Although the nights are finally starting to get lighter (it’s a great feeling walking home at 5pm and there is still some evidence of light!) and the temperature is very slowly on the increase, it’s still very much winter in the Cotswolds and comfort food is definitely still top of any winter menu. This said, I had a real urge on Sunday morning to whip up a quick batch of short crust pastry, and use it to make a sweet apple pie!
If you read my blog, you’ll know that I am a baker in the sense I love making cakes and all things sweet, and pastry is not something I make on a regular basis. But I thought it was about time I started to perfect the trusted recipe I have, as with the spring months fast approaching (can you believe we are already half way through February!) it’s all about tarts, and tortes and basically all things pastry based!
So to kick start the year, I tried my hands at making an apple pie .. from scratch .. pastry and all! I have to say this is a first for me, and I will definitely be making this pud again in the very near future. It is so easy to make, and with just 30 minutes in the oven, it can be prepared in the morning and baked in time for an afternoon snack! With the added taste of warm, creamy custard, this pie is a true winner for the cold winter months.
Why not warm the ole’ tummy this weekend by making this delicious homemade apple and cinnamon pie:
Ingredients for the short crust pastry:
- 255g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 140g hard butter (cubed)
- 6 tbsp cold water
Ingredients for the apple filling:
- 3 large apples, skinned and chopped
- sugar, to taste
- cinnamon, to taste
- caster sugar
- custard, ice cream or whipped cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C
- Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, and rub in the cubed butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Slowly add the cold water to the mixture a tbsp at a time, as you may find the pastry doesn’t need the whole amount (I think I only ended up using 4 and a half tbsp’s, it all depends on your flour and how much it absorbs). Mix together with a knife and use your hands to firm up the mixture once it all starts to come together.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave in the fridge for about 40 minutes.
- Whilst the pastry is in the fridge, you can prepare the filling for the pie – take your apples, remove the skin and chop finely into either chunks or stripes.
- Place the apple pieces into a large bowl and add a small amount of water, a sprinkle of sugar, and the cinnamon of you want the added flavour. Mix together until the apple pieces are evenly covered and then set aside.
- Bring out the pastry and divide into 2. Roll out the first half until it is approximately half a centimetre in thickness, and use the rolling pin to help guide the pastry into your pastry tin. Gently push into the bottom of the tin and make sure that the pastry also covers the sides.
- Add the chopped apples to the pastry and press firmly into the base.
- Set aside, and roll the other half of the pastry large enough to cover the top of the pie. Again, use the rolling pin to assist the pastry onto the top of the pie.
- Trim the excess pastry, but don’t throw this away – you can use it to make a decorative top! Use your fingers to push together the edges of the pastry to seal in the apples and the top and bottom of the pastry together.
- Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of milk, and make a small hole in the centre of the pie. You can now pop this in the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, or you can use the excess pastry to make a decorative top. I decided to make small leaves, and arranged them in a circle – remembering not to cover the hole in the middle.
- Brush again with milk, and then sprinkle the top with caster sugar.
Pop you’re little masterpiece into the oven and cook at 200C for 30-35 minutes until the top of the pastry starts to go a beautiful golden brown colour. Serve with your choice of topping – mine being thick and creamy, piping hot custard!
It really is a nice and easy pud to make. I thought pastry making would be time consuming but in fact it was easy, and the recipe simple. You really can have it prepared in the morning and served by lunchtime, which on a Sunday afternoon is exactly what you want! This is has to be one of my favourite winter warmers!
What is your favourite winter pud?