Friday 11 March 2011

Bill's Apple & Rhubarb Pie

Busy, busy day at work today. I felt like I barely had time to turn around. I was so tired mid-afternoon but had a small banana as a pick-me-up and felt much better after that. Even if the banana did cost heaven and earth. We are really starting to feel the effect of of the devastation from cyclone Yasi in far north Queensland. I did even think to look at the price before I bought them and for 4 small bananas it cost $5.70! It was just what I needed though. However next time I think I will need to buy some thing else. While bananas are my preferred fruit I will not pay huge amounts for them.

Speaking of paying large amounts for fruit, I paid an outrageous sum of money for some rhubarb to make this fabulous pie. I love rhubarb and I have some planted in the garden but it just doesn't seem to be doing any good. I hope that it will grow and produce at some stage. The price paid for the rhubarb was worth it for this terrific pie. My grandmother gave me some freshly picked granny smith apples from their tree so I invited them up for dinner a couple of weekends ago. I had planned on making a couple of Bill's recipes on the night but I was unable to get a nice whole fish to do make what I wanted. Plus the pie wouldn't really go with a fish meal. Instead I decided to go with Jamie Oliver's Moorish Pork Chops. They were really nice, except for the fact that I overcooked them slightly and they ended up a bit dry. My grandparents thought they were fine but for me a touch dry. My grandmother was particularly taken with the bean dish that went with them. 

Bill's pie was a big hit too, although the pastry was so crumbly and it fell apart as soon as I looked at it let alone cut it. Plus the edges browned way too much. When I make my regular apple pie, actually most fruit pies, I don't normally cook the filling first. I have always had a lot of success doing it that way. That is the way that my mum always did pies and is the way that my mum's mother did it too. I was curious as to how this one would turn out and I was quite impressed with the results. It tasted so good. My apples were very tart, in fact they were too tart to eat uncooked, if you apples are okay to eat fresh I would probably reduce the amount of sugar a bit. I would also recommend making this pie the day before you want to serve it. I made it on the day and as I said before the pastry was so crumbly but the next day it cut perfectly and didn't fall apart. Definitely much easier to handle the next day. The pastry was also very hard to handle when attempting to roll out. I would definitely recommend rolling out between two pieces of baking paper to make it easier to move it. Over all, this recipe is definitely a keeper. 

Apple & Rhubarb Pie 

  • 1kg Granny Smiths, peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 50g butter, cut into small pieces
  • 300g rhubarb, chopped
  • 300g catser sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1 qty shortcrust pastry (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar for sprinkling
  • Toss the apples with the lemon juice and zest.  
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.  
  • Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened slightly.  
  • Add the rhubarb and the sugar and cook for 1 minute further.  
  • Add the flour and cinnamon, stir gently to combine.  Allow to cool.
  • Place 2/3 of the pastry between two pieces of baking paper and roll out until 4mm thick.  
  • Lightly press into a 23cm pie tin and refrigerate while the filling is cooling.  
  • Preheat the oven to 200c.
  • Spread the apples & rhubarb evenly in the pie shell.
  • Roll out remaining pastry in between baking paper until 4mm thick.  
  • Cover pie with rolled pastry. Trim, press edges of the pie firmly together and crimp the outer rim with your fingertips. Cut a couple of holes in the top crust.  
  • Sprinkle with caster sugar.  
  • Bake the pie for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown. (Watch closely from about 45 minutes it browns quickly)
Shortcrust Pastry 

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 360g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Place flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  
  • Add just enough cream for mixture to form a ball.  
  • Divide pastry into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

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