My version of Apple Pie. Pie Porn, if you will.

So the night before last night I was in the kitchen, about to go upstairs. I was putting away the dishes and something caught the corner of my eye. At the end of the table stood the fruit bowl. Full to the brim with the last of the apples I had picked from the garden. They were staring at me, pining. They were like:

“Please don’t let us go to waste in this fruit bowl. Let us experience being pie. We want to be melting in a spiced syrup wrapped up in a buttery dough crust! Don’t deny us!!!”

I felt bad, obviously.

Also, I did tell Seis that I would make pie and so I couldn’t let her and the apples down.

So I made my version of Rustic Apple pie. Recipe is at the bottom.

…..As in I made it in a tart pan because I couldn’t find a pie dish. I added ground almonds to the pastry for texture and extra flakiness. I caramelised the apples to get a richer flavour before adding some flaked almonds and cardamom to the filling, omitting the cinnamon this time. :)

I added the pastry rose because I learnt yesterday that the apple is in fact a part of the rose family.

It went down well. Making pie is surprisingly comforting and satisfying. Far more than making a tart. Strange.

I think I’ll be making pies more often.

Yesterday I went to the market because I wanted to see if I could get some more quinces. Alas, they didn’t have any, but one of the stall holders had a huge amount of passion fruits and the scent of the open ones on display lured me over. I bought like 40. I’m not sure what I’m going to make yet. I’m sure I will document it here sometime soon. :)

Apple Almond pie-tart

Pastry

375g pastry flour

125g sugar

100g ground almonds

125g room temp unsalted butter

1 egg beaten

Some ice cold water

Method

Put the flour, ground almonds, sugar and butter in a food processor and blitz until you get a breadcrumb consistency. Add the beaten egg and pulse. A tablespoon at a time, add the cold water while pulsing. Do not add too much water as it will make the pastry tough. Just add enough water to bring the dough to some sort of mound in the food processor. Then tip the contents out of the food processor onto a lightly floured surface. Bring the remaining crumbs together to form the ball of dough. Again, don’t work the dough too much as you don’t want it to be tough. Cut the ball in half and make 2 dough discs. Cover with clingfilm (saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least an hour (you can also make this a day or two before) before use so that the gluten in the flour relaxes and you get a flaky dough rather than a tough one.

Filling

700g of apples of your choice. Peeled, cored and sliced chunky. I used a mix of what was in my garden- Bramely, some red ones (don’t know the name) and I think the other was Golden Delicious.

150-200g granulated sugar- do this to taste. The more sour the apple- the more sugar you use. I used about 200g.

100ml water

35g butter

2 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp of ground cardamom

50g flaked almonds

50ml amaretto

Juice of 1-2 lemons depending on the size.

Method

Put the apple slices in a bowl and mix in the lemon juice and amaretto. Set aside.

Heat a pan and add the sugar and water. Bring to the boil and cook until it starts to caramelise- 5 mins or so. Be sure not to burn it. As soon as you get an even golden colour across the pan add in the apples with the liquid in the bowl. They will sizzle and spit for a second. Keep the bowl the apples were in close by as you will need it again. Mix well and cook on a medium heat for about 5 mins to soften the apples slightly. Add the cardamom and butter and cook for another minute or so. Now you need to remove the apples from the pan. Take a slotted spoon and strain them out into the bowl that they were soaking in before. You will have quite a lot of liquid in the pan as the apples will have released some too. You need to reduce that down. Once the apples are out, bring the liquid to a boil to reduce slightly and then whisk in the flour. The mixture will thicken. Add the apples back in, turn the heat off and set aside.

Assembly

1 beaten egg

Sugar for sprinkling

A 9 inch pie or tart dish

A pasty brush

Method

Oven preheated to 180C (350C)

Take one of the pastry discs and roll out on a floured surface. Line the bottom of your dish making sure you leave a rim for the top of the pie to attach onto. If you want a crust that is not too soft, I recommend blind baking the bottom part in the oven for about 10-12 mins at 180C. Blind bake it by taking a sheet of baking paper and placing on top of the pastry lined tin. Fill the tin with baking bean, rice, or any other dried beans you have to hand. This ensures that the pastry doesn’t rise and bubble.

If you don’t want to bake the bottom first- because you really don’t have to- it will be just as good without that stage- carry onto this next part.

Add the slightly cooled filling to your pastry lined tin (baked or unbaked).

Take the second pastry disc and roll out to fit the top of the pie. Place the rolled out disc on top of the pie and tuck in the excess. If there is a lot of excess cut it away. To secure, use your fingers and thumbs to crimp the edges to ensure that nothing escapes from the sides. Make 3 or 4 incisions on the top of the pie to let the steam out.

If you have excess dough left, use it to make decorations such a leaves and a rose, as I have done and attach onto the pie with a little water.

Take a pastry brush and brush the entire top of the pie with some of the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the pie in the oven for about an hour or until golden brown.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard- home made or the ever trusty Bird’s eye variety. :)

 

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