Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sunshine, rain and thoughts of autumn

As the rain lashes against my windows it's easy to forget that it is still summer! As much as I love summer there is something comforting about the transition into autumn - the fallen leaves, the misty mornings and autumn fruits. I've been lucky enough to have been given bagfuls of beautiful Bramley apples from a friends garden.

A quintessentially British apple, the Bramley is slightly tart to the taste has a mouth-wateringly delicious fluffiness, and they make a scrumptious pie - especially with a hint of cinnamon or paired with foraged  blackberries .

Richard's perfect apple pie 

You'll need...

6 to 8 large Bramley apples
A cup of water
2 tablespoons granulated/ caster sugar
Juice half a lemon
Optional pinch of cinnamon or cup of blackberries

For the pastry...
350 g plain flour
175 g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon icing sugar
1 egg
30ml cold water

Flour for rolling
2 tablespoon castor sugar
Milk to glaze

A metal pie plate (I've got my mum's) or deep dinner plate

  1. Wash, peel and core the apples, cut into rough size wedges and drop into a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon to prevent them browning.
  2. Drain and place in a large heavy bottomed pan with cup of cold water and the sugar, place on on hob and bring to a boil, stirring to stop it from catching.
  3. Reduce the heat and cover, simmer the apples until they have softened but still retain  some shape, add the cinnamon or a cup of blackberries and stir in. Set to one side.
  4. Place flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor and whizz to the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Beat the egg with a fork and add to water, with machine running pour liquid bit by bit until a dough forms. Remove and form into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove chilled pastry from the fridge and divide in half and shape into a rough round balls.
  7. Slightly flatten and roll on a floured board till just slightly larger than your plate, lift carefully onto plate and ease in to fit, taking care to not tear or leave air bubbles.
  8. Sprinkle base with 1 tablespoon caster sugar (this soaks up excess juice and prevents the dreaded soggy bottom!)
  9. Roll other piece of pastry into disc slighty larger than plate.
  10. Spoon apple onto pastry base leaving a 1cm gap around edges - if there is lots of juice use a slotted spoon.
  11. Moisten the edge of the base pastry with a little cold water, place the disc of pastry over the apple mix and carefully seal the edges with finger tips allowing both pastry edges to bond.
  12. Using a sharp knife carefully  trim off excess pastry and crimp edges with a fork. Decoate with leaves made from leftover pastry. Cut small slits in centre of pastry top to allow steam to escape.
  13. Brush top with a little milk and place in centre of preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Remove and sprinkle with last tablespoon of caster sugar. Allow to cool slightly and serve with double cream, ice cream or home made custard.

If you make this recipe and enjoy please let me know and tell your friends!





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