Apple Pies have been my all time favorite. The first time I tasted apple pies was a little late in life in my early 20's when I lived in the US on work. The believe it or not the first pies was from one of the fast food joints for a breakfast. I simply loved them. Over time I started baking them at home. During those days with resources on the internet being so limited I had to struggle to get the crust right and I did not have the right access to the books as well. And now its a different story altogether, the experiments in my kitchen with limited access to good recipes has evolved me into an experienced baker. For most part I bake desserts and pies without the help of any external recipe. All baked with complete self inspiration.
In an apple pie fresh apples are lightly stewed in butter and cinnamon and baked in a flaky whole wheat crust. It is great to have a rolled out and crimped pie crust ready and waiting in the freezer. Well sealed in a freezer bag, the crust will keep for up to a month. When ready to use, juts pop it into a preheated oven as if you had just prepared it. Alternatively stock your inventory with delicious cups that can come in handy any time.
Yields: one 8 inch double pie crust or 25 tart cups approximately Baking Time: 25- 30 minutes
Ingredients for the pie filling 2 tablespoons butter 3 cups diced apples 1/2 teaspoon cinnanon 3 tablepoons sugar 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour honey and brown sugar for sprinkling
Ingredients for the crust 2 cups whole wheat or multi grain flour (you could add wheat germ/ wheat bran as well) 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into pea size 3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water (drop about 4 ice cubes into normal water)
Method To make by hand, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Work the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle ice water onto the crumbly dough and with your hands push the dough from the sides to the middle of the bowl to form a ball that holds together.
Transfer to a work surface. Cut the dough in half, place half on top of the other, and press down. Repeat the cutting and pressing steps three or four times until all of the water is incorporated into the dough and it clings together.
To make in a food processor, cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place them in the bowl of the food processor. Add the flour, salt and sugar. Process until all of the ingredients are incorporated. With the processor on, add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to clump but is still crumbly. Continue to drizzle a little water and pulse the food processor, stopping to test the dough with your finger tips to see if it is moist enough to hold together. When you can gather the dough into a ball, remove it from the food processor.
Divide the ball into two portions wrap in a cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour. During this time proceed to prepare the apples for the pie. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Method for Cooking Apples Heat butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir in the apples, cinnamon and sugar. Give a brisk stir, you will noticed that the sugar melts and the apples getting a little soft, at this point stir in the flour, turn off the heat and give the mixture a good stir. Allow it to cool.
Method for Assembling the Pie After half hour has elapsed and the apples are ready and cooled remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, gently flaten the ball of the dough with a rolling pin. Starting from the center, roll the dough into a circle about an inch larger than the diameter of the pan. Lift the dough into the pan. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Place the prepared pie into the refrigerator while you roll out the other dough portion. Take the other portion of the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface roll out to about 8 inches or more in diameter and keep aside while we prepare the pie. This rolled dough is to cover the pie.
Remove the prepared pie pan from the refrigerator and fill in the prepared pie filling and spread it evenly to fill the pan. Carefully lift the rolled out dough and place it over the prepared filled pie. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make 3 to 4 slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape.
Brush the top of the pie with honey and sprinkle some white or brown sugar. Place the prepared pie into the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the crust has turned golden brown. Sometimes if you have a smaller oven the edges will get browned faster than the center. You might want to reduce the temperature to 160 C and turn the pie pan around so the whole pie gets evenly baked. Once baked, turn off the oven, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before you can cut and serve. You can serve warm or cold as per your taste.