Try this delicious twist on the traditional apple pie. You'll never go back to your old recipe again!
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
For the pastry base, in a large bowl whisk the flours and sugar. Rub in the butter to form breadcrumbs, making sure not to leave any smears of butter. Add eggs and water and lightly knead and press to bring it all together to form smooth dough. Roll out to 4mm thick, lift it up to let it form how it wishes and then use it to line a deep dish pie tin, ensuring there is a generous amount of over-hang. Dock the base by pricking it all over with a fork and then place in the fridge to cool, firm and relax.
To make the pastry top, in a small glass, mix the sugar, vinegar and water. In a medium bowl, rub the butter and flour together leaving a few smears of butter. Tip onto a work bench, sprinkle over the water mix and gently bring the mix together with the heel of your palm. Form into a disc, sprinkle a little flour over it, wrap it in plastic and pop it into the fridge.
Line the pastry-lined tin with foil or baking paper and pour in pie weights. Blind bake the pastry for around 10 – 15 minutes, watching that it doesn’t over-bake. Trim any over-hanging pastry and loosen the pastry shell to aid in easy removal later.
Reduce oven to 180C.
For pie filling, get a large mixing bowl, half fill it with fresh water and stir in the juice of a lemon. Peel, core and cut into 8ths, all of the apples, adding them to the lemon water to stop them going brown. Once all apples have been completed, melt a third of the butter in a large fry pan over a medium-low heat. Cook the apples in batches, watching that they don’t go mushy and adding more butter if needed. They will reduce in size dramatically as the moisture is cooked out of them. Once each batch of apples has softened put it in a colander to help drain away any unwanted moisture.
In a measuring jug whisk the eggs, sugar, flour, crème fraiche and grate about two-thirds of the nutmeg in, judging the exact amount on the day.
Remove the disc of pie top pastry from the fridge. Place the apple wedges inside the pie tin, building it up in an orderly fashion and raising it in a pyramid once you have reached the rim of the pie tin. Roll out the pie to pastry disc and cut a circle large enough to generously cover the pie. With left over pastry cut out leaf shapes with a small leaf cookie cutter.
Pour the crème fraiche custard mix into the pie tin and brush a little egg wash around the rim. Place the pie top over the pie and press to tightly seal the edges. Place the pastry leaves in a suitable fashion over the pie top. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with extra caster sugar. Cut a small hole in the top.
Bake in the oven for about one hour, or until the top is golden-brown and undulated.
The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99.
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