As part of this month’s “Dessert Pizza” Monthly Challenge, I decided to attempt a clone of Papa John’s Applepie dessert pizza. A photo of that pizza can be seen at the Papa John’s website at http://www.papajohns.com/menu/side_applepie.shtm
. I might add that there is also a companion PJ dessert pizza called Cinnapie, which can be seen at the Papa John’s website at http://www.papajohns.com/menu/side_cinnapie.shtm
. I mention the Cinnapie pizza because there have been complaints that the Cinnapie pizza, which is of the same size as the Applepie pizza, looks much larger in the TV commercials than it actually is. The PJ website itself does not specify a size for the two pizzas, which led me to call my local PJ store to get that piece of information. The answer is that the two pizzas are 10” pizzas. I also saw a complaint that the Cinnapie pizza that one customer purchased did not look like the Cinnapie photo at the PJ website. That complaint was registered at http://www.grubgrade.com/2009/09/13/first-impressions-papa-johns-cinnapie-is-incredibly-small/comment-page-1/
. After seeing the Cinnapie photo, I was determined to do a better job with my Applepie clone pizza.
For the dough formulation, I decided to use a modified version of the “emergency” Papa John’s clone formulation set forth in Reply 52 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg66312.html#msg66312
. I modified that dough formulation by omitting the vital wheat gluten (that is, I used only the King Arthur bread flour) and I did not sift the flour before using. A more important change, about which I will have more to say a bit later in this thread, was that I reduced the salt from 1.5% to 0.75%. That change came out of my analysis of the nutrition information that Papa John’s provides at its website for the Cinnapie and Applepie pizzas.
The final dough formulation that I came up with, using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
, was as follows:
|King Arthur Bread Flour, unsifted (100%):|
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (7.3%):
|190.53 g | 6.72 oz | 0.42 lbs|
107.65 g | 3.8 oz | 0.24 lbs
1.52 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.51 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
1.43 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.26 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
13.91 g | 0.49 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.06 tsp | 1.02 tbsp
9.53 g | 0.34 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.36 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
324.57 g | 11.45 oz | 0.72 lbs | TF = 0.1457682
Note: The dough formulation is for a single 10” pizza based on a nominal thickness factor of 0.14291; bowl residue compensation = 2%.
An important point to note about the above formulation is that the amount of dough, around 11 ounces, is almost exactly one half of that which would be needed to make a 14” pizza. I suspect that that is intentional and may allow PJ pizza makers to use half of a 14” dough ball to make an Applepie or Cinnapie pizza.
For those who do not have digital scales or prefer to work with volume measurements, the 190.53 grams (6.72 ounces) of the KABF converts to 1 c. + ½ c. + a bit less than 2 t. That conversion is based on the Textbook flour Measurement Method as described at member November’s Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/
. Using the same conversion calculator, the 107.65 grams (3.8 ounces) of water converts to ⅓ c. + 1 T. + about 2 7/8 t. The water in the measuring cup should be viewed at eye level with the measuring cup on a flat surface.
As with the dough described at Reply 52 referenced above, the latest dough was prepared by hand. That was a logical choice given the small amount of dough involved, 11.22 ounces. A good alternative for such a small amount of dough would be to use a food processor.
The dough was prepared in the same manner as described in Reply 52. The water temperature used was 125 degrees F (51.7 degrees C), the finished dough weight was 322 grams (11.35 ounces), which I trimmed to 318.2 grams (11.22 ounces), and the finished dough temperature was 81.3 degrees F (27.4 degrees C). It took a bit less than 5 minutes of hand kneading on my work surface (after emptying the contents of my bowl onto the work surface), and the finished dough was of good quality, with a smooth and cohesive texture. No adjustments to flour or water were needed. To monitor the development of the dough, after placing the dough ball into an oiled glass bowl I used the poppy seed method as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html
At a room temperature of around 77.8 degrees F (25.4 degrees C), and with IDY at 0.80%, the dough expanded very quickly, doubling after about 35 minutes, tripling after about an hour, and not quite quadrupling after 2 hours. At the end of the two-hour fermentation period, I flattened the dough ball in my standard clone Dustinator blend of all-purpose flour, semolina flour and soybean oil, and shaped it into a 10” skin, which I then placed on a 12” pizza screen (the closest size pizza screen in my collection). Before placing the skin onto the screen, I pressed the circumferential rim area flat with my palms, so that the baked crust would also be as flat as possible (as shown in the PJ photo), and I docked the skin with a dough docker to minimize potential bubbling of the crust. I had no problems whatsoever working with the dough at any stage.
