Mini Pastry Cream Filled Brioche Doughnuts


 
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut

Hi hi and happy Saturday! I am just popping in here to share this wee recipe with you! I got a deep fryer maybe a few months ago and went on a quest to fry literally everything in sight. It’s great for making all kinds of things, but especially great for mini doughnuts. I made these brioche cinnamon ones a while back and they seemed to be a huge hit, so I figured it was time to try my hand at mini filled doughnuts!

I took my go to brioche dough, and turned it into these super cute wee doughnuts, which I rolled in a bunch of different flavoured sugars. I filled these guys with a vanilla bean pastry cream, which I made a big batch of and split into four, and flavoured it with something a wee bit new and exciting - Heilala Vanilla’s new infused Vanilla extracts! If you’ve been round here for a while you know what a massive massive fan I am of Heilala and their products - not only is it the most amazing vanilla in which they control production from growth to product, but it is run by the most amazing people who are making such a huge effort to give back to the kingdom of Tonga where their first vanilla orchids were planted. Heilala started a kickstarter to fund their new line of extracts a few weeks back, and there is just one week to go, so if you can, pop on over and pledge - you are going to want to get your hands on some of this amazing extract, as it is a total game changer. I’m so excited to play around with it a little more!

For these dougnuts, I divided the filling once it was made, and stirred through some of Heilala’s infused extracts. I ended up going with four flavours - the cocoa extract, the coffee extract, the oak aged vanilla extract, and the pumpkin spice extract. I also made up some flavoured sugars to correspond with the filling flavour. I had a little of the oak aged vanilla extract left over so also had a little play with making a strawberry sugar using some freeze dried strawberry powder, and it was so, so so good with the vanilla filling! I finished each off with a tiny garnish - a sprinkle of the flavour of the sugar, just to help tell which was which. The flavoured pastry cream was so unique and delicious, I honestly don’t think that I can decide which one was my favourite. The infused extracts are such an easy way to add a huge depth of flavour to whatever you are making.

These doughnuts would be so perfect for something like a children’s party or event - because they are mini it gives everyone the opportunity to try all of the different flavours. They would also make amazing larger doughnuts - to do this I would follow these shaping and frying instructions.

A few wee tips:

  • Chilled dough is easiest to work with and cut out, so I recommend giving these an overnight rise in the fridge if you can. Alternatively you could roll it out, place it on a sheet pan (you may need to divide it in two), cover with plastic wrap, and pop in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to help firm up

  • I like to make both the brioche dough and the pastry cream the night before to give them time to cool.

  • I divided up the pastry cream after making it and then flavoured it individually. You can definitely only do one type if you want - I would go with the oak aged vanilla, as it pairs perfectly with literally anything.

  • I also made a whole bunch of different flavoured sugars to roll the doughnuts in! You can make these any flavour that you like - basically you just add flavour powder in whatever form (coffee, spices, freeze dried fruit powder etc) to sugar and then use that to roll the doughnuts in.

 

 

Mini Pastry Cream Filled Brioche Doughnuts

- Makes about 45 doughnuts -

Pastry cream adapted from Bouchon bakery

Doughnut dough
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
250g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
4 Tbsp (50g) sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Neutral oil for frying

Vanilla Pastry Cream
132g egg yolks (about 8 yolks)
110g sugar
37g corn starch
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
550g whole milk
27g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Oak Aged Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Coffee Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Cocoa Vanilla Extract

To Finish
500g Sugar, divided into 100g portions
For Vanilla Sugar: add 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder to 100g sugar
For Coffee Sugar: add 1/2 tsp espresso powder to 100g sugar
For Strawberry Sugar: add 1/2 tsp Freeze Dried strawberry powder to 100g sugar
For Pumpkin Spice Sugar: add 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice to 100g sugar
For Cocoa sugar: add 1/2 tsp cocoa to 100g sugar

 

- PROCESS -

DOUGHNUTS

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place overnight in the fridge to rise (see notes).

