This is a classic dish that everyone should make at some point in their life, whether it is with your Grandma or your Grandchildren. This dessert, for me, isn't as much about the soft texture of the apples complimented by the sweet flavour of cinnamon and sugar, it is about tradition. Rain or shine, hot or freezing, without fail, I will make this dessert when my Grandma comes and visits from Melbourne. It is a tradition that strengthens our love and makes each other happy. My Grandma is the woman who taught me how to make this dessert by letting me stand by her side and peel the apples and roll the pastry. She is a major factor that made me who I am today and helped develop my love of cooking. Although I am older and more experienced in the cooking department, and my Grandma has become less capable, our tradition and bond is tighter than ever. Nowadays, when she visits (as she is at the moment) I am the one who makes this beautiful dessert for her and she is the one to judge if it is made with enough Grandma love. I hope everyone enjoys making Apple Pie as much as I do, and enjoys sharing this dessert all year round, but especially at Easter (as shown through the bunny on the table cloth!) with you much loved family.
- 20 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup milk, to brush
- 2-4 tsp sugar, to dust
- 2-4 tsp cinnamon, to dust
- short crust pastry (home made preferably - see recipe below)
- 100g chilled butter
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2-3 tblsp chilled water
For Pastry; using food processor, pulse butter and flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add icing sugar and pulse for 1 minute. Combine the egg and water in a separate container. With the motor running, slowly pour water mixture into the food processor. The mixture should stick together making dough, if not add more flour until it comes together as a dough. Remove and cover in nonstick wrap. Form it into a ball shape. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
For Filling; stew apples by placing them in a large pot. Fill just a little bit of the bottom of the pot with water, to start the softening of the apples when boiled. Boil the apples and then turn down the heat and let them simmer. Constantly check the apples to see if they are soft. Once softened remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove pastry and place the ball of dough on a floured mat. Take 3/4 of the dough to be the base and roll out in a circular shape until wide enough to fit the pie dish and go over the edges. Spray the pie dish with cooking canola spray and lay the rolled pastry on it. Add the stewed apples but do not overfill the dish. Using the 1/4 of dough left roll out in the same way as the base to use as the top of the pie (it is always better for the base to be thicker than the top). You can leave the top as a whole circle to cover the pie or you can cut the pastry into strips and create a laced top pie. If there is extra pastry hanging over the edge of the pie then cut it off with a sharp knife and use it to create patterns on top of the pie. For assistance in the decorations, use shape cutters. When placing the top pastry to the pie, brush milk on the edges to help the two pastry sheets to stick together. Then, using a fork, press the fork prongs around the edges of the pie to make sure the two sheets are stuck together and to complete the pie's appearance (as shown in the photo below). To finish, brush the top of the pie with milk and then dust with sugar and cinnamon (this allows the sugar and cinnamon to stick to the pie top).
Bake in the oven at 160'C fan forced for 40-45 minutes. When golden brown on top, remove and allow to cool a little before serving. Serve with cream and/or ice-cream and a dusting of cinnamon over everything (optional).