It was 4th July, a holiday that really doesn’t mean much to me, other than I get the day off from work: yay! We went for a hike, and then there was a craving for pie, cherry pie. Unfortunately, PCC only had rhubarb and strawberry or apple, so we opted for apple.
The store-bought apple pie was pretty good, but sadly the pastry (crust) was made from shortening. Ok, I understand that this helps sell the pie for vegans, but I am partial to buttery pastry (crust). So, the quest to make a homemade apple pie began. The question was would my homemade apple pie be as good as, or better than the store-bought variety?
I knew the answer to that before I baked it. My homemade apple pie would be better, far better than any store-bought variety! Once baked, that would be pretty darn obvious to anyone! It was made with all of the best organic ingredients, imported European butter, and the most important ingredient: LOVE!
The recipe creates a deep dish 23 cm (9 inch) apple pie, which is truly awesome. It slices well, and the filling holds its shape. It’s unfortunate that I do not have a photograph of a sliced portion (we ate it too fast). Oh well, I promise I will update the photos when I make it again!
AWESOME APPLE PIE
Adapted from The Baking Bible, by Bay Books
Makes 1 x 23 cm (9 inch) pie
For the pastry (crust)
- 465 g (3 cups and 1 1/2 tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 60 g (1/3 c and 2 tablespoon) self-raising flour*
- 280 g (1 1/4 c) salted European butter, cut into cubes
- 4 tablespoons raw cane (turbinado) sugar
- 9-10 tablespoons ice cold water, or as needed
For the filling
- 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
- 2 tablespoons raw cane (turbinado) sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½-1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or a small pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)
- 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 1 tablespoon water
For the topping
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- coarse sugar for sprinkling
* Self-raising flour can be made by combining 150 g (1 c) plain (all-purpose) flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder
1. To make the pastry (crust). Place the flours in a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs**.
2. Stir in the sugar. Add just enough water to make a shaggy mess, and then gather the dough up to create a smooth dough.
3. Divide the dough into two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into a disc, wrap each in cling film (plastic wrap), and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place apples, sugar, zest, spice and water in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, or until just tender, shaking the pan occasionally. Allow to cool. Once cool, gently stir in the cornflour (cornstarch) slurry.
5. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
6. Roll out the large pastry between two sheets of greaseproof (or wax) paper, and line a 23 cm (9 inch) pie dish with it. Trim away any excess pastry.
7. Spoon apple filling into the prepared pastry case (pie shell) and level out.
8. Roll out the remaining pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper large enough to cover the pie.
9. Brush the edge of the pastry case (pie shell) with the beaten egg, and position the pastry lid on top. Press to seal, and crimp if desired.
10. Brush top with egg wash, decorate with pastry scraps, if desired, and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Using a knife, pierce the pastry lid twice to create venting holes.
11. Bake in the top 1/3 of the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F), and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
12. Allow to cool before slicing into big wedges. Serve as is, or enjoy with ice cream or custard.
** Alternatively, place flours and butter into a food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.