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Mother’s Day Apple Pie

Today is mother’s day in the UK and my mother requested apple pie to celebrate. I have a very good, tried and true recipe based on the  Martha Stewart recipe for mile high apple pie. If you don’t have time to make the pastry from scratch (although the recipe for pate brisee is very easy – only hot weather will scupper this) store bought shortcrust is a fine substitution. Bramley apples are my favorite to use, or Granny Smiths come a close second, but you do need to use a sharp, crisp cooking apple.

So, first things first here’s the recipe for the pastry:

Pate Brisee

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 US sticks = 12oz = 340g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup ice water

Method

1. Place flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; process until combined. Add the butter pieces; process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. If you dont have a food processor – this can be done with hands.
2. Add the ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube with the machine running, just until dough holds together. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing dough; if it is still crumbly, add a bit more water.
3. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Divide the dough in two pieces with one piece slightly larger than the other. Grasping the ends of the plastic wrap with your hands, press dough into a flat circle with your fists. This makes rolling easier than if the pastry is chilled as a ball. Wrap the dough in the plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Easy! Like I said, the only way that this pastry recipe can be awkward, is if its a very hot day. In this case, don’t mix with your hands, definitely use the food processor and try to handle it as little as possible. Also, the time the pastry spends in the fridge can be lengthened.

Now, for the apple filling – recipe here:

Mile High Apple Pie

Serves: 6-8 Cooking time: 45-55 mins Dietary guidance: v


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 5 1/2 pounds firm tart apples pref. Bramley or Granny Smith.
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Deep dish pate brisee (see seperate recipe)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees (yes, very hot). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the smaller piece of pate brisee into a 15-inch round about 1/8-inch thick, dusting surface with flour to prevent sticking, as needed. Brush off excess flour. Roll dough around rolling pin, and place over a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate. Line plate with dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim dough to within 1 inch of the pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate.
2. Roll out remaining piece of dough into an 18-inch round. Transfer round to a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
3. Peel and core apples, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices in a large bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon; toss with apple slices.
4. Remove remaining dough from refrigerator; place apple mixture into prepared pie plate, mounding it in a tall pile. Dot filling with butter. Place dough round over the apples. Tuck edge of top dough between edge of bottom dough and rim of pan. Using your fingers, gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired.
5. Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk with 2 tablespoons water to make a glaze. Brush surface with egg glaze; sprinkle with sugar. Place on a baking sheet, this will catch any juices that may overflow during baking. Bake until crust is golden, about 15 minutes.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool before serving.

Here’s what the inside of the pie will look like – you can be neat or messy when stacking the apples, it all comes down to the time you have and how high you want your pie. If you want to go as high as you can, it does help to place the slices more neatly.

Yum! I like it still warm with vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy!

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