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Posts Tagged ‘pie’

  1. Apple Pie – an old fashioned pie plate recipe

    April 1, 2015 by sarah

    I bought an old-fashioned pie plate in the January sales but it languished in the pan cupboard until this week. It has a classic retro feel about it so I just had to make a good, old fashioned apple pie. Now, normally pastry is not my strong point but I recently bought a pastry blade from Lakeland and it has revolutionised my pastry making. It means that even without a full sized food processor, I can whip together a batch of pastry within 10 minutes and no sticky hands and scrubbing pastry from under my wedding ring!

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    I love how this apple pie turned out. Having kept the filling simple, the apple flavour really does shine through. Perfect for serving warm with custard or ice-cream or cold with cream. Mmmm! Go on, spoil someone this week with this old-fashioned recipe.

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    Apple Pie

    Serves 6-8
    For the Pastry
    250g plain flour
    50g icing sugar
    125g cold butter
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    egg wash (one egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
    caster sugar for dusting
    For the Filling
    2 large Bramley apples
    3 eating apples (need about 1kg apples in total)
    100g soft brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 tablespoon lemon juice


    Preheat the oven to 200 ºC/180 ºC fan. Grease a 20cm pie plate with butter.

    Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour, icing sugar and salt, either by hand, food processor or pastry blade, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Crack the egg into the pastry and gently mix with your hands until it comes together into a ball. If the mixture is too dry, add a drop or two of cold milk or water. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the fridge to rest and cool for about an hour or more.

    Peel the apples, place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice to stop them turning brown. Add the sugar and spices and mix well. Put in a large saucepan and over a medium heat, cook gently for 5 minutes until the apples are tender but not complete mush. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

    Divide your pastry in half and on a worktop dusted with flour, roll out to about 1/2 cm thick. Transfer the pastry to the pie plate by drapping over the rolling pin. Ease the pastry into the dish, making sure it is well pushed into the sides. Sprinkle the base of the pastry with a handful of ground almonds, dry cake crumbs or bread crumbs; this will absorb excess water from the apples so the bottom of the pastry crisps up. Pack in the cooled apple mixture into the pie; it should be domed high as it will sink down.

    Roll out the other half of the pastry, also to 1/2 cm thick. Run a line of egg wash around the rim of the pastry in the tin. Carefully lift the lid onto the top of the pie.

    Use your forefinger and thumb to firmly crimp the edge of the pastry to ensure bottom and lid are well glued together.
    Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle over the caster sugar.
    With a small sharp knife, make a couple of small slits in the top of the pie so that steam can escape.

    Place the pie in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until golden and firm. Serve immediately or allow to cool.

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  2. Medlar Pie

    February 8, 2015 by sarah

    Following on from my post about medlars before Christmas, I had a bowlful of medlars left at the beginning of December. It was sort of deliberate as I wanted to experiment a little further using this fruit but was unsure of what to make plus a lack of time. And then I came across a recipe using medlars in a tart and it sounded intriguing. A recipe from 1660 – would it work? Would it translate to modern tastes? So I put some course work lectures on in the background and made this tart.

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    The original recipe is a little lacking in details:

    Take medlars that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chaffing dish of coals, season them with sugar, cinamon and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and lay it in a cut tart; being baked scrape on sugar.

    But luckily Tracey at her Norfolk Kitchen blog had already done some research and testing and came up with this interpretation. And she is right, it is very similar to an American pumpkin pie recipe but so much nicer. Whereas pumpkin is just plain bland, the medlars lend this pie a creamy fruity intenseness which is heightened by the spices rather than being the main event as in pumpkin pie. This pie was delicious to eat at any time of day, warm or cold. Next time I may try adding some orange zest for an extra dimension, though I am not sure this sublime pie needs it.

    My ever thoughtful husband bought me a cookery book for my birthday. But not just any cookery book, ‘The Compleat City and Country Cook: or Accomplifh’d Housewife’, published in 1736. There are some interesting recipes in there that I am going to experiment with when I have time. Finally a recipe for the brace of teal I have in the freezer!

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    Medlar Pie

    8″/20cm loose bottomed tart tin, lined with shortcrust party and blind baked
    bowl full of medlars (was about 500g or more)
    70g caster sugar
    3 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon mixed spice
    Prepare the medlars – stew with a little water until soft and bash up with a potato masher. Push the fruit through a sieve, discarding the skins and seeds, and put the fruit puree in a medium bowl.
    Beat in the sugar, egg yolks and spice. Taste to see if it requires more sugar or spice.
    Pour this mixture into the cold blind baked pastry case. Place in the oven preheated to 180 ºC/160 ºC fan and bake for 30-40 minutes until set. Allow to mostly cool before serving with a crunchy topping of demerara sugar.
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  3. What to do with eggs and lemons? Lemon Meringue Tart

    November 2, 2013 by sarah

    This week I found an egg mountain in my fridge. Well not so much a mountain as I am not sure if you could stack eggs high enough to make a mountain, but a whole box of my girls’ eggs hiding at the back of the fridge. They are starting their annual moult which is when egg production slumps so these eggs are very precious and deserving of a fitting baking project.

    I am not a fruit pie girl. I suppose it stems from my innate fear of pastry, which I am slowly over coming, and lack of tummy space for a desert after dinner but why should pie be restricted to a particular time of day. In fact, I have enjoyed it for breakfast for several days and though I am sure it would not be good for one to do this on a regular basis, it does have a naughty twinkle-in-the-eye element! And it contains eggs and fruit, what is more healthy than that!

    Lemon Meringue Tart
    Recipe from ‘The Great British Book of Baking’ (BBC Books)
    For the sweet shortcrust pastry
    • 175g plain flour
    • 115g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
    • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
    • a good pinch of salt
    • 1 medium egg yolk, with 2 tablespoons ice-cold water
    For the lemon filling
    • 3 medium unwaxed lemons
    • 40g cornflour
    • 300ml water
    • 3 medium egg yolks
    • 85g caster sugar
    • 50g unsalted butter, diced
    For the meringue topping
    • 4 medium egg whites
    • 200g caster sugar
    A 22cm loose-based deep flan tin.
    Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like bread crumbs. Using a round-tipped knife, mix in the egg yolk mixture. Knead for a minimal time to bring together. Wrap this in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
    Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and then use to line the flan tin. Prick the base with a fork and put in the freezer for 15 minutes while the oven heats to fan 170. I like to leave a little extra pastry all around the edge to account for shrinkage and then trim this off after the first part of the blind bake as you remove the baking beans.
    Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Heston (de Blummental) likes to use copper coins for this but I’ve never tried this way as I have the beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and trim the edge and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, take out and leave to cool. Do NOT over cook the pastry as it will turn burnt and bitter and it will be getting further baking anyway.
    Make the filling by grating the zest of the lemons into a heatproof bowl, adding the lemon juice and cornflour, stirring until a smooth paste is formed. In a pan bring the water to a boil then pour it over the lemon mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When thoroughly combined, tip all the mixture back into the pan and put on the heat, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep stirring for another minute. Remove from the heat and quickly beat in the egg yolks then the sugar and butter. Leave to cool.
    Make the meringue topping by whisking the egg whites until soft peaks and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time until it is well dissolved and the resulting mixture is glossy and stiff.
    Fill the pie by spreading the lemon mixture over the pastry case then topping with the meringue, making sure the meringue goes all the way to pastry edges. Stand the tart on a hot baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature before unmoulding and serving but eat the same day other wise the meringue will weep and liquid will come out of your tart/pie. From searching online, this is a common problem and there doesn’t seem to be any sure way of avoiding it except by eating the pie straight away. No excuse needed!
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