Pie in a Cake

Pie in a Cake

An Apple Cream Cheese Pie and a Rhubarb Crumble Pie baked inside two layers of Spice Cake, covered in Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and garnished with Salted Candied Pecans…

 

Step 1: Make the Pie Dough (or skip this step if you’re using store bought dough…) 

All-Butter Pie Crust (yields 2 crusts):

·         2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

·         1 tablespoon granulated sugar

·         1 teaspoon salt

·         1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

·         4-6 tablespoons ice water

 

Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, and place in your food processor.  Scatter the cold butter over the flour, and pulse the food processor a few times until mixture is crumbly, with some pieces of butter the size of peas (or instead of using a food processor, you can cut the butter in with a pastry cutter).  Don't over process the mixture.  When the dough bakes, the water will evaporate from the butter, creating little steam pockets in the crust, which is what gives it a nice flaky texture.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse a few times.  Add more water, a little at a time, until the dough starts to pull together.  Stop, turn the mixture out onto a work surface, and gather it all together.  It should be pretty thick and a little sticky. 

Divide into 2 equal balls and flatten the balls into a round disk with your hands, then wrap each tightly in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Step 2: Make the Pies 

Apple Cream Cheese Pie:

·         All-butter pie crust (1 crust)

·         4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

·         2 tablespoons granulated sugar

·         2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

·         1 egg, yolk and white separated

·         3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

·         1 teaspoon cinnamon

·         ½ teaspoon ginger

·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

·         ¼ teaspoon cloves

·         ¼ cup brown sugar

·         1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and egg yolk for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth.  Set aside. 

In a separate bowl, toss the apple slices with the other tablespoon cornstarch, spices, brown sugar and lemon juice.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle measuring about 10 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick.  Place the dough on the baking sheet.  Spread the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a two-inch border all around.  Arrange the apple slices on top of the cream cheese. 

Fold the edges of the dough up, overlapping every two inches, and pressing the edges together.  Using a pastry brush, brush the egg white all around the edges of the galette, making sure to get it under the folds of dough to help them seal.  The pie should be 8 inches in diameter

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 for and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crisp.  Cool completely. 

 

Rhubarb Crumble Pie:

·         All-butter pie crust (1 crust)

·         3 cups rhubarb, chopped

·         ½ cup granulated sugar

·         3 tablespoons cornstarch

·         1 tablespoon lemon juice

·         1 egg white

·         2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced

·         4 tablespoons brown sugar

·         4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with the granulated sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Set aside. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle measuring about 10 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick.  Place the dough on the baking sheet.  Pile the rhubarb onto the dough, leaving a three-inch border all around.

Fold the edges of the dough up, overlapping every two inches, and pressing the edges together.  Using a pastry brush, brush the egg white all around the edges of the galette, making sure to get it under the folds of dough to help them seal. 

In a bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and flour with a fork or pastry cutter until moist and crumbly.  Sprinkle over the rhubarb.

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 for and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crisp.  Cool completely. 

 

 

Step 3: Prepare the Cake Batter and Bake the Pies inside the Cake

Spice Cake:

  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix, along with the ingredients called for (I like to add vanilla extract, and substitute milk, buttermilk or sour cream for the water for more flavor.)
  • Apple Cream Cheese Pie, cooled
  • Rhubarb Crumble Pie, cooled
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, for soaking into the cake


Preheat the oven to 325.  Spray the bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans (with 3-inch high sides) with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper also.  Set aside.

Mix the cake mix according to instructions on the box.  Place the apple pie (face up) in one cake pan and the rhubarb pie (face up) in the other cake pan, on top of the parchment paper.  Pour the batter over the pies, spreading it out so it covers the pies evenly.

Bake until cake is cooked through in the center, which may take anywhere from 35-50 minutes.  After 30 minutes, begin checking the center with a toothpick every five minutes.  Set cake pans on a wire rack.  Poke several holes (8-10) in the tops of the cakes, and drizzle the caramel sauce over, letting it soak into the cake.  Cover the cakes loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.

 

Step 4: Make the Salted Candied Pecans 

Candied Pecans:

·         1 pound (about 3 cups) unsalted pecans

·         Heaping ½ cup granulated sugar

·         1 egg white

·         ½ tablespoon vanilla

·         1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt

·         ½ teaspoon cinnamon

·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

 

Preheat the oven to 300.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with non-stick spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg white, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the pecans (inspecting them to be sure they’re free of shells) and stir with a spatula to thoroughly coat the nuts.  Spread in a single layer onto the baking sheet. 

Bake for 20 minutes.  Lift the foil off the pan and place on the counter to cool completely before breaking into smaller pieces.

You may not use all of the pecans to garnish the cake, so store any leftovers in an airtight container. 

 

Step 5: Make the Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Brown Sugar Buttercream

Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Brown Sugar Buttercream:

·         8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

·         1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

·         1 cup brown sugar

·         4 cups powdered sugar

·         2 tablespoons meringue powder

 

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean paste and brown sugar together until well combined, 2-3 minutes.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar and meringue powder until combined, then increase to medium and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.

 

Step 6: Assemble and Frost the Cake: 

Remove one of the cooled cakes from the pan, peel off the parchment paper and place on a cake pedestal or serving plate.  Frost the top of the cake with a ¼ inch thick layer of the frosting.  Sprinkle with a handful of candied pecans (chopped as big or small as you like).

Place the second layer of cake on top and frost all over with a thin crumb coat of frosting.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then frost with the final layer of frosting. 

Garnish with the candied pecans, and if desired, drizzle with caramel sauce.

Serve and enjoy! 

 

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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