Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Winter's not quiet over yet

There are so many delicious things people usually save for Winter. Thick, hearty casseroles, rich saucy dishes, sticky caramelized puddings! So so many mouth watering delights. One dessert I usually save for Winter is apple pie. I have no idea why though, as it is so good hot or cold. I really should make it more, as it seems simple, but you can create so many varieties of the simple apple pie. Like infusing the stewed apples with cinnamon, or other spices, or adding other fruits - not just sultanas, I like to mix pear in with the apples sometimes. I also sometimes caramelized the apples and make a type of toffee apple pie. This time though I have gone traditionally. I made a super crumbly shortcrust pastry, lined it in a tall pan, added heaps of apples and served it with cream and custard. There were no complaints (actually very few words as it was hard to focus on anything but eating it).

I recommend trying a few varieties of apple pie, and seeing how to turn it into a summer favourite also. Possibly a tart or turnover style pie instead of the warm high pie. Enjoy!

Traditionally high top apple pie
Sweet Shortcrust pastry
2 cups plain flour
150g chilled butter, cut into cubs
Pinch salt
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 x egg yolk
Iced water

I find it really easy to make shortcrust pastry in the food processor. Firstly add flour, icing sugar, butter and salt to the food processor and blend until it resembles a fine breadcrumb. Next add the egg yolk and pulse until combined. Finally, with the processor running, add a tablespoon of icy water at a time until the pastry comes together and forms a ball. Remove from the processor. Keep 1/3 for the top and roll the remaining 2/3 to about 1cm thickness and line into a greased small cake tin or pie tin. Cover and pop into the fridge to rest for about an hour. When ready, blind bake the pastry cases in a moderate oven (about 180 C) for about 20 - 25 minutes. Set aside to completely cool. Roll out the remaining 1/3 of the pastry for the top of the pie.

Apple Filling
6 - 8 green apples, peeled, hulled and cut into segments

1/4 caster sugar
2 tbs water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 x egg yolk

In a saucepan over a medium heat, stew apples until then are soft (but not completely broken down). Stir occasionally. When ready, remove from heat and allow to cool then spoon into the tin. Roll the top on, crimp the sides to seal and make a small slit in the middle (to let steam come out). Whisk the egg yolk slightly and brush the top of the pie. Pop into an 180C oven until the top of the pie golden - about 25 - 30 minutes. When ready, serve warm with whipped cream and custard.

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