Wonderfully warming

Ideally, these desserts should be served straight out of the oven.

Dutch apple pie 521 (photo credit: Amy Spiro)
Dutch apple pie 521
(photo credit: Amy Spiro)
As the weather turns cool and the rain gets heavier, we turn to soups, stews and hearty meals to keep us warm. But can’t dessert do that as well? Here are four delicious desserts that are wonderful served toasty warm.
Chocolate chip pie is my go-to dessert when I’m short on time but want to seriously impress. If you use a frozen pie crust, it can be in the oven in 20 minutes. This pie really needs to be served warm to get that thick, gooey layer of chocolate that sinks to the bottom to melt nicely. Serve with some whipped cream or ice cream for an extra-indulgent touch.
For many people, molten chocolate cake is the dessert of choice from restaurant menus. But there’s no reason not to enjoy it at home as well. With just a few staple ingredients, you can recreate this classic.The mini cakes are best served fresh, but you can also reheat them for about five minutes in the oven, then let stand another five minutes and remove from the pan. This, too, is wonderful when served with ice cream.
A snickerdoodle is a classic, slightly cakey cinnamon and sugar cookie. Those flavors work wonderfully in the snickerdoodle pie, bringing the comforting fall smells and flavors to a sweet, cake-like dish. A sticky caramel topping on the pie leaves it smelling and tasting delicious. Unlike the other desserts, the Dutch apple pie doesn’t have to be served warm, but it’s wonderful if it is. Instead of being topped with another layer of crust, the brown sugar streusel topping adds a sweet and delicious touch. The cornmeal in the topping adds color and texture; but if you can’t find it, just use extra flour.
✔ 1 unbaked pie shell (buy frozen or follow instructions in apple pie) ✔ 2 eggs ✔ 1⁄2 cup sugar ✔ 1⁄2 cup flour ✔ 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar ✔ 3⁄4 cup (170 gr.) butter or margarine, softened ✔ 1 cup (180 gr.) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Beat eggs on high until pale yellow. Add in sugars and flour and continue to mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Cut the softened butter into cubes and add to the dough, beating until no chunks remain.
Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the mixture in an unbaked pie shell and bake at 170°C for 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm.
✔ 1⁄2 cup (55 gr.) butter or margarine, softened ✔ 2⁄3 cup sugar ✔ 6 eggs ✔ 2⁄3 cup flour ✔ 1⁄2 tsp. salt ✔ 450 gr. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Spray or butter a 12-cup muffin pan, then sprinkle with sugar and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Mix in the flour and salt until just combined.
Beat in the melted chocolate until just combined. Divide the batter among the 12 cups. Bake at 200ºC for 12 to 14 minutes.
When you take them out, the outsides should be cooked and pulling away from the sides, and the insides should be shiny and slightly jiggly. If serving immediately, let stand for 10 minutes before removing from pan and serving.
For crust
✔ 1 unbaked pie shell (buy frozen or follow instructions in apple pie recipe below) ✔ 2 tsp. butter or margarine, melted ✔ 1 Tbsp. sugar ✔ 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
For topping ✔ 1⁄2 cup brown sugar ✔ 1⁄4 cup (30 gr.) butter or margarine, softened ✔ 3 Tbsp. water ✔ 2 Tbsp. corn syrup ✔ 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon ✔ 1 tsp. vanilla
For filling ✔ 1⁄4 cup (30 gr.) butter or margarine, softened ✔ 1⁄2 cup sugar ✔ 1⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar ✔ 1 tsp. baking powder ✔ 1⁄4 tsp. cream of tartar ✔ 1⁄2 tsp. salt ✔ 1 egg ✔ 1 tsp. vanilla ✔ 1⁄2 cup milk ✔ 11⁄4 cups flour
Brush the inside of the pie crust with the melted butter.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon and use to cover the entire inside of the crust. Set aside.
Combine the brown sugar, butter, water, corn syrup and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Cream together the butter, sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Beat in egg and vanilla, followed by the milk. Stir in the flour, mixing until just combined.
Pour the batter mixture into the crust and carefully pour the syrup on top. Place in a 175ºC oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until browned. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
You can use just about any apples you like for this, but I like a mix of green and yellow ones, some sweeter, some tarter. Cooking the apples before using them means you don’t get any shrinking in the oven, and you end up with extra filling.
Crust ✔ 21⁄2 cups flour ✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar ✔ 1 tsp. salt ✔ 225 gr. (1 cup) butter or margarine, cut into cubes and frozen ✔ 4 to 6 Tbsp. ice water
Filling ✔ 8 to 9 apples – about 1.5 kg.✔ 1⁄2 cup sugar ✔ 1⁄4 cup brown sugar ✔ 1 tsp. lemon juice
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
Topping ✔ 11⁄2 cups flour ✔ 1⁄3 cup light brown sugar ✔ 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar ✔ 1 Tbsp. cornmeal ✔ 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the frozen butter and, using a food processor, a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles fine sand.
Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture begins to clump together. Divide the dough in half, gather each piece together into a ball and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Roll the pie dough out on a well-floured surface to a 30-cm. circle and fit into a 23-cm. pie plate. Trim the edges. Cover loosely with cling wrap and freeze for 20 minutes. (At this point, it can be used for either of the pie recipes above.)
Core, peel and slice the apples.
In a saucepan, stir the apples together with the sugars, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until just tender. Remove from heat and let cool.
Prick the pie crust with a fork in several places. Grease a piece of foil and fit it against the pie crust and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake the empty crust at 190ºC for 25 minutes.
Mix the flour and sugars for the topping together. Pour the melted butter on top and stir with a fork until completely combined. Remove the pie shell from the oven and fill with the apple mixture plus about 1⁄4 cup of the liquid from the pot.
Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top.
Bake at 190ºC for an additional 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
Amy Spiro is a food writer and reporter. She is currently a pastry student at the Jerusalem Culinary Institute and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com.