My ultimate childhood comfort food. This is probably the only pie my mother knows how to make. I say that because I don’t ever see her making any other kinds. But ask anyone and they’ll tell you apple pie hardly has a bad rep as a favourite dessert. Although my mom makes good apple pies, I won’t say it’s fantastic cos she likes to cook her apple filling to a mush. I prefer it to be half-half. A bit jammy but still has that crunch of apples.
This is really my first attempt at making apple pie, I made savoury pies before but not apple pie. The most intimidating part was the crust. If you don’t get the pie crust right, well…everything else falls short. I did some research and adapted a recipe that is supposedly the traditional way of making apple pie crust. Even while making it, I had to tweak it here and there because if I were to follow the recipe to a T, it was kinda wet and too buttery-oily.
I could not decide or rather…….could not stick to just a few pictures to post so I decided to post them all. If you’re thinking why the choice of clover leaves and a star decor on top of the pie….I had some leftover crust . Rather than palate throwing it away, I reached for my scanty collection of cookie cutters. I wasn’t really confident about the outcome of the pie, hence I could use a little luck by placing clovers all around it. Rather juvenile perception but hey, it looks pretty.
I’m quite happy with the outcome, there’s room for improvement, but definitely what a treat! My perfect way to eat apple pie; hot, steamy pie with cool, oozy ice cream. I didn’t use ice cream for the pictures cos I had a slice already and wouldn’t want to taint another slice since I was too full to eat anymore. Ahhhhhh but if ignorance is bliss…then ignorance is apple pie.
APPLE PIE RECIPE
Pie Crust (my pie pan was oval, it had a diameter of 12″ and depth of 2″);
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup finely ground almonds
220 gms of frozen unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cold water, about 3 tablespoons (+-)
7 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon all spice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, for the egg-wash
1. In a food processor with the blade attachment, add all ingredients for pie crust except for butter and water. Pulse to mix everything together. Add the frozen butter and whirl again. Add water slowly through the funnel till you have a semi-dry sandy mixture.
2. Knead the crust together in a floured surface and form into a ball. Cover it with cling film and let it sit in the fridge while you make the filling.
3. Slice your peeled and cored apples into a bowl of water with a pinch of salt to prevent it from turning brown. When you’re ready, add butter to a deep pot, strain the apples and dump it all into the pot.
4. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon powder, all spice, nutmeg and raisins and cook to your desired gumminess.
5. After about 15 mins, take the crust dough out. Start pre-heating the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius. On a floured surface, divide the dough for the top and bottom portion. The base portion needs more cos you need to cover the sides entirely as well. Roll out the crust to about a centimetre thick.
6. Carefully lift it up and cover the pan with the first layer. Using just your hands, press it down to fit the pan and the sides with some crust overlapping out. Trim off the sides by pressing down with your fingers. I like to gently poke the bottom randomly with a fork just so the crust won’t bubble up. Blind bake it for 15 mins.
7. Fill it with your apple filling and spread it out evenly. Roll out the second crust and cover the top of the pie completely. Trim the edges and use a fork to press down the sides to seal. Poke some holes on top of the pie with a fork or you can do slices with a knife, the embellishments is up to you.
8. Beat the egg and brush it all over the top but make sure it doesn’t collect in a pool anywhere.
9. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 mins to 1 hour till the top is golden brown and crisp.
10. Let the pie cool a bit before eating or the crust would crumble all over.
**Alternatively you can do without cooking the apple filling. Just coat all the apple slices in brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice. When you place the apples in the crust, add knobs of butter all over before covering it with the top crust layer. I blind baked my crust because my filling was already cooked, if you decide not to cook the apples, you don’t have to blind bake the crust. Baking time for this method would take longer too.
Several things I learned after making this pie and would like to share;
1. Forget the water measurements in written recipes. Just go by eye, add the cold water till you have a semi-dry sandy mixture. The first time round I stuck to the recipe, the crust was too wet.
2. I used a silicone brush to do the egg-wash but looking back, I think natural bristles would’ve been best to get into those little nooks and crannys.
3. If you’re going to cook your apple filling, do not add any more liquids or it’ll be too wet when baked.
4. If your crust feels too wet and heavy to be rolled out and lifted up, don’t fret. Layer it onto the pan piece by piece and flatten them with your fingers.
Don’t ever forget to Enjoy!
Asparagus Ricotta Tart
Tools and Wares – Apple Corers, Slicer, Peeler