04 July 2015

Deep Dish Apple Pie

For the day that is in it I decided to make an American store cupboard staple. July 4th is a day for celebrating with all my American friends and their love of their independence!

I decided to whip together a deep dish apple pie. I wanted to throw my own twist on the American classic and opted to make a toffee sauce! Smother the apples in it before baking it and let it be an oozing, delicious not-so-good-for-you pie, speckled with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

The weather had changed slightly and a good north westerly breeze was helping me get all my clothes dry but it also had me putting on a cardigan! I was adamant that I wouldn't put on socks and I wanted to keep wearing my Saltwater sandals, so while my toes stayed cold, I needed something warm and fuzzy to fill my belly!

This pie was to be it and good thing too, as I had got Bramley Apples in the shops the day before. It's also a very homely pie, perfect for sharing with pots of tea and it was something that suited evening after dinner puddings down to the ground.

A full fat, Irish Dairy Cream butter short crust pastry keeps the apples in place, holding in all that lovely, sticky, sweet mess of a toffee sauce. The bramley's offer that perfect blend of tartness to help balance out the sweet flavour of the dark brown sugar in the toffee sauce. The cinnamon and nutmeg accompaniments make the pie, rustic, satisfying and homespun. It's one for all seasons I think...

All Butter Short Crust

240g plain flour
50g icing sugar
150g diced cold butter (+ a little extra for greasing)
1 large egg

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4.
Put the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until looks like breadcrumbs.
Crack in the egg and bring together until a soft ball forms.
Wrap in clingfilm, pat down and leave in fridge for 30 mins.
Grease up a 9/10 inch round pie dish.
When it comes out split into two balls, one slightly larger than the other and roll out. 

I like to blind bake my pastry case bottom using pastry beads at 180C/350F or gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes. I find this helps stop all those lovely juices from seeping out all over the place. You'll find there'll be no soggy bottoms around here!

Once blind baked, take it out and just leave it rest while you finish off the apples.

The Toffee Apple Filling

1200g of Bramley Apple

This was 6 large Bramley's for my 10 inch dish. Skin the apples completely and then just chop them into however you feel... I like to do a rough slice and just keep slicing through the apple until I reach the inner core. I am not fussy about size or shape... it's all about the right amount here!

50g butter
25g plain flour
50g white sugar
60g dark sugar
100ml of water
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract, whatever you have)

Add all your ingredients into a pot and stir over a medium heat until fully melted and molten. Keep stirring until it thickens, do not stop stirring! This should only take about 3-4 minutes. Once thickened, take off the heat and pour into a bowl and allow to cool.

Pour the cooled toffee sauce over the apples and just leave it to one side until you need it.

Fill the pastry case with the apples and top with the remaining pastry. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven and minding the top doesn't get too brown. Allow to cool slightly on a wore tray upon taking it out of the oven.

Disclaimer; I didn't use all the sauce I made on the apples because um... we'd eaten a lot of it off the spoon and then said we'd use some of it on ice cream, then we dipped biscuits in to it. And we had more ice cream we had before tea... and then we had pie.

Serve it warm with ice cream, dripping down the side or cold with fresh whipped vanilla cream.

Tea I find, is the most friendliest of accompaniments but you have yours with your beverage of choice. Or none at all... I'm not here to tell you your business... well... Only that if pie is your thing.

You should make this one.

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