So, my friends, I promised you, when we made the Sweet Pastry with Kenny Rogers in Back to Basics 11, an apple pie recipe, so here you go.
My good buddy Mel dropped me off a gorgeous bag of pink lady apples from her tree a couple of days ago, thank you Mel, mwah, mwah, don’t forget we are having coffee next week, and they are just begging to be made into desserts.
I LOVE apple pies, of course, I can’t eat this apple pie, but maybe...just a smidge...just to be sure it tastes as good as it looks.
So I am presuming you have joined Kenny and myself for Back to Basics 11 and your sweet pastry is ready to roll? No? Okay, go do it, I will wait. Done? Good, let’s go.
1/4 quantity sweet pastry - that will be too much, don’t worry, just make a couple of little ones too, or roll out the pastry, cut into shapes and sprinkle with sugar for a really simple cookie.
450g apple, peeled, cored, cut into quarters, sliced acrossways.
Juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8g cornflour mixed with about 25ml water
beaten egg for egg wash
Put your lemon juice in a small pot with a tiny splash of water, tip in your apples, cook over a low heat, stirring often until the apples have softened but not fallen apart, like this -
Keep an eye on it, this can be tricky depending on what kind of apple you are using, a Granny Smith or any kind of delicious will collapse before you can blink, you can still use them, your pie will just not be as chunky as this one here. These very fresh pink ladies from Mel hold up to a lot of heat, it is one of my favourite cooking apples.
Add your cinnamon and sugar, cook it for another minute until the sugar has melted and everything has gone glossy, then stir in your cornflour-in-water. Remove from heat and put it aside until it is cold. I do this in the freezer because I am impatient.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
Cut your pastry into a 2/3 and 1/3 piece, form your larger piece into a round, roll out until it is big enough to fit into your pie plate with a good overlap. Now, this is important, lift your pastry into your pie plate, gently now, we don’t want to tear it, lay it in the centre, it will look like this -
Now I want you to lift the edges and ease the pastry down the sides of the pie plate, we are scrunching, not stretching, this is how we ensure our pastry does not shrink. Lift the edges and ease them down, pressing around the inside of the base - no stretching! - until it looks like this -
Good job! Now trim off the excess and tidy up your edges.
If I were making a solid topped pie, like the cherry pies in the picture, I would leave it like this, but I am looking for something just a little bit more special, so I am going to give this a pinched edge, this gives me a nice decorative crust and also helps keep the pastry from shrinking as it will have no top.
Can you see how I have done this? I pinch with my right hand against the finger of my left. I love this edge, it is literally my maker’s mark.
Pop your pie crust in the freezer for five minutes to firm, now, lets have a look at the top.
Roll your remaining ball of dough out and then cut into strips, I used a crinkle cutter roller blade thing, but I was not too fussy about the strips being even. I have absolutely no interest in this pie looking like it came out of a box from the supermarket, so a little bit rustic is good.
Take your base out of the freezer and brush the bottom and edges with egg wash. Tumble in the apple filling and smooth out to the edges. You can lay the lattice strips any way you want, even do a fancy braid, I just lay a few sideways, then a few lengthways until it looks good to me. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle on a little extra sugar and Stuart’s your Uncle (well, he is mine), your pie is ready for the oven.
Bake for about 45 minutes until your pie is golden and delicious. Brush with a little apricot jam if you want a glossy finish. Eat with cream or ice cream or custard, OO! Note to self, I must show you how to make a dairy free custard.