IT’S ME! I’M BACK!
Hello everyone, I hope you’ve missed me; I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post. I have recently got back from a wonderful 8-night stay in the gorgeous Cornish countryside, particularly in Padstow and the surrounding area. After finishing exams and receiving my results (score for the year being approx. 72%), it was a great way to relax, experiment with my baking and enjoy finding new places to visit.
I had the best luck with the weather, it was hot and sunny for the whole duration of the trip, so it was a nice change to come home with a -bit- of colour instead of my usual ‘milk-bottle’ look! Not only that, but this morning, I even managed to run for a solid 20 minutes, so I’m feeling pretty proud!
Aside from my journey to Cornwall last week, I thought I would start right back at the beginning with a recipe I made for the family after being given the task of cooking the Sunday lunch. After flicking through Mary’s book, I decided to go for the apple pie; however, I didn’t stick to the recipe exactly, missing out the cloves and did deviate to another recipe of hers posted on the Channel 4 website.
The family loved it and was all eaten up, which is always great to see. Originally, the recipe calls for only a pastry top, rather like a pot-pie. But because I love pastry and think that the perfect apple pie needs the yummy crust, I made it with the bottom, sides and top, adorned with a few pastry leaves. I think it is one that goes well for family meals, and I’m sure you will too.
- 350 g plain flour
- 125 g unsalted butter, diced
- 50 g white vegetable fat, diced
- Approx. 6 tbsp cold water
- 675 g cooking apples
- 60 g caster sugar
- 1.5 tsp cornflour
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Milk, to glaze
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling
- Place the flour, butter and vegetable fat in a large bowl.
- Rub into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and mix with a knife until the mixture just begins to hold together. Using one hand, gather the mixture together into a rough ball against the side of the bowl. Wrap the ball in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Lightly flour the work surface. Unwrap the pastry and cut it in half. Rewrap one piece to prevent it from drying out. Gently shape the other half into a smooth ball. Flour your rolling pin and flatten the pastry. Working the rolling pin from the centre outwards, roll the pastry out into a circle, big enough to fit your flan dish at the bottom and sides.
- Brush the pie tin with a bit of melted butter and place the pastry fan in the tin with the point in the centre. Unfold the pastry and ease it into the tin without stretching or pulling it, the overhanging pastry will be trimmed later.
- Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 220°C/fan 200°C/Gas 7.
- Quarter, core and peel the apples. Slice them, toss in the lemon juice, then in the sugar and cornflour (this prevents them from going brown).
- Turn the apples into the lined tin; distribute the slices, heaping them up towards the centre. Brush the rim of the pastry with a little milk.
- Unwrap and roll out the remaining piece of pastry to about the same diameter as the first. Fold into a fan shape as before. Put the point of the fan on the centre of the pie. Unfold the pastry over the filling and gently press the edge with your thumb tips. Hold the tin in one hand and cut off the excess, holding the knife at a slight angle.
- Edge the pie by making shallow cuts with the back of a knife. Flute the edge with your fingertips, then brush the top with milk. Cut a 1cm steam hole in the centre.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/fan oven 170°C/Gas 4 and bake for 30-35 minutes. The pastry should be golden and the filling soft when pierced. Enjoy with cream or ice cream – pure yumminess!