Remember my bag of apples?
I made muffins with some of them last week.
With what I had left I decided to take on probably the most popular pie in the world.
Now I had ready-made, shop-bought pie crusts in my freezer, but I wanted to do this right.
I wanted to get my hands dirty.
I wanted to fret about not keeping the dough cold enough.
I wanted to worry about over-handling and under-baking.
I wanted to cut the apples just before they went in the pie, so they wouldn’t discolour.
Yes, I have apple pie OCD.
But for this pie, any behavioural disorders are totally worth it.
The star of this pie is the crust. I could seriously eat it without the apple filling.
It is crisp and brown on the outside, and creamy and yielding on the inside.
And so buttery! The kind of flavour you’d never in a million years find in shop-bought pie crust.
And say hello again to that happy-making threesome of apple, cinnamon and sugar. They were born to be together.
Arranging the apples in concentric circles is also a perfect task for an OCD’d person, like me.
It is also rather hypnotic. See what I mean?
Look into my eye.
Said the apple pie.
This yummy pie is best eaten warm.
It also disappears fast.
See? I warned you
Prep time: 10 mins + freezing
Cook time: 50 mins
Eat this with: Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but SO good by itself also!
170 g plain flour
2 tbsp ground sugar
170 g butter (salted is fine, but it should be cold), plus 50 g more
2–3 tbsp ice water
1 egg, lightly beaten
4–5 medium sized apples (I prefer green apples, but any firm ones will do)
6 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp cinnamon powder
For the crust
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar together. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. With a fork or pastry cutter, slowly mix the butter into the flour, till it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (If you create some big bits and some small bits of the buttery-flour, you know you’re doing it right)
2. Add the water a spoonful at a time, and mix very gently with your hands until you have a rough ball. Do not over mix, as the dough will become hot. Just form into a rough ball and put into a Ziploc bag. Place in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
3. Grease a 9-inch loose-bottomed pie dish with butter and place that in the freezer as well.
4. Take out the pie dough and knead it a bit to make it malleable. Take out the pie dish, and slowly spread the dough inside the dish with your fingers. Spread it in as even a layer as possible, all over the base and the sides. Work quickly, and put the dish in the freezer for another 30 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200º C.
5. Place some greaseproof paper on the crust, and cover with rice or baking beans. Bake for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven, brush the surface with some beaten egg, and bake again for about 10 minutes. Take it out and let it cool.
For the filling
1. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of this mixture on the base of the cooled pie crust.
2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. As you slice, begin to layer them inside the crust, in concentric circles, beginning from outside and working your way into the centre.
3. Sprinkle the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture on top of the apples. Spoon small bits of butter on top for extra flavour.
4. Bake this in a preheated oven at 200º C for 25 minutes or until crisp and brown on top.
5. Remove from the oven, cut yourself a slice , and say hello to happiness