Happy Mother's Day everyone! Today I had dinner with my grandmother, and I thought for dessert I would make her recipe for apple pie. Unfortunately she can no longer make it with the arthritis in her hands, so the recipe's been passed to me.
So for grandma's pie you'll need the following (sorry for the strange amounts, I've had to convert from ounces!):
800g tin pie apples
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
150g self raising flour
90g butter at room temp
Pinch of salt
1 egg at room temp, seperated (I find it's easier to seperate when the egg's fresh out of the fridge and put yolk and white into their own containers to come up to room temperature)
A little milk, for basting
And as Jean always likes to remind us, clean hands and nails.
1. Place apples and cloves in a big saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Mix together sugar and water to form a syrup.
3. When you can feel the heat coming off the apples, mix in syrup and spices.
4. When the mixture starts to simmer, reduce heat to lowest setting and continuing stirring, until most of the liquid has gone. Remove from heat and let cool.
This is one of those recipes where your life will be soooo much easier if you have everything ready to go before you start.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (165°F). Butter and lightly flour a 20cm pie tin.
2. Sift flour, cornflour and salt together into a large bowl. Add a dessert spoon of fine white (caster) sugar.
3. Chop your butter into rough cubes and place in the flour bowl. Get ready for messiness.
4. Use your hands to rub the butter and the flour mixture together until you get a moist crumb like conisitency.
5. Add in egg yolk, 10 drops of vanilla and a couple of drops of milk. Stir together gently with your hands until your pastry can form and hold a ball shape. If the mixture is still a little dry you can add milk in small amounts until your consistency is right
6. Wrap the pastry ball in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 10mins or so to make rolling easier.
7. Now we need to roll it out. Divide your cooled pastry into rough halves. We'll work first with the bigger half. You have 2 options here, if you're no stranger to pastry, lightly flour your bench and roll out the first half to about a 5mm thickness. Then use your rolling pin to lift up the pastry and place it over your pie tin.
If you're not confident with pastry, cut off two largish pieces of baking paper, sandwich your dough between them and place on your bench top. Use your hands to gently press the ball into a disc, then use a rolling pin (if you don't have one, a well deployed wine bottle can work just as well) over the top sheet to roll the pastry out to about a 5mm thickness. Now peel off the top layer of paper, place your pie tin upsidedown over the pastry and flip the whole lot over, so the tin is right way up underneath and pastry and other sheet of baking paper are on top. Peel the paper away from the pastry.
8. Gently press the pastry into the tin. Now use a butter knife to trim the pastry around the edges of the tin. If there are any little cracks in the pastry, you can seal them by gently pressing offcuts onto them.
9. Blind bake the pastry base for about 5mins or until it looks slightly lighter in colour.
10. Once your base has been par-baked, place in your cooled stewed apples so they come to the top of the tin and form a slight mound toward the centre. Baste around the edges of the base with egg white.
11. Take the other half of your pastry and roll it to a little thicker than the base. Using whatever method you prefer, place it over your pie base and trim the edges in the same way you did the base.
12. Use a fork to make light indentations around the circumference. This sticks the lid to the base but also serves to make the pie have that home made look.
13. Pierce the lid a couple of times with the fork pines to let out steam. Place a decoratory piece of pastry on top (I like to do an apple, but Jean always used to do letters, like a big E), baste with the remaining egg white mixed with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar.
14. Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20mins. The top should be golden and your house should smell fantastic.
Dish up with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and voila! Delicious apple pie. Thanks Jean, you're awesome.