 

PASTRY CREAM

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. 

In a medium pot, warm the milk and vanilla paste until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil. 

Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. 

Weigh the pastry cream and divide into four if flavouring. Add 3/4 tsp each flavour of Heilala infused vanilla extract to each portion of pastry cream. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of each portion of pastry cream and place in the fridge to cool completely.


FRYING AND ASSEMBLY

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Roll until it is 1/2” thickness.

Using a 1 3/4” round cutter, cut out circles of dough. Repeat until you have cut out all of the dough - scraps can be pressed together and re-rolled. I like to use the scrap ones for the first test fry, as they sometimes turn out a little wonky.

Lightly cover the cut-out doughnuts with plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 45-50 minutes, until puffy. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back.

In the last 15-20 minutes of the doughnuts proofing, heat neutral oil to 350°f / 180°c in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix up the flavoured sugars, if using.

Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough, or your doughnuts you cut from the re-rolled dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, up to six at a time (depending on the size of your pot), into the hot oil. Cook , flipping every 30 seconds, for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts.

Allow the doughnuts to cool completely, then, using a chopstick or paring knife, cut a hole in each doughnut. Transfer the pastry cream to piping bags either with the end snipped off or fitted with a round piping tip.

Fill each doughnut with pastry cream (correspond the pastry cream flavour to the tossed sugar flavour if you are using different flavours of pastry cream), piping a small blob on the top of each. Sprinkle with a corresponding garnish (I used valrhona crispy pearls, pumpkin spice, espresso powder, a little piece of vanilla bean, and a sprinkle of freeze-dried strawberry powder on the strawberry vanilla ones.

Best eaten on the day that they are made.

Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut

Thank you so much to Heilala Vanilla for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel


 
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry

Hi! I’m coming at you with a super simple but crazy delicious Easter brunch (or anytime really) idea - these custard brioche buns, with Mixed Berries Preserves and vanilla bean streusel. It’s no secret that I love anything to do with brioche, but these are next level. Soft, pillowy brioche is filled with a silky vanilla bean custard, then swirled with a touch of preserves, and finished off with a sprinkle of streusel.

The inspiration from this recipe comes from a Scandinavian bakery I visited recently in Brooklyn with a friend. We had a Skolbrod, which is essentially a brioche bun, topped with custard, then finished off with coconut. I instantly knew that I had to recreate it, but couldn’t help adding in a few more elements. I replaced the coconut with a vanilla bean streusel which is sprinkled on before baking so goes beautifully toasty, and finished the buns with a big swirl of Mixed Berries Preserves.

I have partnered with Bonne Maman to bring you this recipe! You have probably seen their gorgeous preserves, jellies and curds in your supermarket - they are super distinctive in their angular jars with the pretty gingham lids. We have been eating their products for years in our house, so I am super excited to be working with them on this post. Their products are everything I look for in a preserve - simple, no fussy ingredients, and a recipe that has stayed the same since they were very first made. They taste just like homemade. I’m a huge fan.

I used Bonne Maman’s Mixed Berries Preserves in this particular recipe. I love the variation of fruit (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and wild strawberries), which goes so well with the custard - it is the perfect finishing touch that brings everything together and takes the buns to the next level. Aside from the Preserves, my other favourite part about this recipe is how easy it is to make ahead. The brioche can be made the day before, doing its first rise in the fridge, which makes the dough super easy to handle. Both the custard and the streusel topping can also be made ahead, and using Bonne Maman Preserves means another component is already done for you too, meaning that the day of baking, all you have to do is shape the buns, give them a rise, egg wash, then sprinkle with streusel, fill with custard, and then finish with the Preserves. They then have a quick spin in the oven and turn into the most perfect buns, which are best eaten straight from the oven. Happy Brunching! x

A few wee tips:

  • This dough is probably a little wetter than you are used to - but I promise you that it will work out. If it really seems super wet and isn’t eventually pulling away from the bowl, you can add an extra tablespoon of flour. Make sure you knead it until it is really soft and stretchy. The sticky dough leads to beautifully soft buns!

