Catherine’s Cakes & Pies – The Engineering Behind These Delightful Pastries
When in Manila, we discovered a hidden lair down South that churns out delightful cakes and pies, and comes with a unique, albeit endearing, back story — Catherine’s Cakes & Pies.
But don’t you fret, because there is an easier way to reach these cakes and pastries without driving all the way to Alabang… I’ll let you know later. ;)
The Back Story of Catherine’s Cakes & Pies
One hot afternoon, we met with Chito Benito, the man behind Catherine’s Cakes & Pies. We had a quick chitchat with him, and learned about the story behind Catherine’s Cakes & Pies. He seems to be a humble guy who isn’t your everyday home baker. He is a civil engineer by profession, who graduated with magna cum laude honors from the University of the Philippines.
Catherine’s Cakes & Pies began as a friendly rivalry between Chito and his wife, Pateet, where they had to create a walnut pie. After creating his own version of the walnut pie, it turned out to be better, but still needed a lot of tweaking and improvement. After a year of altering and taste-testing, he became more confident of his recipe, and decided to sell it to his family and friends. Later on, he started selling it to other customers from all corners of the metro, as well.
Catherine’s Cakes & Pies was named after Chito’s youngest daughter.
The Fascinating Apple Pie of Catherine’s Cakes & Pies
Dubbed as one of the best apple pies in the metro, if not the best apple pie in the South, Catherine’s apple pie is beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.
The apple pie has a thick and crumbly crust that doesn’t get soggy even days after it is left inside the refrigerator. Its filling of thin slices of apple are layered uniformly, and offers crunch and perfect piquancy. The caramel sauce binds the slices of apple together and adds a touch of sweetness. The topping off the pie is a lightly sweet streusel that adorns its crest with ground walnut.
According to Chito, the best way to enjoy the apple pie is a la mode. While the apple pie is cold and fresh from the refrigerator, cut a slice for yourself. Heat it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 165-degree Celsius. Serve it hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
After following Chito’s instructions, we can testify that he really knows his apple pie.
The Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake
If we were to describe the Blueberry Cheesecake from Catherine’s Cakes & Pies, it would be as a slice of heaven in the form of a dessert.
The cheesecake is smooth, creamy, and heavy without being too sweet. Unlike other cheesecakes that tend to be on the sour end of the spectrum, this one has the right amount of zest, and it is as satisfying as the star of the show, the apple pie.
The base of the blueberry cheesecake is firm and hard, and it didn’t crumble when we sliced into it. The blueberry compote that crowns the cake gave a light tang, which we really liked. The messy queso de bola shavings atop made it look and taste euphoric.