Nothing beats a home-made apple pie with lashings of custard or a dollop of ice cream. Crisp, juicy Pink Lady apples, from Stanthorpe, have been appearing at our local farmer’s market and I thought I’d use some to make this delicious pie.
I start with a simple to make Almond Shortcrust Pastry which is used to line the pie dish, then add in the apples, perhaps with a sprinkling of spice, and top with the remaining pastry in a lattice design … so homely and rustic.
So here’s how you make it …
Almond Shortcrust Pastry
1 1/2 cups (220g) plain flour
50g almond meal
1 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated on a Microplane zester
150g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
60 ml cold water
8 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced – granny smith or pink lady are a nice choice
3 tbsp sugar
juice 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sultanas, optional
1 egg, for brushing pastry
raw sugar for sprinkling
For almond shortcrust pastry: put the flour, almond meal, sugar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor and blitz to combine. Add the butter and blitz again until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running, pour in the iced water and process until the pastry forms a ball around the blade. Tip the pastry onto a clean board or bench and bring together into a ball. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until it is firm but still supple enough to be rolled.
For the apple filling, combine the sliced apples, sugar, orange juice, cinnamon and sultanas (if using) and toss to combine. Set aside while you roll out the pastry.
At this stage, preheat your oven to 180C. You will also need a 24cm pie dish.
Now back to the pastry. Divide the pastry into two, making one piece larger than the other (say, 1/3 and 2/3’s). Lightly dust the bench with some flour and place the larger piece of pastry on the bench. Lightly dust your rolling pin and roll out the pastry into a circle just larger than the pie dish. Gently roll the pastry back over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pie dish. Gently push the pastry into the base and sides of the dish, then prick the base lightly with a fork. Place the pastry in the fridge for 15 mins to rest.
While the base is resting, roll out the smaller piece of pastry into a circle. Using either a knife, pizza cutter or fluted pastry cutter to cut strips of pastry about 2 cm wide.
Now bring the pastry lined pie dish out of the fridge and add the apple filling. Arrange the strips of pastry on top of the apple, carefully weaving it over and under to create a lattice pattern. Press edges to seal and trim the excess. Brush with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and crisp and apple filling is tender. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm dusted with icing sugar and a jug of home-made custard on the side.
A delicious home-made custard is hard to beat and really is quite simple to make.
6 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 vanilla pod, halved and scraped
Combine the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until creamy and pale.
Place the milk, cream and vanilla (pod and seeds) in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Remove from heat and pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
Return to the stove and cook over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the custard is coating the back of the spoon.
Remove the vanilla pod and pour into a serving jug.
Note: If lumps happen to form in your custard simply pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer, no-one will ever know!
Happy Cooking x
Shop the Recipe
Here are some fantastic products and tools to help you put this recipe together …
1. A good rolling pin is essential for a baker. This lovely wooden one is rolls smoothly and efficiently and is super comfortable to use. This one is priced at $25.
2. A pie dish is essential and will come in handy for sweet or savoury pies. We are loving the nostalgic charm of these classic enamel pie dishes, just like Nana used to have. These are sturdy, durable and functional and well priced at $9.00.
3. A good quality vegetable peeler is a must for this recipe. A firm favourite among the team at Kitchen to Table is this one by Zyliss. The blade is sharp and made from high quality stainless steel, and the comfort grip handle makes it easy to hold and a dream to use. You will have this peeler for many, many years so long as you don’t toss it out with the apple peelings! Priced at $16
4. You will need a mixing bowl to toss those apples in the sugar and spice. These retro styled bowls by Robert Gordon look devine in the kitchen. They are available in three sizes, small $28, medium $42 and large $65.
5. Every kitchen needs a Microplane zester … this tool is idea for zesting citrus, finely grating parmesan, ginger or garlic. It’s something that I couldn’t be without! Priced at $38.
6. You will need a beautiful jug for your home-made custard. This one by Robert Gordon is a classic shape, a great size and is Australian made … we love that.