Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mixing ideas to make pie

I remember going to school fetes as a child and always wanting to get either fairy floss or toffee apples. If I ever did get the fairy floss, it wasn't until I started eating it that I realised I didn't like it. If I ever got the toffee apple, I would lick all the toffee off and then have a soggy apple on a stick. Not amazing, should have had the caramel popcorn.

With this in mind, I thought I'd have a play with the ideas of toffee and apples (as I am no where near advanced enough to make fairy floss). I was given a Maggie Beer cookbook for Christmas (I LOVE Maggie!) and have been wanting to try her sour cream pastry. This little pie seemed like the perfect excuse. 

After making the pastry, I can tell you I love Maggie even more. It was a delicious buttery pastry which had the perfect crumble to it. And, best of all, it stayed crumbly even after having apples in it for a day.

Toffee Apple Crumble

250g plain flour
200g unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream (might not need this much)

Grease a pie tin using butter and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

In a food processor, mix the flour and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. While still processing, add the sour cream a tablespoon at a time until the pastry comes together in a ball. Turn off and remove from bowl. Shape into a disc shape, wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 

Once ready, roll out between two pieces of baking paper until about 2cms thick. Line the prepared tin with the pastry. Using a fork, poke the base of the pastry and cover with a sheet of baking paper and top with baking weights (or rice/beans if you don't have weights). Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes then remove the weights and baking paper and bake for about another 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. Remove from oven and set aside until filling is ready.

½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 x 385g tin of tinned apples sliced (or one big tin, not sure the quantity of those)

Add sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Use a wet brush to remove any crystals that form on the side. Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to high. Now and then, using the handle give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. Do not stir the mixture directly. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute. As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, approximately 5-7 minutes, add the butter and cream to saucepan. The mixture will bubble wildly. Whisk to combine (bubbles will subside upon cooling). When the caramel is smooth, toss in the apples and allow them to be fully coated in the sauce. Let them sit in the apples for about 20 minutes, then spoon into the pie case.

55g brown sugar
50g butter
2 tbs plain flour

Using our (clean) hands, rub together the sugar, butter and flour until it's combined and crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the apples. Pop the pie into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crumble is golden.

Serve with remaining caramel from the apples, fresh cream and a vanilla ice cream. ENJOY!

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