I was taught how to make pastry by my mum and when I cook it for other people. It never comes out the same twice does it but mum told me, you are the only one who notices and I am my worst critic I will admit.
Make the short crust pastry.
I use half fat to flour so for example for 8oz of flour I use 4oz of fat.
The flour is not same here and very recently when I was comparing items from the UK against the US….I made some startling discoveries of the differences and it has made an instant difference to my cooking especially my pastry…. I will say no more but I had a silent rant!
Again I cannot get the same cooking fat so I use an olive oil based fat and crispo. For this sort of pastry when I want a nice soft pastry I used 1/3 olive oil fat and 2/3 crispo.
And cake flour, not all-purpose flour and the difference was remarkable…….mmmm I am still silently ranting…lol
Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice-cold water from the fridge and wrap in cling film and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.
Roll out and line a pie plate or dish or make individual pies.
Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or just how I feel.
If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a baking tray so as to make sure there are no “soggy bottoms”
Next peel and core your apples.
If I am using Bramleys or large cooking apples I would use 4 apples any other normal sized eating apples I would use 8 for a pie plate.
Cook in a pan with a little water until they soften slightly.
I like my apples to keep their shape and not be mushy in a pie.
But that is down to personal preference.
I also add a couple of cloves or nutmeg and cinnamon.
If I use Bramleys I would add a little sugar as we don’t like our filling too sweet but here I cannot get them so use a New Zealand dessert apple which doesn’t need any added sugar.
Drain off the juice and put into pie base or individual cases.
Roll out remaining pastry and put over the top of the apples.
Making sure you crimp the edges.
Cut 3 slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Sometimes I like something fancy and I love to lattice the tops of my pies.
Brush the top with a little-beaten egg and bake in the oven on 180 degrees for 40/45 mins or until pastry is cooked.
To check just lightly scrape finger nail on edge of pastry and if it crumbles it is cooked.
If you make individual pies the cooking time is slightly less.
When cooked remove from oven and sprinkle with castor sugar.
It is nice mixed with a little cinnamon.
Serve with custard or fresh cream.
Prepared, tried and tested by: Carol Taylor
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