When it comes to cooking I can be quite impulsive. With a sudden rush of inspiration, I have been known to get up midway through watching a cooking show, reading a cookbook or a foodie magazine and just start cooking something. I can't help myself when those creative juices start flowing, I must cook now!
So yesterday afternoon I was out and about walking our dog, minding my own business, nowhere near any whiff of cooking inspiration, well so I thought! There was a young couple walking on the footpath close behind me, pushing a pram with a little one in it. The father's mobile phone rang and I could not help but overhear the conversation, after exchanging polite hellos to his caller, he paused and said to his wife, 'it's your mum on the phone, they are in Bilpin, she wants to know do we want an apple pie?' At that moment it took everything in me not to turn around to these complete strangers and say 'Can she pick one up for me as well!?'
Being apple season, I knew I had a bunch of apples at home in my fridge, apples that really needed cooking, apples that would be perfect for a pie. There it was the moment of inspiration, it had sneaked up on me from behind and I knew what would come next, not a trip to Bilpin, but a trip to my kitchen to make apple pie!
what you need
1. 5 kg apples
1/8 cup (30ml) lemon juice
1/2 cup (120ml) apple juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 vanilla bean split
what you do
1. Peel and core apples, cut into even sized pieces.
2. Place in a large saucepan with lemon juice, apple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon quill and vanilla bean, stir to coat all the apple pieces.
3. Cook on a low heat for 25 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
4. Turn off the heat and allow to sit and cool, while you make your pastry.
what you need
2 cups spelt flour (substitute with the flour of your choice if desired)
150 butter (softened)
1 tbsp rapadura sugar
pinch of salt
100ml cold water
1 tbsp golden caster sugar (for glazing)
what you do
1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter, rapadura sugar and salt in a food processor and process in short bursts, (alternatively combine in a bowl and use your fingertips to rub together) until crumbly. Add the 100ml of cold water and mix gently until evenly moistened. Dough should come together in a ball.
2. Divide into two equal portions. Wrap each piece in non-stick baking paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Using a rolling pin, roll out a portion of the pastry on the baking paper it was wrapped in, to about 3mm thick and to the size of your pie dish.
4. Line the pie dish with the pastry (including the baking paper), bake in a moderate oven at 180 deg C for 20 minutes.
5. Fill cooked pastry case with cooked apples and cooking juices (keep aside 1 tbsp cooking juices to glaze your pie pastry top).
Using a rolling pin, roll out the second portion of the pastry on the baking paper it was wrapped in, to about 3mm thick and to the size of your pie dish, as your pie pastry top.
7. Trim any excess pastry from edges, use to make a pastry decoration on top. Glaze the pie by brushing the pastry with the remaining cooking juices and sprinkling with golden caster sugar.
8. Bake your finished pie, in a hot oven at 200 deg C for 20 minutes.
9. Serve hot with yoghurt, pure cream or ice cream.