  • The first proof can be done overnight in the fridge - I prefer this because it makes the buns much easier to shape.

  • Ideally the custard also needs overnight in the fridge - but you can cool it in a few hours if you need to - just spread it into a shallow container so you have a thinner layer, meaning it cools a bit quicker.

  • I used Bonne Maman’s Mixed Berries Preserves for this particular recipe, but any of their preserves would be beautiful - I also love the raspberry, the apricot, and the blackberry, and I have been eyeing up the peach. If you wanted you could even pick up a few different flavours of the preserves to give a nice variation in both colour and flavour!

 

 

Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla Bean Streusel

- Makes 16 buns -

Brioche Dough
250g whole milk, lukewarm
100g sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
560g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Zest of 2 lemons
2 eggs, at room temperature
1tsp vanilla bean paste
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Custard
80g sugar
50g cornstarch
130g egg yolks (about 7 yolks worth, but ensure you weigh to make sure)
550g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt
40g unsalted butter

Streusel
80g all-purpose flour
60g sugar
40g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
Pinch of salt

For Assembly
One jar of Bonne Maman Mixed Berries Preserve
Egg wash - One egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

 

- PROCESS -

Brioche DOUGH

Place the lukewarm milk, 15g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining 85g sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest, and mix well to combine.

Add the milk mixture and the egg to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 10 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. If you are finding the dough will not pull away from the bowl, add an extra tablespoon of flour.

Flour your hands, remove the dough from the mixing bowl, and quickly shape into a ball. Lightly grease the bowl with butter or baking spray, then place the ball of dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

CUSTARD

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch (this helps the corn starch to stay lump free). Add the egg yolks and whisk well to combine.

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, warm the milk, vanilla bean paste, and salt, until just shy of a simmer. Whisking constantly, pour about half of the warm milk mixture onto the egg yolk mixture, then mix briskly to combine. Add back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and place over a low heat.

Cook the custard, whisking constantly, until thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing until incorporated and lump free. Strain through a mesh sieve into a container, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Place in the fridge to cool completely, ideally overnight.

STREUSEL

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add Vanilla bean paste if using, then add the butter, and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles wet sand. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

ASSEMBLY

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Weigh the dough, and divide into 16 pieces. Cover the pieces you are not working with with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in baking spray.

Shape each piece of dough into a ball, then, using a cupped hand, roll on the work surface until it forms a nice taut ball. Place back under the plastic to rest for 5 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten into a disc, then roll out into a circle approximately 3 inches (7.5cm) in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls - you should be able to fit 8 on each baking sheet.

Cover each baking sheet with a clean tea towel, and leave to rise for about 45 minutes, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Arrange two oven racks evenly in the oven.

Remove the custard from the fridge and whisk briefly to ensure that it has a cohesive texture, then transfer to a piping bag and snip off the end.

Using a measuring cup lightly dusted with flour (I used a 1/3 cup and it was the perfect size), press down in the centre of each circle of dough to create an indentation. Brush each round of dough with egg wash, then pipe a mound of custard into each hole in the buns. I find it easiest to work with one tray at a time, completing the assembly process before moving onto the next to prevent the egg wash drying out.

Smooth down the custard slightly using an offset spatula, then top with about 1 tsp of Bonne Maman Mixed Berries Preserves. Sprinkle the edge of each bun with the streusel, making sure to not get it on the filling. Repeat with the second tray of buns.

Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, swapping the top and bottom trays over and rotating half way through the baking process, until the buns are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating. Best served warm.

Store remaining buns in an airtight container. Warm slightly in the microwave before serving to freshen up the bread and warm up the preserves.

Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry

Thank you so much to Bonne Maman for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust


 
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie

I’ve never really been one to do things by halves - Mum instilled a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality in us from a very young age, which rears its wee head quite often! I have had a couple of pie ideas lurking in my brain for a while now, so figured that the week of pie day would be the best time to just dump them here all at once! I used to find making pie really really stressful, but as I have made more and more throughout the years, it’s come to be something that I find super relaxing - there’s just something about rolling out pie dough and cutting lattice strips that I find so chill.

I’ve done a few flavoured crusts before - this fresh sage one, and an earl grey one a forever ago, but haven’t played round too much with spicing the dough before. I added cardamom and vanilla bean to this dough, then filled the pie with a super simple but delicious sliced apple filling, thickened with a bit of flour and spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. I traded the regular raw sugar for dark brown - the result is a super warming, spiced apple pie. The great thing about adding powdered spices to pie dough is that it doesn’t take any extra work or fancy techniques, but adds a huge dimension to the pie flavour wise. I’m definitely going to be spicing up my pie doughs from now on!

I went a wee bit fancy with the lattice on this guy, but not in a complicated weaving way - I just went with single vertical strips, then added two strips per ‘weave’ horizontally. This worked out super super well - I love how it came out, and looks different to a regular lattice, but really takes the same amount of effort as a lattice that has one strip vertically and one horizontally. It’s always good to remember that when you do a tight lattice like this, you are essentially covering the surface of the pie twice, so you need to make sure you account for this when making your dough. I’ve included the amount of dough I used in the recipe below, along with some changes if you need to scale it back. I love using a pasta cutter to cut my lattice strips because they come out super, super even, so are great for a really tidy lattice. I then finished the pie with a wee braided border, which held up beautifully in the oven - the key to this, I have found, is a long chill in the fridge before you bake the pie off, giving it a good amount of time to set up nicely.

A few wee tips:

  • The recipe for the pie dough I have listed here makes quite a lot - I needed almost all of it for this lattice. If you are making a less complicated top for your pie and just want a standard double crust recipe, reduce the quantities by 1/3 - so you will use 2 1/2 cups flour, and 225g butter, 1 tsp cardamom etc.

  • I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a disc. I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.

  • When I am making a lattice pie I know I will need more dough for the top crust than the bottom, so I usually make one portion of dough bigger than the other when I initially divide it after mixing to account for this. For this dough I split it 1/3 to 2/3. I usually shape the dough for the bottom crust into a disc, and the dough for the top crust into a rectangle which makes for an easy roll-out for cutting strips for lattice.

  • The cardamom in this is subtle enough to provide some warmth, but still definitely there, so feel free to dial it back a little in the filling if you want. I thought it was the perfect balance! It’s epic with vanilla bean ice cream.

  • I popped this pie out of the tin on my IG stories and had loads of questions about how to avoid a soggy bottom - I have found the key to this is a good, solid bottom crust, and baking the pie at a higher temp for the first 20 minutes near the bottom of the oven, which starts to cook the bottom of the pie and also sets the pastry - a tip I borrowed from the four and twenty blackbirds pie book.

 

 

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust

- Makes one 9 inch pie-

Pie dough
3 3/4 cups (540g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp (13g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tsp vanilla bean paste
3 sticks (345g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
1.5kg (3.3lbs) apples, peeled and finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
45g flour
3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste


Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, salt, sugar, and ground cardamom into a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and rub through with your fingers. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Divide the dough into two - I like to do a 1/3 to 2/3 split. Shape the smaller portion into a disc and the larger into a rectangle. If desired, roll out and perform letter folds (see notes) Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

On a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.

Roll out the second piece of dough (the rectangle) into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. If you would like to make a braid, roll a piece of pie dough into a long thin rectangle, cut thin strips, and braid. Place your strips and braids onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll - these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border.

In a large bowl, toss together the apple and lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then drain any excess liquid. Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the apples along with the vanilla bean and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Remember that it will bake down a little, so it is ok for the pie to seem a bit full.

Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. If you are adding stamps, trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish, then glue on the stamps with a little egg wash. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.

Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling. 

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie