We were all excited yesterday – going to go apple picking! It really is one of my favorite memories of cool fall Saturdays with the kids and their friends. I always came home with a couple of bags of apples – the crispness of apples just off the tree, the sweet tartiness of that first bite, juices on my cheeks – oh and the kids enjoyed themselves too! Okay they had more juice on their cheeks than I ever did and I know they had as good a time picking and eating them as I did.
Coming home with my Honeycrisp and Cortland apples, I was itching to try this recipe by Lucy Waverman (one of my favourite Canadian Chef’s, I’ve been following her in books, magazines and newspapers for as long as I’ve been cooking) from a collaborative book she has written with Beppi Cresariol – both from the Globe and Mail. The book is called “The Flavour Principle” and yes it is on my Christmas wish list. It’s food and wine pairing so you know it’s got to be good. Here’s the recipe, as always modified with my cooking notes and also using my Bellini Kitchen Master to make the crust. The combination of the tart cheddar with the sweet apples is a match made in heaven. This is a keeper recipe folks! Thank you Lucy Waverman and my apologies in advance for changing it up slightly. The ingredient list below is as presented in the paper. Pictures below.
2½ cups All Purpose Flour
½ tsp Kosher Salt
1 cup cold, unsalted butter – cubed
1 cup white cheddar, shredded or chopped
6 – 8 tbsp cold water
10 cups sliced, cored peeled mixed apples – I used Honeycrisp and Cortland – adding the Cortland in just before the Honeycrisp were finished cooking – about 6 large apples for me
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar – the apples needed it, the Honeycrisp was disappointingly bland
1 tsp cinnamon
½ ground allspice – I didn’t add this in, it’s a personal thing, not crazy about the taste unless it has a whole bunch of habanero chilies and thyme with it
3 tbsp. tapioca flour – see my instructions below
2 tbsp. unsalted butter – see my instructions below
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. milk
Using your Bellini Kitchen Master, add the flour, cubed butter, cubed/chopped cheese and salt to the jug
Set the speed level to 5 and the timer to 5 seconds – pulse the ingredients – repeat about 3 times to ensure you have the butter and cheese incorporated into the flour – you know the look, pea sized pieces of flour –
Add the cold water – 1 tbsp. at a time – continue to pulse on speed 5, 3 seconds at a time adding the water at each interval – when it just comes together – you may not need all 8 tbsp. so keep an eye on it, empty the contents onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
While the dough rests in the fridge, peel, core and thinly slice the apples. You could just chop the apples as well or any other shape you like – it’s your apple pie
Add the lemon juice at this stage as well
Add the butter to a heavy bottomed pot, once the butter is melted add the cinnamon, allspice – swirl/stir the mixture to bring out the flavours that only heat will bring out in spices
Add the apples – I also added my favourite dry ingredient – about ¾ cup of currants (not in the above ingredient list) – stir to ensure all the apples are coated with the mixture
Cook on medium heat (I have a gas cooktop so set your cooktop accordingly)
Preheat the oven to 425f
If using two different types of apples and they have a different texture i.e. Honeycrisp and Cortland, add the softer textured apples about 10 minutes into the process, just before the harder apples are cooked – you don’t want apple sauce, about 15 minutes is all the cooking time you need – let cool
If you have a lot of juice released from the apples – crumble some plain cookies into the mixture
I use Peak Freans Lifestyle brand Peaches and Yogourt or Blueberry Brown Sugar, but they have a lot of different flavour so see what appeals to you and use it. You could also add the Tapioca Flour – for me it’s all about flavour when I cook so if I can add more flavour, I’m happy.
Remove the pastry disc from the fridge, cut into half – you could make one piece slightly larger for the bottom and leave less for the top, I didn’t, equal amounts lets me to make a fancier edge on the pie
Roll out the bottom piece – using your rolling pin to pick it up, lay the crust onto the bottom of your pie container – using your fingers ensure it is all along the surface – corners included
Pour the apple mixture onto the bottom crust – if there is too much liquid, strain it out but leave some with the apples (if a few currants get left behind in the pan with the liquid it’s okay – keep reading)
Wet the edges using the egg wash and place the top crust over the apples – note I didn’t dot with butter as my apples had moisture in them and a little less fat given the fantastically rich crust
Seal and crimp the edges, egg wash the top, make a few slits in the top, dust with vanilla sugar or regular sugar
Bake at 425f for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350f and bake for 30 – 40 minutes more – My pie was ready after the 30 minutes at 350f in a convection oven period i.e. total cooking time 45 minutes
While the pie is baking – reduce the leftover juices in the pan – they make a great sauce for the top of your pie
Beppi Cresariol recommended the sweet wines of Coteaux du Layon in the Loire Valley.
As always – enjoy (responsibly)!