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Woodland Apple Pie

by , featured in Ms Marmite Lover's Secret Tea Party
Published by Square Peg
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Introduction

For the optional accompaniment, simply combine all the ingredients to make the sweetened Calvados-infused crème fraîche.

To create a woodland look, I used leaf and flower cutters to make the pattern on top of this apple pie. Then I rolled small pieces of pastry to make the 'stems'. I've added Calvados here as it is an apple brandy, but it is optional. Using a mix of cooking and eating apples gives acidity, sweetness and a good texture.

Image of Kerstin Rodgers' Woodland Apple Pie
Photo by Kerstin Rodgers

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

For the pie

  • 400 grams plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 200 grams cold unsalted butter (grated, plus extra for greasing)
  • cold water for mixing
  • 1 kilogram mixed cooking apples and eating apples - whatever you have to hand - (peeled, cored and quartered - from 1.5kg unpeeled)
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons calvados
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with a couple of drops of milk for glazing

Optional accompaniment

  • 300 millilitres creme fraiche
  • 25 millilitres calvados
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

Woodland Apple Pie is a guest recipe by Kerstin Rodgers so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

You will need a 23cm round deep pie dish, and leaf and flower cutters.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas 4). Grease the pie dish.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl or just run a fork through to break up the flour and add air. Add the grated butter and use your fingertips to gently work the butter into the flour and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a few drops of water and gently mix with your hands until the dough comes together. (Alternatively, use a food processor to make the dough.)
  3. Split the dough into 2 flattened discs, wrap them in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the cooking apple quarters, brown sugar, ginger and the Calvados, if using, into a medium pan over a medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the cooking apples are tender. Don't overcook them as you don't want the cooking apples to be mushy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
  5. Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out each pastry disc into a round about 5mm thickness. Roll one round over the rolling pin and unroll it over the pie dish, then press the pastry into the bottom and up the sides. Spoon in the cooking apples, packing them in tightly.
  6. Brush the rim of the pastry shell with the egg wash and then unroll the second round of pastry over the top. Trim any excess pastry, then crimp the edges of the pie using your finger and thumb.
  7. Now is the time to decorate. Collect all the pastry scraps and roll them out thinly, then cut out shapes using cutters or freehand. Decorate the top of your pie, securing the pastry shapes on top using egg wash, then brush all over with egg wash and make a couple of incisions in the centre, to allow steam to escape. Use a little butter to grease the rim of the pie and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  8. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.
  9. Serve the pie hot, warm or cold, either with the flavoured crème.

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