This masterpiece is made with vanilla bean custard, strawberries, apples, raspberries, rhubarb and more!
Using a large saucepan over medium heat. Place sugar, chopped and hulled strawberries, raspberries, chopped rhubarb stalks and peeled, cored and chopped apples. Add cinnamon and vanilla bean paste. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add almond meal and mix well. Combine cornflour and water and add to fruit mix. Stir for 2 minutes until very thick and cooked through. Transfer mix to bowl. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate to cool whilst making pastry & pastry leaves.
Preheat oven to 180C. In bowl of electric mixer place butter, sugar, eggs, salt and rice flour. Beat until thick and creamy for about 3 minutes. Stir in flour until combined. Turn onto a heavily floured surface and knead until a soft dough forms. Divide dough in half. Cover one half with cling wrap and set aside.
As this is shortbread dough it can be used straight away without being rested. Roll out dough and press into base and sides of 26cm deep non stick springform tin. Don’t worry if dough falls apart as it’s a very forgiving dough and easy to patch up. Trim extra pastry from top of tin. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
Line a baking tray with glad bake. Roll other half of pastry out. Using a leaf cutter cut leaves out. Mark a vein pattern on each one using a knife and place on tray.
Heat milk, cream and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Whisk into milk mixture. Whisk over low heat until thickened and ribbon stage. Discard vanilla bean; pour into a jug to serve.
Remove base from freezer, sprinkle 100gm of extra almond meal over base (this will help prevent pastry base going soggy during cooking) spoon fruit filling on top. Sprinkle remaining extra almond meal over top of fruit. Brush the beaten egg white over edges of pastry base to attach leaves. Starting from the outside overlap leaves in a circular pattern working towards the centre of the pie until the whole thing is covered. Place in oven and bake at 180C for 1.5 hours. If edges are browning too quickly cover with foil. Allow to cool in tin before releasing seal. Dredge sifted icing sugar on top. Use a serrated knife to cut.
The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99.
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