Hurrah, apples are in season again! This means I can continue my alphabetical journey through New Zealand’s kitchen bible, the Edmonds Cook Book, where I am still languishing somewhat in the apple section of the A recipes.
I’m not going to lie, the idea of making an apple pie did give me a little bit of a start. It’s the making-pastry-from-scratch thing, you see. As a teenager I would blithely tackle this task, and successfully so. A couple of pastry let-downs (or stuck-downs, more accurately) as a young adult, and my confidence was dented.
The apples we are instructed to use for this pie are Granny Smiths. Mouth-puckeringly tart, they are not my first choice for eating alone but they are lovely in this pie. And they have a rather awesome history; cultivated by chance by one Maria Ann (Granny) Smith from a seedling on her property in Tasmania in 1868.
To make this pie you will need:
- 200g sweet shortcrust pastry
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Filling: 2-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 25g butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
I started with the pastry, referring to Edmond’s Sweet Shortcrust Pastry recipe. This requires sifting 1 cup plain flour into a bowl and then cutting in 75 grams of butter with a knife, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. To this, still following instructions, I stirred in 1/4 cup of sugar, an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water, then mixed to a stiff dough and chilled for half an hour.
I used this time to get the filling ready – it’s really very simple, the apples, 1/2 cup of sugar, butter, flour and ground cloves are all mixed together.
And now, the pastry (cue deep breath in!). Roll the pastry out so that it is slightly larger than the pie dish you are using. The goal is to line the dish sides and top the pie with pastry. So, you need to cut two long strips for the pie sides. As depicted, this went pretty well.
Removing the pastry for the topping from the bench was slightly less successful, hence some strategically placed whipped cream in the photos. Press the pastry strips around the pie dish sides. Spoon the apple filling into the dish and then top with the rest of the pastry, trimming the sides. Brush with water and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the pie for 25 minutes. If the apples are not quite done after this time, turn the oven down to 180 degrees celsius and bake until the apples are tender. For me, this took and extra five minutes.