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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Traditional Apple Pie

Autumn is well and truly here now.  The leaves are not only turning but falling to the ground.  The apple tree in my front garden is hanging heavy with this years bounty.  This weekend has been the wettest I can remember in a while, not the sort of weather that makes you want to venture out the house.  Couple this with a slight cold I seem to have  and I am happy to say that I have spent this weekend in my PJs, central heating on, totally chilling out.

Apple pie is something I have always enjoyed, especially with custard (cold custard, hot pie is my rule).   This is my first attempt at making a pie and I have had to bake in a high sided tart tin because I do not yet own a pie dish.  I looked through a number of my recipes books and ended up merging together a recipe by Tamasin Day-Lewis and Martha Stewart.  I decided against adding cinnamon due to not everyone liking it and instead opted for vanilla.  I would have used ground almonds as the thickener but since I was out of them I had to use plain flour instead.  My choice of apple  is simply due to the ones I had in - Pink Lady.  This sort of apple isn't really designed for apple pie but I thought I would give it ago.  Since the apple is already sweet I reduced the amount of sugar to a few tablespoons.  Normally you would use cooking apples but any type of apple would work, just give it a go.  

The pastry is whizzed up in the food processor (or by hand if you like) and it is very important to leave it to rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge.  On removal it may be tough to roll out and the result my be some slight cracking but if you keep working with it the cracks vanish. When baked the  pastry transforms in to a light crisp buttery shell and the apples soften and infuse with the vanilla.  All this fills your kitchen and house with the homely scent of cooking.

It is best to allow this pie to fully cool after cooking, this way the fruit sets and the filling becomes thicker.  If you like your pie hot simply warm it in a low oven until the desired temperature is reached.  Serve with custard, cream, ice cream or leave just as it is.