Apple pie is a very humble and rustic dish. It is a crowd pleaser and one of my favourite pie dishes.. I just love eating apple pie and as much as I love eating it, I even love making it. There is something very satisfying about pie making which I cannot express in words.
You can see how crisp and flaky the pie crust is. I love a good, crisp pastry. The shortcrust pastry should produce a crisp outer layer and a little biscuit-y layer which will follow the outer layer. It doesn’t matter if your crimping isn’t perfect or your crust has dents because it is supposed to be rustic and rustic ≠ (not equal to) perfect always 😛
Well, all you need is patience for this dish. Which ideally most of us lack, including me. 😛 I know there is a lot of chilling involved which will make most of us eager and we will tend to skip the step but after past experiences with warm pastry, all I would say is, please chill it wherever I have mentioned. Trust me, it will definitely be worth it.
Ingredients: (Yields 8-10 slices)
For the flaky shortcrust pastry-
- Plain flour- 2 cups or 280 grams
- Cold unsalted butter- 175 grams; cubed
- Cold water- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Sugar- 2-3 tablespoons
For the filling–
- Red Washington apples/ Granny smith apples- 5 (Make sure the apples you use are not too ripe. They should still be hard and should hold their shape)
- Lemon juice- 1 tablespoon
- Granulated sugar- 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons
- Nutmeg- a pinch (grated)
- Cinnamon powder- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on your liking
- Plain flour- 2 tbsp
- Melted butter- 2 tbsp
- Egg- 1/2 for egg wash (or use melted butter to brush)
- Milk- 1/2 tbsp for eggwash
If you do not want to use the egg for eggwash, brush the crust with melted butter instead.
For the shortcrust pastry–
Sift the plain flour into a clean, dry bowl. To it, add the cold cubes of butter. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the flour and butter against each other. Do this till you get a rough crumbly mixture. This mixture can be brought together to one extent. (You do not want to melt the butter by completely squishing it but instead what you need is a crumbly mixture with tiny specks of butter still in it)
At this point, add the sugar and gently mix it through. Make sure you do not over work the dough. Add the water one tablespoon at a time and try to bring the dough together to form a ball. ( Make sure you add just enough water so that the dough comes together and not excess of water. I use about 2 tablespoons. But the quantity of water may differ due to strength of flour and humidity). Cover the dough with cling film and allow it to chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
For rolling out the dough, cut the chilled dough in half, keep one half and keep the other half in the fridge. Dust a large piece of parchment paper with very little flour and place the dough over it. Place another sheet of parchment paper over it and roll it to 1/8th an inch thickness and the size of the rolled out pastry should be larger than your tin. Make sure you don’t roll it too thin or it can tear while draping. Lightly dust the tin with flour.
In order to make it easy while covering the tin, I chill the rolled out dough also in the fridge for 2-3 minutes just to firm up a bit. This is optional but I feel it makes the work easier. Peel off the parchment paper on the top and picking the rolled dough which is still on the bottom parchment paper, gently flip it onto the tin. With the paper still on, gently shape the bottom of the tin and the sides. If it tears, gently stick it back. Once you are satisfied, peel off the paper gently. Trim off the overhanging
If you have any tear or any place which is uncovered, just roll the remaining dough and stick it back on. Then crimp the edges to give it a nice look. Chill this base for 5 minutes. Meanwhile make the filling.
For the filling–
Peel, cut in half and remove the core of the apples. Cut the apples into 1/2 inch thick slices. Add lemon juice to it and mix. (This will prevent the apples from oxidising). Add the sugar and mix gently. Add the cinnamon, flour and melted butter. Mix gently and tip this mixture into the chilled pastry.
Take the other half of the chilled dough and roll it in the same way. Again flip it onto the filled pie. Cover it, remove the overhanging, excess pastry and crimp the edges. Using a knife, make a few holes in the form of a round. This is mainly for two purposes, one is to make it look pretty and the second reason is it help the steam from apples to expel during baking and provide a better crust. For egg wash, beat together the egg and milk. Brush this mixture over the pie. If you wish to skip the egg, just brush it generously with melted butter. Chill this for 10-15 minutes. I know it’s a lot of chilling but trust me, it is very much necessary and it is truly worth it.
Preheat oven to 190°C. Bake the pie for 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Then reduce the temperature to 175°C and bake for further 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp, flaky and you can see the filling bubbling from the holes. To check if the crust is done, insert a thin sharp knife into the pie. It should sound crisp and there should be no dough stuck when you remove it.
If the pastry is browning too much, just cover the top with aluminium foil. Do not seal or crimp it.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool nicely. If you are impatient and try to take it out while it is still warm, you will end up with a pie slice which looks a bit sloppy (Like how I did out of excitement) Experience talks. 😛 See this picture below. Well, I should have cooled it completely. But who cares! It is just yum.. Serve it with good vanilla ice cream and you will be in flavour heaven. 😀