Apple and Raspberry Pie

God gave me horribly hot little hands. I have the hands that when we used to have to hold hands at school for things like country dancing and walking in a ‘croc’ (a crocodile of small children being a long line of hand holding infants for those not in the know) people used to exclaim in horror that I had clammy hands and this has stayed with me to this day.

Being old steamy hands, I am appalling with pastry. Sometimes, it actually brings me to tears. But occasionally, I break with my fear of ending up with a sticky flour lump of horror and I make pastry to make a fruit pie. My ideal pie is savoury and I tend to stick with things with a puff pastry top but every now and again, I get the desire to make the kind of pie that has a blanket of pastry layered over the lumps and bumps of apples and that wonderfully shiny, sugary crust.

One day, I shall own this fine specimen (below) and then I shall make the most wonderful pastry but for now I shall manage with a boring old Magimix.

I used apples and raspberries as we had raspberries in the freezer from last summer and I like them for the colour they lend and the tartness they provide! I also make exceptionally ‘short’ pastry, this is sometimes a bone of contention to pedantic people but the shorter the pastry the crumblier it is and I think pastry needs to be seriously crumbly else there’s no point! The secret, as I have learned, to super short pastry is patience with adding the cold water. I call the stage at which the pastry rolls itself up into a ball, the best bit surely, the snowman moment as I think it looks a bit like a snowman in the mixer bowl. This is the stage that you’re waiting for and so I try not to add too much water but instead wait patiently for this moment but it does take practice.

Eleanor’s Apple and Raspberry Pie

– I use imperial measurements for pastry because I learned it from my mother as a child and she always uses imperial.

  • 8 oz of plain flour
  • 4 oz of butter
  • I use 4 teaspoons of freezingly cold water but you may need more/less.
  • 4 cooking apples
  • 500g raspberries
  • caster sugar for cooking apples
  • egg beaten for egg wash
  1. Add the flour and the butter to the mixer. Whizz until it forms a crumb i.e. looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Add, with the mixer on and spinning round, a teaspoon of cold water pausing for 20 ish seconds before adding another.
  3. When the mixture binds to the point that it looks like a small snowman living in the mixer bowl, add no more water! It should take about 4 teaspoons but Delia says up to 8. Doubtless she’d find my pastry too short!
  4. Take out of the mixer, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, heat the oven to 180 c and peel and core the cooking apples. You MUST at this point, throw the peel over your shoulder to reveal the name of the man you are going to marry. I kept getting numbers so I made do with creating my own initial.
  6. Cut the apples into good size chunks and add to a pan with 30ml of water and a good sprinking of sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes or until rather soft.
  7. Stir in the raspberries and put to one side.
  8. Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out into two large sheets. Line the pie dish, fill with the apple and raspberry and cover with a pastry top. Cut around the edge of the pie dish and ensure the 2 layers of pastry are firmly pressed together.
  9. Cover the pie with the egg wash. Pierce a large whole in the middle of the pie to allow the steam to escape and sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until crispy and golden.

Eat with ice cream or custard!

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