitely a close second choice!

    Y - I agree! Dessert taste just as good frozen :) Like sara lee cakes!

    Sara - Thanks! I say, why have just one when you can pack two in :)

    outoftheoven - Thanks so much!

    A Table For Two - Haha I wouldn't go so far as to call them perfect! But thanks, it was tasty :)

    Jenny - Yeah it sounds pretty random but it works! Thank you!!

    Natalie...-I'm sure yours was still fabulous! Wasn't the recipe great? THanks!

    Betty - Haha :) You sound like a masterchef judge! Thanks!

    Carolyn Jung - The brandy worked really well, it was unexpected! Thanks :)

    Lucy - I love the glasses too! I have to stop myself from using them for everything. Thank you!

    Sarah - Aww you're too kind! Thanks so much!

    YW - Thank you!

    Baking Addict - Thanks!

    mike - Thanks! not a fan of the random linkage in your comment though.


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