I spent a number of years studying the artwork of pie making at Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a beloved bakery situated in Brooklyn, NY. Come fall, clients swiftly turned their consideration to the signature salted caramel apple pie, however I used to be a steadfast fan of their candy potato–apple crumble. Impressed by that mixture, this pie marries candy potatoes and apples with a mixture of spices—together with cinnamon, Chinese language five-spice powder, and white pepper—and generously tops it with a punchy almond and thyme-spiced crumble.
For the apples, I took a cue from Stella, who solely requires tart apples (like Granny Smiths) in her old-fashioned apple pie recipe. Combining apple slices with brown sugar and spices and permitting the combination to macerate for 3 hours reduces its quantity, which implies extra uncooked fruit can match right into a single pie. When baked, Granny Smiths maintain their form properly, ship a barely tart chew, and complement the tender texture of candy potatoes.
With the candy potatoes, I examined a number of strategies to be able to pinpoint one which delivers a comfortable, supple texture. First, I attempted par-boiling entire peeled candy potatoes (the identical methodology employed by 4 & Twenty Blackbirds), which generally resulted in completely tender ones however had been extra typically both inconsistently cooked, with mushy exteriors and uncooked interiors, or fully overcooked. To shorten the cooking time and enhance reliability, I opted to slice the candy potatoes into smaller items that cook dinner by quicker and extra persistently. The result’s crisp-tender items that turn into completely cooked as soon as baked.
A pair different notable strategies I examined for the candy potatoes that didn’t make the lower: Kenji’s method of par-cooking sweet potatoes at low temperatures, which boosts their sweetness, produced ones that had been too candy within the context of this pie; microwaving the sweet potatoes, in the meantime, yielded blended outcomes—whereas the approach works properly for absolutely cooking a candy potato till comfortable and silky, it isn’t almost constant sufficient when the purpose right here is par-cooking.
To complete the pie is a nubby crumble topping, made by combining flour, sliced almonds, sugar, thyme, salt, spices, and a liberal quantity of melted butter. The result’s a show-stopping pie that not solely can be a welcome addition on the vacation desk, however pulls off the outstanding feat of satisfying each apple pie lovers and candy potato pie lovers alike.