Somebody commented the other day (via email) that I had been doing a fair bit of baking lately.
I assured the reader that I would be including a few savoury recipes soon. It's just that, with the colder weather, I've really been enjoying being indoors and cooking to my heart's content.
And I suppose comfort food is the first thing that I turn to. Rich braises, lots of red wine and hand rolled pastries are all being enjoyed in my kitchen.
I love winter!
Continuing with the theme of being seasonal, I grabbed a handful of green Granny Smith apples from the local farmers market the other day. As soon as I got them home I knew I wanted to bake a pie.
A deep dish apple pie. One that will fill the house with a hypnotic aroma and fills the senses with great anticipation.
I know it might not sound very exciting to some, but for me this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday. Coffee in one hand, newspaper in the other and the smell of baked apple pie wafting through my tiny kitchen/apartment.
The only real "problem" I had was choosing the recipe.
Do an internet search for apple pie and you will see thousands of recipes and variations.
The apple pie turned out fine but I can't help thinking that I still need to perfect my pastry skills. I think I rolled it out a little thin on top so it ended up taking the shape of the apples that were piled up high in the dish.
As usual, I chose to play around with the filling by adding cinnamon, nutmeg and a good splash of pure maple syrup.
I'm also curious about one other thing.
Is it best to partially cook the apple mixture before using it as the filling?
I'd love to know your thoughts.
- For the filling:
- 1 kilo fo Granny Smith apples peeled cored and finely sliced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup of caster sugar
- A good “splash” of pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
- For the pastry:
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 200 grams of butter cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of cold water
- Place all the filling ingredients into a ceramic bowl and toss thoroughly to combine.
- Preheat your oven to 180 deg C and grease a 26cm pie dish or tin.
- For the pastry place the flour, salt, sugar and butter into a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and water and process again.
- Turn the mixture onto a floured surface, knead lightly, form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the pastry into the fridge for 15 mins.
- Once the pastry has rested for 15 mins, remove from the fridge and roll 2/3 of it between two sheets of baking paper-this will form our base.
- Line the pie tin or dish with the pastry and fill with the apple mixture.
- Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top of the pie.
- Press around to seal the edges and cut some vents into the pastry.
- Brush with egg wash and bake for 50 mins-1 hour until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.
- Let it cool slightly before serving and serve with cream or ice cream.