Mrs. Perotti’s Apple Pear Pie Cake

I have never met anyone yet who has eaten an apple pear pie cake. This dessert seems confused about its identity, but it is not exactly a cake and in many ways not like a pie!

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I believe this unique recipe originates from my childhood neighbor, Mrs. Perotti, and I’ve been making it ever since! ¬†The¬†apple-pear mixture combined with the layers of soft dough creates so many wonderful flavors.. I hope you’ll give it a try!

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It’s been such a long winter, so let’s say farewell to the cold weather for good with the last of our winter produce. Strawberries and peaches will be showing their colorful faces on this blog before you know it!

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The types of apple and pears you use is completely up to you. I like to use a mixture of Granny Smiths, which add a wonderful tartness, combined with some sweeter apples like Cortland or McIntosh.¬† Similarly for the pears, ¬†Bosc and D’Anjous tend to keep their shape, while the addition of Bartletts helps to make a nice sauce.¬†

 

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Apple Pear filling
  • 5-6 (about 2 1/2 lbs) cooking apples (Granny Smith, McIntosh, etc.)
  • 5-6 (about 2 1/2 lbs) pears (Bosc, D’Anjou, Bartlett)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter

Peel the apples and pears until you fill a 3 1/2 quart pot.  It will cook down to about 7 to 8 cups of filling.  Add the sugar and butter.  Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  While the fruit mixture is cooking, make the dough. By the time you finish the dough, the apple-pear mixture should be ready!

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Pie cake dough
  • ¬†4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (cold)
  • 2 eggs
  • Milk – add to eggs to make 1 cup total
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the dough, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. ¬† Chop the butter (make sure it’s cold!) into small pieces. ¬†Using a pastry dough cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have pea-size chunks of butter.

In a liquid measuring container, crack the two eggs and add milk (2% or whole) until you have one cup of liquid total.  Add the vanilla.  Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture.  Mix with a fork until fully combined.

The dough will be pretty soft, but the first goal here is to make the bottom layer of the pie cake. We want to roll out about 2/3 of the dough and place it in the bottom of a 11″ x 17″ jelly roll pan. (The remaining 1/3 will be used for the lattice topping).

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Depending on how comfortable you feel handling the soft dough, you have a couple of choices.  No matter which method works best for you, use lots of flour to keep the dough from sticking to your counter surface! You could roll the dough in one piece on a silicone pad and transfer it to the jelly roll pan. But I find it easier to make the bottom layer in two parts. I overlap them slightly in the middle of the pan and press them together.   Trim the excess dough around the sides of the pan.

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Add the hot filling carefully over the dough in the jelly roll pan. (It should have cooked down to about 2/3 of the original volume). Be careful as the dough can rip easily.  The filling should be slightly runny, but you may not want to use all of the juice, as it will make the dessert too soggy.

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Next, roll out about half the remaining dough. It best to roll it into a rectangle about 20 – 24″ long and about 6 – 8″ wide.¬† Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into about 1/2″ strips.¬† Lay the strips on the diagonal over the fruit filling, with about 1/2″ spaces between them.

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Repeat the process with the remainder of the dough, and place the strips perpendicularly to create a lattice.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350F until the crust is a golden brown.¬† Let it cool for about 30 minutes for the ultimate experience.¬† It is best when still slightly warm on the inside with the crisp crust on the outside…MMmmmm

You can also kick it up a notch with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream…enjoy!

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