Sunday was my first pie making experience. On a warm spring day it felt like the appropriate time to make ice cold pastry and a warm winter’s filling. Apple and cinnamon is a known combination that works in pies, crumbles and cakes. The apples soften and release sweet juices whilst the cinnamon provides a warm spiciness. The addition of raspberries gave a spring touch to a winter’s pie whilst also providing a sweet yet sharp flavour.
Pastry making has a reputation for being hard to master but if you follow the right method it’s a simple task. It’s vital to make sure the butter is cold and the mixture is not overworked. Simply rub the cold butter into the flour mixture, add the egg and water and combine to form a ball. There’s no need for kneading as that would lead to overworked pastry. Chilling the pastry before use, even if it’s for 15 minutes is a good idea so that when you come to rolling it out, it won’t fall to pieces.
The pastry I made had a touch of lemon zest that gave the pie a subtle zesty flavour and again gave it a more spring-like feel.
Although it may be spring, if pie is consumed there is always a need for a rich, vanilla custard to accompany it. Thick and silky. Whether you like it on the side of your pie, a light drizzle or covering it all over, there’s always a time and place for custard.
400g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tbsp for sprinkling on the pie
1 lemon, zest only
250g cold butter, chopped into cubes
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp cold water + 1 egg yolk to glaze
140g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cornflour
600g bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced
– For the pastry, mix together the flour, sugar and lemon zest.
– Mix in the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
– Add the beaten egg, water and mix together to form a dough.
– Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
– Roll out 2/3rd’s of the dough to line to pastry dish with. Lift the pastry over the dish and push down to make sure there are no bubbles.
– Chill in the fridge for a little time.
– For the filling, mix the sugar, cinnamon and cornflour together.
– Add the apples and raspberries.
– Add the filling to the pie dish.
– Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
– Roll out the remaining pastry.
– Brush the pastry in the pie dish with egg yolk and place the pie lid on top.
– Decorate the pastry as you see fit…crimp the edges, decorate with leaves, hearts, whatever you feel like!
– Place a couple of holes in the top of the pie.
– Brush the pie dish with the remaining egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar.
– Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.