Spiced Apple Pie
Serves: Makes 8-12 slices
Approx cost: €2
Approx calories (per serving if cut into 12 slices): ~395
Approx preparation and cooking time: 40 mins
W ith Autumn fast getting into full swing, as I noticed in my previous post, as well as the rather chilly, rainy, grey weather we’ve been having of late I thought, what better time than to crank out an apple pie. I’ve got vast quantities of apples at the moment so we’re eating a great deal of baked apples made in my wife’s new slow cooker. My wife also recently made some “Apple Butter”, in the same vein as this type of recipe. I have to say I haven’t actually had an apple pie in ages, and for sure I don’t think I’ve ever made a deep pie. I normally make my pies on a dinner plate but they’re far from an ideal shape
The recipe below will make a really large pie. 8 large slices, or still 12 decent ones, so you’ll need to ensure you have a pie dish large enough. I think the pie dish I used is about 40 cms in diameter, so quite sizeable, and I actually ended up taking half of it into work the next day to “share the love” so to speak. Now it’s a well known fact that cinnamon pairs with apple like bread with butter, but I wanted to mix in a few extra spices, just for some extra excitement. Freshly ground cardamom, cloves and nutmeg all go really well in an apple pie, and the almonds on top provided a lovely nutty texture. I used sweet, eating apples, so I mixed the spices with sugar and lemon juice – the lemon really lifted the apples, giving a delicious background “zing”, although if you’re not using eating apples, but more sour cooking apples then you could probably omit the lemon juice. Have a good Wednesday (half way through the week, yay!) and enjoy!
- 500g Plain Flour
- 120g Butter
- 120g Vegetable Shortening
- 60g Sugar + 40g for mixing with lemon juice
- ~6 Eating Apples
- 0.5 tsp Ground Cloves
- 0.5 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 60g Flaked Almonds
- Juice from ~half a lemon
- 5-6 tbsps Milk + 2 for brushing the pastry with
- Now you could use a food processor for this, but if you don’t have one or prefer to do it by hand, add the Flour, Butter, Shortening and 60g of Sugar into a bowl. Chop the fat up with a knife into small chunks and then rub between your finger-tips until you’ve achieved a “breadcrumb” like consistency. You could alternatively use 240g of Butter, instead of half / half, but the pastry will be very rich in this case.
- Add about 5 -6 tbsps of Milk to the “breadcrumb” mixture and mix well with a spoon until you’ve formed a non-sticky pastry dough. If necessary, you may need to adjust the amount of milk added, or sprinkle in some extra flour to ensure the dough is smooth and manageable. Take your pie dish and rub the inside with some butter to ensure the pastry doesn’t stick to the inside. Once done, take about 2/3 of the pastry, transfer to a floured work-surface (I used rice flour) and then flour your rolling pin and roll out the pastry. As long as you keep the top floured, the easiest way of doing this is to give 2 or 3 rolls and then rotate the rough 90 degrees. Once the dough is about 0.5 cms thick (I like a thick crust, but you can make it a bit thinner if you like) gently pick it up and transfer to the centre of the pie dish. Push it down on all sides to fill out the edges of the dish and then trim away the excess from the top. Some people fill their pastry cases with beans, while baking, to prevent bubbling. Personally I find that sticking the base all over with a fork does a good job as well! Preheat the oven to about 190 degrees Celsius and bake the pastry case for about 10 minutes, or until starting to turn a more golden colour.
- While the base is cooking, peel and core the apples. Slice thinly. I used a mandoline to get even slices, very quickly, but you can also use a knife. When the base is ready, allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before arranging the apple slices inside the crust. Sprinkle the top with the flaked almonds and then mix your cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon with the remaining 40g of Sugar and the Lemon Juice in a small bowl. Stir well and then spoon the mixture over the apples and almonds.
- Take the remaining pastry and roll out again on a floured surface to a similar thickness as the base. Gently lay over the pie and press into the edges to seal up. Make a few cuts in the centre with a knife to allow hot air to escape and then, using a pastry brush, “paint” the top of the pie with the remaining 2 tbsps or so of Milk. Place in the oven (which is hopefully still on, at 190 degrees Celsius, if not you need to heat it up to this temperature again) and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until starting to turn golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes or so before serving out. Enjoy with some nice vanilla ice-cream, some cream or just on its own!