I have a mate who is obsessed with apple pie, he’s always asking me to make it and I am always thinking about it but never doing it..
I love pie too but don’ it that often as it takes a bit of time and a whole lot of loving. Yeah i know you can do the easy version and bang a piece of store bought puff on top of some canned apples but it just ain’t the same and as I get older I find something truly special in not cutting corners. If I am going to make pie I want to have time to rub the butter into the flour, not chuck it into a food processor. I want to make it like my Nan used to because I truly believe it tastes better.
So this very special pie was a bit of an accident really. I found myself at home with granny smith apples, 00 pizza flour, butter and sugar and I had no idea if the pizza flour would give a nice flaky pastry or whether it would turn out as hard as a rock! That’s what i love about cooking even after all these years it still has me guessing. Anyway, she turned out to be the best pie pastry I have ever made. So let me share it with you.
That apple pie
250g salted butter, chopped
350g 00 Italian flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 kg Granny smith apples, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
1 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
coconut sugar, to sprinkle
Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add 125ml of water until the mixture comes together when stirred with a flat bladed knife. Bring the dough together into a ball. Most people at this point chill the pastry, I don’t as I find chilled pastry a pain in the neck to roll out.
Roll half out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until it is large enough to cover the base and side of your pie tin. I use an enamel pie tin and I believe that helps give a really good crisp pastry. No chill the pastry whilst you prepare the pie filling.
Peel and core the apples. Cut half of them into large pieces and the rest into small chunks. Heat the butter in a large pan, add the apples, lemon juice, rosemary, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and cook for 10 minutes or until the apples soften. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Using hot apples in the filling with leave you with a soggy pastry bottom so please don’t be tempted to rush this part.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Fill the pastry base with the cooled apple filling. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the top. Press the edges to seal with a fork and trim of any excess pastry. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Cut a hole in the top to allow the steam from the filling to escape.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the pastry is crisp and golden