A beautiful-hearted friend of mine recently gave me a big bag of delicious apples. They were Bravo apples fresh from the markets, crunchy and sweet. The day earlier my daughter had requested apple pie, and as I already had a bag of apples in the fridge I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out an apple pie recipe from my grandma’s recipe book.
We are in the middle of winter here in Australia. It has been stormy and cold—the perfect season to try out this Belgian Apple Pie recipe from my grandma’s recipe book. It makes one think of cosy European apartments, complete with double-glazed windows and crackling fireplaces. Rich flavours to warm the tummy and comfort oneself in the gloomy weather.
As well as looking forward to eating the pie, I was excited to try out the recipe as I had never made shortcrust pastry before. I googled shortcrust pastry recipes, found a simple one and got stuck into giving it a go. Surprisingly, it was simpler than I thought. In case you haven’t made shortcrust pastry before, ensure you allow at least 2 for the dough to rest in the fridge when planning your bake.
I found the pie relatively simple to make, aside from placing the pastry on the top of the pie. For some reason, it kept tearing as I tried to place it as a cover. It ended up looking more like a dog’s breakfast rather than the carefully crimped, elegant pie I was hoping to produce. After a few attempts at perfecting it, I ended up smooshing the pastry together and accepting my pie’s fate. I knew the flavours would still stay the same, and hoped the castor sugar would cover things up a bit after the bake. Not too bad for my first attempt at shortcrust pastry!
The caster sugar cover-up did help! My pie was now dredged and ready to enjoy. My parents were over for a visit, so we all sat down to enjoy this rich indulgence together. The flavours were different from what I had expected. It was almost a Christmasy, fruit mince pie flavour with the sultanas, cinnamon and lemon rind. Delicious. We served ours with both cream and custard… Why not??
If you manage to have any leftovers, pop them in the fridge and serve them up the following day. The flavours develop and taste even better. Enjoy!
- 15 oz. (440 grams) shortcrust or flan pastry
- 2lbs (910 grams) cooking apples
- 6oz. (170 grams) brown or white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2-3oz. (55-85 grams) Sultanas
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- Peel, core and slice apples.
- Make pastry in the usual way and place in fridge to rest.
- Damp edge of a round, shallow dish and grease bottom lightly.
- Divide pastry in half, roll out and line dish, pricking over the base.
- Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, sultanas and lemon rind.
- Fill dish with layers of apple sprinkled with the sultana mixture.
- Damp pastry edge and cover with remaining dough. Be careful not to stretch it.
- Press the two edges of pastry firmly together, trim neatly and crimp the edge all around the dish with finger and thumb.
- Slit the top to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in centre of a hot oven for 20 mins. until golden brown.
- Lower heat and continue baking for a further 15-20 mins. to cook the apple.
- Dredge with caster sugar and serve with cream or custard.