When it comes to cooking I can be quite impulsive. I have been known to get up midway through watching a cooking show, reading a cookbook or a foodie magazine and cook. I can't help myself when inspiration hits and those creative juices start flowing, I must cook now!
Yesterday afternoon I was walking our dog, nowhere near any whiff of cooking inspiration, well so I thought! A young couple were walking nearby and the guy'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 companion, '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 had a bunch of apples perfect for a pie at home in my fridge. 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!
Apple pie evokes fond childhood memories for many, often equated with grandmothers and
stories of steaming hot, sweet apple fillings, surrounded by crisp, buttery short-crust pastry.
This simple recipe, marrying the apple with vanilla and cinnamon encased in a light spelt crust, will have the fond memories flooding back.
what you need
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
½ cup (125ml) apple juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
½ vanilla bean, split
2 cups (260g) white spelt flour
150g butter, chopped
1 tbsp rapadura sugar
pinch of sea salt
50ml chilled water
1 tbsp golden caster sugar (for glazing)
what you do
1. To make the filling, combine the lemon juice, apple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in a large saucepan. Peel and core the apples, cut into even-sized wedges. As they are cut, place them immediately into the saucepan and toss to coat with the liquid to prevent them from discolouring.
2. Cook the apples on a low heat for 20 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
3. To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter, rapadura sugar and salt in a food processor and process in short bursts, until crumbly (alternatively combine in a bowl and use your fingertips to rub together). Add chilled water and mix gently until evenly moistened. Dough should come together in a ball. Divide into two equal portions. Wrap each piece in non-stick baking paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced) and grease a 17cm (base measurement) x 3cm deep, round pie dish. Using a rolling pin, roll out a portion of the pastry on the baking paper it was wrapped in, to about 3mm thick. Lift the pastry on the baking paper and turn over to line the pie dish. Remove the baking paper once the pastry is in place. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Fill the cooked pastry case with the cooled apples. (Reserve 1 tbsp of the cooking juices to glaze your pie pastry top).
6. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (180°C fan forced). 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 cover the pie as a pastry top. Place the pastry covering on top of the pie and again remove the baking paper once pastry is in place. Trim any excess pastry from edges, crimp edges of pastry together with your fingers or a fork and use any excess pastry for a decoration on top.
7. Glaze the pie by brushing with the reserved cooking juices and sprinkle with golden caster sugar. Cut four small air vents in the centre of the pie with a sharp knife or fork (this allows steam to escape whilst cooking). Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Serve hot or cold with yoghurt, pure cream or ice cream.
© Recipe - Our Delicious Adventure - Recipes and Stories of Food and Travel by Jane Grover
Oh and the idea of a trip to Bilpin has not been ruled out, it simmers quietly in the back of my mind for now x j