If you only make one pie a year, let this be the one!
Oh it’s Apple season again! How awesome to use mother nature’s food for making delicious pies.
I never made pie before....or wait, i did....I tried to make a Cherry pie last month, but it turned out really watery inside.........The taste however was really good, but far too moist. I tried to figure out what i did wrong and I went to the English store in Everberg (Stonemanor) where i bought my Cornflour, they asked me what i did with the Cornflour. So i told them i use it like that i the recipe i got from someone on the internet. Just added it with the flour and dropped in the cherries. Which was not good at all. I was so disappointed that it was not mentioned in that recipe......
The recipe i’m talking about you can find HERE
Ah yes, they said ; the problem is that you used it dry. You have to mix Cornflour (cornstarch for usa) together with a wet substance like water or juice before you add it to your fruit. Then make sure it becomes more like a syrup and then you can add it to your fruit filling. Well yes, that was indeed the problem....just pitty it did not work out with my cherries that were pretty expensive and it was not mentioned with the recipe. Now cherry season is over unfortunately :(
THE TIP i can give many of you is >>> Use cornstarch or cornflour only mixed with a wet substance like water or apple juice, cherry juice or whatever. or it will not bind.
For this recipe i even had to cook the apples and add the cornflour combined with apple juice first while cooking and it thickened really well. It’s like you thicken a sauce.
Also it is very important to get a flaky crispy crust and recently i bought myself a very good Pie book on Amazon which i think is the Holy Bible of Pies!
Everything is in there, from crusts to filling, trouble shooting, tips, Holiday pies, essential techniques etc.......It’s really worth buying and the only pie book you will ever need. i tell you ;-)
I always try to use less sugar in my recipes, that does not mean i don’t use any sugar at all. Sometimes i use less or a substitute like Stevia or coconut blossom sugar or if it is only 1/4 cup for a whole pie, then i think it’s not a disaster. unless you are diabetic of course.
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour >> 300 gr
2 tablespoons of coconut blossom sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup of cold unsalted butter >> 240 gr
6 tablespoons ice cold water
1. Combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large bowl by using a pastry blender or your finger tips. Of course i used my Kenwood kitchen machine on pulse and that works really well.
Add the cold butter cubes, Mix everything in your kitchen machine with the pulse function for a second, repeating this till it becomes more like a crumble, so you give the ingredients the chance to go back down again and it does not stick to your lid of the machine. I think about 10 to 15 times on pulse should be enough.
2. Add the ice cold water a little at a time through the tube. Your dough will become more sticky, then it’s time to get it out of the machine and knead it a bit with your hands.
Not too long, just till it’s all smooth. Put it in a plastic wrap and set aside in your fridge.
NOTE : If you use a top crust like with this pie, make sure you make 2 balls of dough. Just cut it in half and wrap both in plastic....also flatten it a bit, it will make it easier later to roll out. All things i learned by doing it myself ;-)
3. Let chill for at least 30 minutes....the longer it will be in the fridge, the harder it will become. Not easy to roll out if you let it in the fridge for very long.
Apple Filling :
12 to 14 medium apples >> according to the book : 4 granny smith, 4 braeburn and 4 pink lady.
I used natural apples from the trees i front of my house ;-)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coconut blossom sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons cornflour (or cornstarch for usa)
1/4 cup fresh apple juice
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter in cubes
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of Stevia
* 1/4 cup Cinnamon Sugar
How to make the Cinnamon Sugar?
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Stevia
Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small jar and store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Shake it regulary, so it can spread the sense. You can make a batch of this to store for future pies if you want. That’s what i did too :)
1. Combine the apples and lemon juice in a large heavy saucepan. Add both sugars, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir to coat. Bring to boil and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the apples are tender.
2. In another small bowl combine the cornflour (cornstarch) and apple juice and stir until dissolved. Add this to the apple mixture and continue to stir over medium heat for another 5 minutes or until the syrup is translucent and thickened. Remove from the heat and let it cool. If the mixture is too watery (which i had not), discard enough liquid to leave about 1/4 cup in the pan.
3. Then roll out the dough (1 ball) for the bottom crust. Roll it out on a wooden surface, cause that’s easier and non stick when adding enough flour to the surface. Form a circle of about 1/8 inch thick and 14 inches in diameter >> 35 cm. depending on your pie pan. I used a pie pan from Emile Henry.
Allow the excess to hang over the rim. Brush the edge with some of the egg mixture. Prick the crust with a fork and spoon the apple mixture into the crust. Top with the butter cubes.
4. To make the top crust, roll out the other dough ball into a circle of about 1/4 inch thick and 13 inches in diameter. Using a pastry wheel or a knife, cut the dough into 12 stripes, each about 2 cm wide or as you prefer. Lay have the stripes over the fruit, leaving space in between. lay the other half of the stripes on top of them or you can also weave the stripes in basketweave pattern. As you prefer.
5. Press the ends of the stripes into the edge of the bottom crust. Fold the overhang over the rim to conceal the edges of the lattice. Seal by pressing together the top and bottom crusts with the tines of a fork. Brush the exposed crust with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle the entire pie with cinnamon sugar.
6. Bake for 15 minutes on a preheated oven at 220 °c. Then lower temperature to 190°c and bake for another 40 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on your pie.....The crust must be golden and the juices are shiny and bubbly.
This asks for some skills for the first time. I had to roll out so much dough lately, that my hands hurt LOL. It’s perfect to eat it still a little bit warm. But let the pie cool down for at least 3 hours. So it can settle and will not have fluid running inside of the pie.
The hardest thing is to wait, i tell you :p
Also great for afternoon tea with a little vanilla ice cream on top.....mmmmmmmm.......