Keifer Derrin of food blog DonkeyFodder.com delves into the world of baking and tries out a recipe for the classic apple pie.
I haven’t done any baking for a while, apart from bread, so I decided to make an apple pie, as I’d never made one before. Yes I know I’ve lead a shallow life. Using the Great British Bake Off How to Bake book, I picked the easiest recipe called Simple Apple Pie. With the ingredients list in my hand I went along to my local Tesco and bought all the ingredients required, which was a surprised because they are normally missing at least one item. When I got home I read the recipe and when I realised how difficult making all butter puff pastry was I thought it wasn’t worth the effort so legged it back to Tesco and bought their Finest All Butter Puff Pastry! Yes I know it’s lazy but I wasn’t in the mood to spend so much time on making my own. I know I’m going to have to attempt to make puff pastry one day, if I’m going to apply for the next Great British Bake Off, or maybe the one after.
4 large bramley apples (about 900g)
100g caster sugar
1 unwaxed lemon (you’ll need the juice and rind)
375g all butter puff pastry
2tbsp milk to glaze
Peel and quarter the apples. Thinly slice them into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice. Toss all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until a circle is large enough to line a pie dish. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and lift it over the dish, then unroll the pastry so it drapes over the dish. With a small ball of pastry, gently press the pastry onto the base and the sides. Leaving any excess pastry hanging over the rim – it will be cut off later.
Pile the apple mixture into the pastry case, packing it firmly – the mixture will cook down. Roll out the remaining pastry to a thin circle that is big enough to cover the top of the pie. Dampen the pastry on the rim of the dish with a little water.
Roll the pastry top around the rolling pin, lift it and unroll over the dish to cover the apples. Press the pastry edges firmly together to seal, but don’t trim yet. Chill for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the over to 200C/400F/gas 6. Put a baking tray into the oven to heat up.
Using a sharp knife trim off the excess pastry, then knock up the edges with the back of the knife: hold it horizontally and make tiny cuts in the pastry edge. Pinch the pastry edge between your fingers to flute. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar, then make a couple of small slits in the centre to the let out the steam.
Set the pie dish on the heated baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/250/gas 4 and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: The Great British Bake Off book is becoming a bit of a bible for me. It’s a great book if you want to learn how to bake and it also has some great recipes.
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