Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This time it's apple pie

And a better pie than my first attempt, although still not anywhere near perfect to look at. I'm not going to make any more pies for awhile, though... they're simply too calorious (to coin a word) for words - all that butter and margarine and sugar - extravagantly sinful. I baked this pie just to ensure that the first one wouldnt remain a one-off effort :)

This was a deliberate pie. With raisins. Too, I remembered to brush the top of the pie with milk AND sprinkle it with white sugar before baking - something I'd neglected the first time around. The milk gave the pie a beautiful golden glaze, and the sparkly sugar crystals provided the finishing touch. I have to say it looked very pretty! I ate the odd bit of it but my sweet tooth is very easily satisfied and I was glad of the unsweet crust to temper the sweetness of the filling.

My husband and friends demolished the pie in two sittings. Well, I'm glad about that, that's a good thing, else I'd have been a very sad bunny. There's nothing more disheartening than to see something you've made (expending great effort, too) sitting there uneaten and unappreciated until you have to throw it away.

Recipe for:
Double-crust apple pie


For the pie dough (crust):

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons cold margarine (can use shortening instead)
5-7 tablespoons ice water


1. Stir together the flour, cinnamon powder and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Cut in the butter with two knives. Add the margarine and combine with a large fork until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.

3. Sprinkle the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture and stir
with a fork until all the flour is moistened and the dough holds together
and doesn’t crumble.

4. Gather into a ball. Knead lightly (but not too much) until the dough is smooth. It's ok if the butter is still a bit lumpy. Lumpy is good!

5. Divide the dough into two, form into smooth balls, wrap each ball in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the apple filling:

4 large Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and evenly sliced (or cubed, according to preference. I sliced mine.)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg/cloves or allspice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1-1/2 tbsp cornflour
1-1/2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca, powdered

1. Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice.

2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside.

Assembling the pie:


1. Roll out one ball of pie dough (leave the other in the fridge till required) on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle, about 1/2 cm thick.

2. Lift up the circle of dough carefully and centre it in an 8" pie dish. Pat it gently in place at the bottom and up the sides.

3. Trim the edge even with the rim of the pie dish.

4. Roll out the other ball of dough into a circle that is about 1 inch larger than the rim of the pie dish. Set aside.

5. Put in a layer of sliced or cubed apples and sprinkle liberally with the sugar-raisin mixture. Add layers of fruit, sprinkling each layer with the sugar mixture. Mound the apples slightly in the centre and top off with the remaining sugar mixture.

5. Place the second circle of pastry over the fruit filling and trim the edge to about half an inch larger than the bottom crust. (I used scissors!)

6. Tuck the overhanging top edge under the bottom crust. Crimp the edges all around with the tines of a fork. Make a few slits at the top so that the steam can come out while the pie is baking.

7. Refrigerate the uncooked pie for 15-20 minutes. Then brush the top with some cold milk and sprinkle some white sugar all over.

8. Place in a pre-heated oven and cook at 180C (350F) for 45 minutes or so, until the top is golden and a skewer passes easily through the fruit when it's poked in the top.

9. Let the pie cool completely before slicing. It can be served warm (re-heat in a hot oven for 5 minutes or use the microwave) or cold with cream/vanilla icecream.

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