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  • Writer's pictureYiannoulla Burness

Sugar Coated Apple Pie

Nothing tastes better than cooked apple sandwiched between buttery shortcake pastry served with cream. What are the best apples to use you may ask, well that depends on what flavour and texture you want your pie to have. There are apples that are tart and there are apples that are sweet. There are apples that keep their crispness and shape when cooked and others that cook down to a soft thick paste like consistency. For this pie I have used Organic Granny Smith apples freshly picked from one of many apple trees on our farm (Goshen Country). Where possible use fresh organic ingredients the flavour will taste so much better.


EQUIPMENT

A mixing bowl or food processor, 22cm - 26cm pie dish, medium size saucepan, scales


Preheat oven to 180 Celcius 15 minutes before cooking pastry shell


INGREDIENTS FOR PIE CRUST

210g plain unbleached flour

210g self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

30g castor sugar

180g non dairy butter (cold)

50ml ice water


METHOD FOR FOOD PROCESSOR

*Place flours, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine.

*Add non dairy butter and pulse a few times more until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

*With motor running on low add in water a tablespoon at a time. When it starts to come together stop motor and remove.

*Form into a ball with your hands cover with plastic wrap.

*Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.


METHOD BY HAND

*To prepare the pastry you will need a mixing bowl.

*To this add sifted flours, salt and sugar, then add butter cut into cubes.

*With your finger tips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

*Add the chilled water slowly a little at a time to the flour/butter mixture using a knife or fingers to bind together and form a dough.

*Knead dough as little as possible, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

*Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.



While the pastry is being chilled cook the apple.



INGREDIENTS FOR PIE FILLING

6 large or 8 medium size granny smith or other tart tasting apples peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

22g castor sugar

15g extra sugar for dusting top of pie

plant based milk to brush edges and top of pastry


METHOD

*Prepare apples and place in a saucepan with enough water to just cover the base of the pan.

*Cook apple on medium heat, when the apple starts to break down turn heat to low and watch that it doesn't catch or burn on the base of the pan.

*Once apple is cooked remove from heat and add sugar and fresh lemon juice and give a good stir. Taste and adjust to your liking. Set aside.


ASSEMBLE

(1) Grease pie dish/pan. Remove pastry from the fridge and divide into two portions one larger than the other.

*Take the larger portion and place on a lightly floured surface.

*Take a rolling pin and roll out the dough big enough to line the bottom and sides of the dish/pan.

*Use the rolling pin dusted with flour to transfer the dough to pan. Gently press into the shape of the pan with your fingers.

*Take a fork and prick the bottom and sides of pastry.

*Place back in fridge for at least another 30 minutes, remove, place in hot oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes or when pastry is just starting to change in colour, remove from oven.

(2) Add cooked apple filling to pastry shell.

* Lightly brush around the edges of pastry shell with a little milk this helps seal the edges then add the second layer of pastry on top of the apple, crimp the edges together. *Lightly brush top of pastry with milk to help the pastry cook to a nice golden colour. *Sprinkle with sugar, score the top of the pie with a knife to help moisture escape.

*Place pie back in the oven and bake a further 20-30 minutes.

*Check pie halfway through baking time and rotate for even browning if needed.

*once the pie is looking beautiful and golden remove from oven.

* Serve with your favourite cream.


PIE PASTRY TIPS

Make sure ingredients are cold

Don’t overwork the dough, this can cause tough pastry and shrinking pastry

For a light crumbly pastry handle dough gently

ADD LIQUIDS SLOWLY When adding liquid (cold water/milk), start with half the amount the recipe calls for and add slowly, pulsing/stirring until the mixture starts to clump together (don’t let it form a ball)

Too much liquid makes the pastry tough and can cause shrinkage

CHILL THE PASTRY Wrap pastry dough in cling wrap, place in the fridge for 30 min to 1 hour (this relaxes the glutens in the dough)

FILL IT UP When blind baking, line the pastry with baking paper and fill to the brim with baking beans/uncooked rice, which will support the sides of the pastry and help prevent shrinkage, or you can prick the sides and base of the pastry that also helps too.

RIGHT TEMPERATURE Begin baking shortcrust pastry at 190°C/170°C fan to quickly set the pastry. Low oven temperature can cause pastry to shrink.



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