My first memory of baking is with my Gran, she talked me through how to make an apple pie and I do mean talked, she wouldn’t lay a finger on it because she said her hands were always too warm to handle pastry and if she got involved it wouldn’t work, even when my arms got tired and I said “Gran will you do it?” she simply replied “You can do this, there’s no rush, just keep going” – words to live by.
I was lucky enough to have my Gran be a really big part of my life, she passed away when I was only 14 but luckily I still have a huge amount of memories of great times with her. None really come close to the making of that first pie though, with her standing behind me, peering over my shoulder, her hands clasped tightly behind her back, encouraging me all the way, even though it (no doubt!) took me five times longer than if she’d just jumped in there and done it for me. She was so incredibly patient.
So even though I know she would wholeheartedly disagree – this is her pie, her recipe, her memory – with a little inflection or two from myself (the lime and vanilla) because, as she said that day “when you make it again you can try different things, once you have the basics you’ll be flying!”
For The Pastry
225g Plain Flour
100g Butter (diced)
1 Egg (beaten)
For The Filling
6 Cooking Apples
50g Plain Flour
145g Caster Sugar
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
Juice of 1 Lime
4 drops of Vanilla Extract
Place the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the beaten egg and mix until a dough is formed. Set aside 1/3 for the lid and roll out the remaining until about 1/2 an inch in thickness, drape into your pie dish and press down lightly until there is no air trapped.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl
peel, core and slice your apples and then add them to the bowl.
Squeeze the lime juice over the top and add the four drops of vanilla extract, mix well with clean hands until all the apples slices are thoroughly coated and transfer to your pie.
Brush the rim with egg and then place the roll out pastry lid on top, squeeze the two together and slice away the excess, then decorate as simply or ornately as you wish
Brush more of your egg wash over the top and place the pie in the oven for 45mins or until golden brown all over and the apples are soft
Take out of the oven and basque in the yummy – the above was the first time I’d made Gran’s pie in such a large pie dish, so next time I made sure to crimp better and leave a bit more pastry so that when it cooks the edging doesn’t shrink in so much – but I’ve got to be honest, who really cares when they’re being handed a piece of apple pie!?!
Just look at all that golden gloriousness, don’t you want to just dig in?!
I literally have a serving knife that we got from my parents as part of our wedding present – I really need to get it out of storage (travesty I know!) – so, on this occasion, a standard kitchen knife had to come to the rescue!
With a cup of tea in one hand and a slice of pie (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to cap it off) in the other – I mean – total bliss, right?! You must try it for yourself, the hint of lime and vanilla work in contradictory harmony and it completely elevates your standard apple pie recipe making your tastebuds sing. Why would you deny yourself such a thing? Well you wouldn’t, ’cause you’re a sensible flower. So get to baking and let me know how it turns out, I can’t wait to see your creations!!
Thank you Gran xx