Time for the next Baking Partner’s Challenge!! This month’s theme was pie, which is something I’ve been wanting to bake for ages! I’m totally loving the Baking Partner’s group J.
We were given a choice of two sweet and two savory pies, of which I selected the Apple Pie recipe from Taste.com as suggested by Gayathri of Gayathri’s cookspot. Since this was a completely new thing for me, I did some research on the web and made a few modifications accordingly. The resultant recipe is what you see here J.
For the Pie Dough:
- 335g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 185g unsalted butter, frozen for 1 hour (or at least 30 minutes)
- Ice cold water, about a cup
1. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
2. Take frozen butter and grate quickly on the big holes of a grater. Toss into flour mix.
3. Stir together with a fork till well mixed and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Use your fingertips if you find it difficult using only the fork.
4. Start to bring the dough together by cutting the liquid into the dough with a blunt knife or spatula, then form into a smooth ball with your hands, adding a few tbsps of ice water at a time.
5. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
For the Filling:
- 1.25 kg apples, of mixed variety
- 45 g unsalted butter
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon
1. To make the filling, peel and core the apples, and cut into chunks. Toss immediately with lemon juice in a large bowl, to prevent apples from discoloring.
2. Place the butter and sugar in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. When butter has melted, add apples and stir to coat.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, till apples have softened.
4. Scoop out the apple chunks with a slotted spoon and mix with the spices. Set aside to cool.
For the Pie Crust:
1. Roll out the larger pastry ball on a floured workbench to a 30cm circle (about 2mm thick). You may use some cling film over the pastry to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin.
2. Roll pastry around rolling pin, then unroll over a 22 cm metal pie dish. Gently press into corners and allow excess to overhang. Take care not to stretch the pastry.
3. Cut out the overhang, leaving behind ¼”. Brush the base with a beaten egg and place in the refrigerator to chill.
4. Roll out the small pastry ball to a 25 cm circle. Using a pizza cutter dipped in flour, cut out strips from the pastry.
1. Take the pie base out of the refrigerator.
2. Take the filling out of the bowl with a slotted spoon and fill in the base.
3. Take the pastry strips and place them vertically next to each other on the pie dish, spacing equally between the strips. Do the same horizontally, creating a lattice pattern.
4. Cut off any overhang with a sharp pair of scissors. Crimp edges of pastry together with your fingers or a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 180°C, brush top of pie with remaining beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Allow pie to cool for about 40 minutes before cutting. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Now, this pie turned out quite good. The apples had a wonderful flavor, being rightly spiced and the top crust was beautifully flaky and crisp.
However, in spite of my best efforts, the bottom crust turned out to be a bit soggy. Since this is my first ever pie-baking experience, I can’t pinpoint the reason, but my subsequent internet research brought up the following suggestions for a crisp bottom crust:
1. Blind bake bottom crust at 200-220°C for 5 – 10 minutes, with edges covered in aluminum foil
2. Sprinkle semolina/bread crumbs on base before filling
3. Mix corn flour with apples
4. Brush base with egg white
5. Don’t use
You can try any or all of the above (as I will be doing next time). Anyway, this didn’t stop us from enjoying the pie. The best part is that just a little piece will suffice as it is really filling. Be sure to have it with vanilla ice cream; cold ice cream melting on warm pie – heaven!!
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