Great(ed) Apple Pie

'Homebaking' by the harbour with 'simplest apple pie'...


I found this beautiful book the other day: Home Baking.  It’s written by a husband and wife team, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid who are known for their award winning book Hot Sour Salty Sweet.  Sub-titled ‘the artful mix of flour and tradition around the world’, it’s a treat for the eye and the imagination as it shares recipes and photographs collected by the couple on their travels.  They’ve also included some of their favourite home-based recipes. 

The book is divided into pastry (tarts, pies & pastries), bread (festive, family, artisan), smaller breads (rolls, bagels, sweet buns, skillet breads, pancakes, flatbreads, crackers), cakes & cookies (everyday, fancy, cookies).  Jeffrey and Naomi celebrate the tradition of home baking and the idea of enjoying it, taking your time about it, doing things your own way at your own pace without chasing any ideas of perfection – ‘going relaxedly into the kitchen to make bread or a batch of cookies, knowing that you can and that it’s an easy, rewarding thing to do…’  

Baking is seen as an art not a science and there is plenty of opportunity to play and experiment.  I gave their first recipe a bash this morning ‘the simplest apple pie’ – for my sister and her family: 

For the pastry, mix 2 cups all purpose flour with ½ cup sugar while separately mixing 12 tablespoons of soft, cubed unsalted butter with 3 tablespoons of sour cream and 2 large egg yolks.  Combine the butter mix into the flour – mix together with a wooden spoon. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, should you wish.  Work out the lumps with your fingers until the mixture resembles ‘a coarse cornmeal texture’.  Add 1-3 tablespoons of cold water until the dough combines into a solid mass.  Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to rest. 

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F (I put my oven on 180 degrees C). 

For the filling, coarsely grate 8 medium/large apples (8 cups) and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and sugar to taste (not too sweet).   Mix well. 

Roll out half the pastry (about ¼ of an inch thick) and line a greased baking tray (about 8 inch square).  Pile the grated apple on top (I squeezed out the excess juices) and crumb (or grate) the remaining pastry on top so that the apples are well covered.  (I used a smaller rectangular quiche tin and had pastry left over which I’ve stored in the fridge for the time being). 

Bake until the pastry is golden brown (about an hour).  Serve with cream or ice-cream at room temperature or hot out of the oven (leave for a little while to allow the juices to settle). 

The pie smelled scrumptious and I set off to deliver it to my sister as soon as it had cooled down a little… only to discover that nobody was home.  I left the pie in their kitchen on a beautiful wooden board as a surprise but have yet to hear how it tasted… I hope it’s great!


7 thoughts on “Great(ed) Apple Pie

  1. Their pastry called for sour cream – I didn’t have any so I used normal cream. I added raisins, cinnamin and nutmeg to the coarsely grated apples… and a touch of salt because my grandmother advises to ‘add some sweet to salty and some salty to sweet’!

  2. Hello dear girl! I might give the apple pie a try. Not right now though – I have just finished six of Nin’s heartshaped butter cookies. I am such a greedy guts. Actually, now that I think about it there might have been eight in the packet. But six sounds better, don’t you think?

  3. Lovely post L, you could add a bit of lemon juice to your normal fresh cream to make it soured. Sounds like a lovely pastry. I will give it a go. Apple pie is such a big comfort food when its cold…I like to spoil the warmth of it with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. My taste buds love me with the hot and cold all together in my mouth :o)xxx

    1. Thanks for that Colleen, my Mom told me about that trick but I forgot all about it, hooray for Brownie Girl! And Ooooooooh, you’re sending me off to the kitchen now 🙂 x

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