Recipe of the Month - Ben’s Gran’s Apple Pie
Ben’s Gran’s Apple Pie, by Ben O’Donoghue for Delicious Magazine
With the cool winter shift here I wanted to start off the month by sharing this heart-warming family favourite. This no dish, no fuss, rustic apple pie will win everyone over. Guaranteed.
Serves: 6 adults
1kg Granny Smith apples
1 cup (220g) caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 star anise
3 cups (450g) plain flour
1/3 cup (40g) custard powder
1 cup (150g) icing sugar
350g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
3 egg yolks, plus 1 lightly beaten
egg to brush
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
8 egg yolks
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
300ml pure (thin) cream
- For pastry, place flour, custard powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a processor. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add yolks and process until pastry comes together in a smooth ball. Divide into 2, then knead each into flat discs. Enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, peel and core apples. Place in a pan over medium heat with sugar, juice, and spices. Cook 10 minutes or until fruit is tender but still holds its shape. Cool, then discard spices.
- For the custard, place milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds in a pan over medium heat. Bring to just below boiling point, then set aside for 15 minutes to infuse. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, then gradually whisk in warm cream mixture to combine (discarding vanilla pod). Return mixture to pan over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon for 6 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain through a sieve. Cool, then cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out each pastry disc between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3mm-thick, 28cm circles. Place 1 circle on a baking tray, leaving the bottom sheet of paper in place as lining. Pile apple mixture in the centre, leaving a 3cm border, then brush the border with egg.
- Top with remaining pastry, press down the border, then trim edges into a neat circle. Pinch edges with your fingers to seal. Brush top with beaten egg, then bake for 30 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with caster sugar, then bake for a further 10 minutes until golden. Serve with the custard.
Don’t be afraid to play with flavours, mix and match with what’s looking good and in season for maximum flavour.
- Apple and blackberry
- Apple and mixed spice
- Apple and rhubarb
- Pear and cinnamon
- Pear and blueberry
- Stone fruit