I didn’t really think about adding recipes to this site as I thought I’d just focus on my hobbies and renovations. Fortunately this week a lovely friend gave me a huge bag of apples from her yard, so I thought this would be a good idea to help me to remember certain favourite recipes, and also share them with you all at the same time.
This pastry recipe is a favourite of mine and will be familiar to my friends and family. It is the recipe I have used for years to make mince pies with my mum and on my own. I will probably do a recipe for this nearer to Christmas (is it too early to say the ‘C’ word……..oops).
This pastry works well with any mincemeat you use and any other sweet fillings. It is a good short crust pastry to use as I have had many friends and family who I know agree with me, as they have received many a mince pie as presents from me over the years, they haven’t moaned yet 🙂 The recipe originally came from an old recipe book from my mum. It is called The Times Calendar Cookbook by Katie Stewart. My mum has used this cook book for years, and now so have I. It didn’t have a recipe for stewing apples so I used another old cookbook from my mum called The Beginner’s Cookery Book by Betty Falk. I used the stewed apples from the apple pudding recipe. Both books surprisingly are still available on Amazon.
Anyway lets get back to apple pies as that is why you clicked onto here. Anyone with cold hands will be good at making pastry…
For the pastry you will need:
10oz / 275g plain flour
1oz / 25g ground almonds
6oz / 175g butter (I find Lurpak unsalted the best)
3oz / 75g castor sugar
Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons milk
For the filling you will need:
About 2lbs of cooking apples, I worked it out to be about 5 apples (preferably Bramleys or another quick cooking kind)
3oz Demerara sugar
1 or 2oz sultanas (optional)
Large pinch of cinnamon
Butter for greasing
1 x pie dish/tin (I think mine was a 20 inch in diameter tin)
For the Pastry – Sift the flour into a mixing basin and add the ground almonds. Add the butter, cut in small pieces, and rub into the mixture evenly. Add the sugar and grated lemon rind. It should look like breadcrumbs once combined.
Lightly mix the egg yolk and milk and gradually stir into the dry ingredients. You may not need to use it all just until the pastry starts to combine. Add a little bit then work it in and add more if needed, better to add too little than too much. Mix to a fairly firm dough, turn out on to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth, (I don’t usually knead it on the worktop I just knead it in the bowl, it works just as well). It should look like the below picture. Place it in a plastic bag and chill for 30 minutes in a fridge or cool area before using.
For the filling – peel each apple and then slice them into chunks. Put into a saucepan with butter and sugar and stew very slowly, stirring it often with a wooden spoon. No water should be necessary, but if apples show any tendency to stick to the pan, add a little bit of water.
When quite soft (I like to keep some lumps of apple for texture), beat a little with a fork or I’ve also used a potato masher to ensure it is mashed to your liking. Then leave to get nearly cold.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs well into a small basin. Wash sultanas in a strainer under running water and then drain.
When the apple filling is nearly cold, stir in the beaten eggs, cinnamon and sultanas.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured worktop until it is quite thin (around ½cm thick), grease the tin and add the pastry to the tin. You can then choose to blind bake the bottom (or not, it’s up to you) before adding the filling. I did blind bake for about 10 minutes on 200c as the filling is quite wet it can make the pastry stay soggy. Before I blind baked the base I used a fork to prick the pastry base to stop it puffing up in the oven.
Mix in the apple sauce mix. Probably leave a gap from the top of the tin so it doesn’t flow out of the tin whilst cooking. Damp the edges of the pastry and cover with the pastry top. This may be harder if blind baked but all I did was use a fork to seal the edges to help hold it down instead. Then snip two slits in the top with a pair of scissors or a knife. Place in the centre of the oven at around 200c gas mark 6 and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot (optional).
Bonus recipe – Apple crumble:
As an extra tip, if you have any apples left over or if you wanted to cook more apples you can make a crumble from the rest. When you have softened the apple and left it to cool a bit, you can add the cinnamon and sultanas if you like at this point. You won’t need to add any egg as you did above. You can then make a crumble.
You will need:
6oz plain flour
Sift the flour into a bowl then add the butter and rub into the flour. Once combined into a breadcrumb consistency you can then add the sugar and just stir that in. If you find a bowl of your preference and add the apple mix to the bowl then sprinkle the crumble evenly on top. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden brown at about 180c gas mark 4.
I hope you find these recipes helpful and easy to follow. Let me know if you do use these recipes and either comment below, or message me on my Facebook page so your creations can be shared with others too.