The PJ Applepie as sold by PJs is topped with three different toppings. The first is an apple topping, the second is a brown sugar streusel topping (also called a Crisp Topping), and the third is a white icing. In order to reproduce these three items, I relied on ingredients information that was provided to me by PJs last year, as follows:Cinnamon Apples: Diced apples, sugar, water, margarine, [liquid and hydrogenated soybean oil, water, salt, vegetable mono & diglycerides, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate (a preservative), citric acid, artificial flavor, beta carotene (color), vitamin A palmitate, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor], seasoning (modified corn starch, wheat flour, ascorbic acid, cinnamon), and apple concentrate.Crisp Topping: Sugar, oats, bleached enriched flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soy and cottonseed), dextrose, non-fat dry milk, fructose, molasses, artificial flavor, salt, artificial color. Icing (White): Sugar, water, corn syrup, stearic acid, artificial color, agar, salt, potassium sorbate (preservative), guar gum, pectin, dextrose, citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, natural and artificial flavor.
In my case, for the clone Cinnamon Apples topping, I used diced raw Fuji apples, which are firm and crisp and do not turn to mush when cooked. I tried two dice sizes, medium and small. I found that the apple flavor predominated when I used the medium dice and that the cinnamon flavor predominated when I used the small dice. I ended up combining the two batches, but would be inclined in future efforts to use the medium dice or maybe even a bit larger. For my version of the Cinnamon Apples topping, which maintained the PJ ingredient pecking order as best I could, I used seven small diced Fuji apples, 6 tablespoons of table sugar (sucrose), 4 tablespoons of water (the amount will vary depending on the age of the apples and their natural juice content and evaporation during cooking), 3 ½ teaspoons of soft margarine (standard supermarket low-end margarine), 7/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 5 ¼ teaspoons of apple concentrate, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to keep the apples from browning. The apple concentrate was a frozen apple juice concentrate. That was a nice flavor addition to the topping. I ended up with almost 14 ounces of the topping after cooking, of which I used about 6 ½ ounces on the pizza itself. Just about the entire pizza was covered with the apple topping.
For my clone Crisp (Streusel) Topping, I combined ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar, ½ cup uncooked oats, 3 ½ tablespoons of King Arthur all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (for better flavor), 1 teaspoon of Carnation brand nonfat dry milk, ½ teaspoon molasses, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (a combination of pure and artificial vanilla extract). I ended up with about 6.75 ounces of this topping, of which I used about 2 ounces on the clone Applepie pizza. That amount evenly covered the entire pizza.
For my clone White Icing, I combined 1 cup of powdered sugar, 3 ¾ teaspoons of warm water, 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup (Karo brand), 3/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a dash of salt. I ended up with about 4 ½ ounces, of which I used about 1 ½ ounces on the clone Applepie pizza. In my case, I put the white icing in a small plastic squeeze bottle (Wilton) with the tip cut to get a reasonable width of the icing stripes on the pizza. Although the description of the Applepie (and Cinnapie) pizza at the PJ website implies that the icing is placed on the pizza before baking, I put the icing on my clone pizza after it had cooled. When I tried putting the icing on the pizza just after it came out of the oven, I found that it melted almost immediately and disappeared into the pizza. I also found that it helped refrigerating the icing before using it. It is hard for me to imagine how PJs can apply the icing to the pizzas before baking, or even just out of the oven. Maybe their chemical-laden icing can withstand high oven temperatures. Or maybe it just melts like shown in the Cinnapie photo referenced above.
The pizza as dressed with the clone Cinnamon Apples topping and the Streusel topping was baked, on the 12” pizza screen, on the lowest oven rack position of my electric oven, which I had preheated for about 15 minutes at about 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). It took about 6 minutes to bake the pizza. The unbaked pizza that went into the oven weighed 575 grams (20.28 ounces). The baked pizza, after the icing was applied, weighed about 20.48 ounces. This number was very close to the 20.11 ounces I calculated from the PJ Applepie pizza nutrition information.
The photos below show the finished PJ clone Applepie pizza. It will be noted that the last photo in the series of photos shows 4 “sticks”, which is the serving method used by PJ’s for its Cinnapie and Applepie pizzas and constitutes a single serving. There are three servings in the whole pizza, or a total of 12 “sticks”. As can be seen in the photo of the “sticks”, they are not all of the same size and shape.
I thought that the clone PJ Applepie pizza was quite delicious, with a soft, fairly thick crust and good flavors. However, I caution those who might attempt this clone that the pizza is very sweet, at least to my palate, which tends to be quite sensitive to sweeteners. Now that I know better what is involved with this pizza, next time I would be inclined to use less sugar wherever possible. But the overall flavor and texture profile is very good. It is also a plus that the dough only takes a couple of hours to make. The toppings can be conveniently prepared during that time.
EDIT (3/4/13): Replaced Calculator link with the current link.