I know for most of you the celebrations are almost over, but I hope it’s been a good day for everyone, filled with lots of yummy food. Even though we’re in New Zealand, my family still celebrates Thanksgiving every year and even though it was much smaller than usual this year it was still a great night. Dad even made us watch some football, whaaaaat? I have never been a fan of American football (sorry to those that are!) because I don’t really understand it, but I must admit that it felt very patriotic to have a game on in the background!
So what about this pie you say? I feel like even if most people are food coma’d out by now, there is always room for pie, and when is pie better than in Fall? It’s getting cold, there are leaves on the ground and all of that warm sweet flavour just makes you want to curl up with a piece and take a nap, amirite?
Weeeeell here in Wellington it’s actually supposed to be Spring but it totally hasn’t been this week so I felt like pie was justified. I mean, I know Spring weather is really changeable and all of that, but this week it’s just been rain, and clouds and a bloody cold strong wind! You’d think I’d be used to it by now, seeing as Wellington is commonly known as one of the windiest cities in the world (no joke, at least a few days every year we get wind gusts over 200km (120 miles) per hour!!), but sadly the wind is always frustrating. Walking around the city on a windy but rainy day (soooo like quite a few days!) is quite entertaining because of the number of inside out and broken umbrellas you see in rubbish bins around the city. 🙂 Is there something in your city that really annoys you? Maybe the weather, maybe the traffic, anything?
As much as I hate the wind though, Wellington is a great place to live and the changeable weather and cold winds mean you get to eat more warm puddings and desserts because you burn off the calories walking into the wind right?? Let’s go with that…
Mmmm pie… I know it may be hard to believe, but even though this pie is made from scratch it’s actually really easy. And even easier if you have a food processor, yay! I also have a recipe for homemade vanilla custard to go with the pie that you can make when the pie is in the oven. I’d never made custard before because we don’t eat a lot of it but it was definitely a lot quicker and easier than I thought, plus it was the perfect accompaniment to the spiced apple pie. Lightly spiced apple pieces, buttery crust, all wrapped up together in a warm and perfect pie, what more could you want?
Ok, well custard. You could also want custard, and this custard is truly delicious. It’s silky smooth and very vanilla and pairs so well with the apple pie you could say match made in heaven! Go on, after today’s food coma, you know you want to. Happy baking!
- [b]Pie Crust[/b]
- 3 cups plain flour
- 2 Tbspn sugar
- 1 tspn sea salt
- 230g (2 sticks) butter, very cold
- 8-12 Tbspn iced water[br]
- [b]Pie Filling[/b]
- 1.5-2kgs (3 1/2 pounds, which is around 6) apples – a mix of tart and sweet works best, I used Granny Smith and Braeburn
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 Tbspn flour
- 2 tspn cinnamon
- 1/2 tspn nutmeg
- 1/4 tspn ground cardamom
- 2 Tbspn butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2-3 Tbspn coarse sugar, such as demerara
- Place the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of the food processor. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour mixture.
- Pulse the food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the water 2 Tbspn at a time to the mixture, pulsing to combine after each addition.
- When the pastry starts to form a ball around the processing blade it is ready to use, this took me 10 Tbspn but depending on the temperature of your kitchen etc. it might take you more or less.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour mixture.
- Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender if you have one, otherwise just using your fingers rub the butter into the flour, until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs.
- Mix the water into the pastry 2 Tbspn at a time using a fork to bring it all together.
- When you can press it together with your hands and it mostly stays together, then it is ready to use.[br]
- Remove the pastry from the bowl or food processor and, on a floured surface, knead it lightly together into a ball.
- Divide the ball into two pieces and flatten each into a disk before wrapping in clingfilm and refrigerate these for at least 2 hours, or overnight.[br]
- Grease a 23-26cm (9-10in) pie dish or tart tin and if you have left the pastry overnight, take the first disk out of the fridge to thaw a bit.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples and place in a large bowl with the lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, flour and spices. Gently toss this mixture to combine. Take the second disk of pastry from the fridge to let it thaw a bit too.
- On a well floured surface, roll out the first disk of pastry, this will be the bottom pie crust. Roll it out into a circle that is around 5-6cm (2-2.5in) larger than the pie dish.
- Line the pie dish with the pastry and press into the dish, trimming any overhang from around the edge and filling any parts of the crust that are too short.
- Transfer the apples to the crust and dot with the cubes of butter.
- Roll out the other disk of pastry until it will fit over the top of the pie. Either top the pie with it as is, cutting some vents in the top to let out hot air, or you can do a simple lattice effect like I did.
- To get the lattice effect, cut the pastry round into 2.5cm (1in) wide strips.
- You can have a more intricate effect than what I did, but for the simple lattice, just put the strips over the top of the pie with a small amount of space between each strip. Repeat this with the strips going back across the other way.
- Trim any extra pastry from the sides and press the top strips together with the bottom crust.
- Brush the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the coarse sugar, then put in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and put a tray on the oven rack where the pie will go to catch any bubbling drips, it may boil over a bit.
- Place the pie on top of the tray and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and your house smells amazing.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack before removing from the tin and slicing and serving with the [url href=”http://www.thechocoholicbaker.com/2015/11/homemade-vanilla-custard.html” target=”_blank”]homemade vanilla custard[/url].
- Alternatively, the pie will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.