Apple Pie

11:46 PM

I love different seasons and the changes they bring with them...changes which are not always very pronounced in our part of the world yet evry season is different and beautiful in its own way. I love the time when a season melts into another one... how their specific attributes slowly fades away with a promise to come back again next year. It fills me with hope and anticipation, fond memories from last season floods in whispering promises of all that is yet to come. I feel giddy and emotional at the same time. Giddy to create new memories, new traditions...emotional to retrace the same path I took to happiness and in the process create more memories for my kids to look back with a smile on their face, to look at each season with new joy and new hope.

It's not a secret anymore that I am a sucker of tradition and even reading about different traditions of the World makes me happy. So when a friend from the US told me how she bakes her Grandma's apple pie every year to remember her time in their apple orchard I knew I need to bake it too. I was drawn to the thought when she described how she and her sister will wait at the window sill for that pie to cool down. This old world slow lifestyle always attracts me and She was more than happy to fill me in with the recipe and told me with a glee that after baking this one I would never ever would be able to eat any apple pie in the World. I baked it soon enough to understand what she meant and a spoonful into the warm apple pie and I am sold for life. The pie ticks all the right boxes. No soggy bottom, no gooey gluey filling, no over killing of sweetness rather a sticky toffee like sweet and sour and cinnamony filing encased in the most flaky pastry I could ever have. 

I again baked it this year and this time doing it more justice with pretty lattice on top and fall like foliage to deck it up...It still tasted better that how it looked. No wonder they say Grandma knows the best.

Apple Pie
(makes one 8" pie)

for the pastry:

All purpose flour- 3 cups

Corn flour: 3 tbsp

Butter- 175 gms (chilled and unsalted)

Sugar- 3 tbs

Salt: 1/4 tsp
Ice water- 1/2 cup more or less

For the filling:
Green apples: 3 (granny smith)
Red apples: 1 big (I used Gala)
Raisins: handful
Cinnamon: 1 tsp
Brown Sugar: 3/4 cup
Corn flour: 2 tbsp
Butter: 2 tbsp
Salt: 1/3 tsp
Lemon: 1/2 (we need the juice only)

First let us make the pastry.
Mix the castor or powdered sugar, corn flour, salt and flour in a big bowl. Cut the chilled butter in cubes and add to it. With a pastry cutter or two forks start cutting the butter in small sizes and blending through the flour. It would look like coarse bread crumbs. Now add ice water 1 tbsp at a time and using your fingers mix in. be very gently and at no point put any pressure, just move your fingers in one direction. Add as much water as you need to bring everything in a craggy dough. 

Place this in a big piece of cling film, cover and bring together to make a dough.
Put in the fridge for a min. of 30 minutes or upto 16 hours.

In the mean time peel and chop the apples in small cubes. Add the cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar to it. Mix, cover and set it aside for couple of hours. The sugar will melt and the apples will soften.
Take a heavy bottom pan and pick out the apples with a slotted spoon and place in it. Start cooking it on low flame. Again more juice will come out. Add the raisins and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar juice and cook again further till the juice thickens up like a syrup. Mix in the corn flour with little water and add to the pan. Stir continuously till everything mixes properly and become a thick syrup, add the butter, mix and  Take off from pan and let it cool down. Do not make it very dry as it will again be baked in the oven for an hour.

Now dust your pie dish with some flour and keep aside. 
Pre heat oven at 200C.
Take out the dough and divide in half. Roll one portion out between two cling films till reaches a 10" circle. The thickness should not be less than 1/4" thick. Use generous amount of flour so that while rolling it does not stick. Remove the top cling film and carefully place it on the pie pan. Using your finger carefully cut off the excess from the pie pan. make few punch marks with a fork and again put it in the fridge to chill.

With the other piece of dough roll it out again and cut thick or thin strips if you plan to do a lattice design or just roll in a circle. You can decorate the pie in various ways. I shaped small leaves with the pie scraps and used a toothpick to create the veins.

Once the pie base is chilled and the filling is at room temperature Pre heat the oven at 200C. Place the apple pie filling in the pie tin and cover or create lattice with the rest of the dough. Decorate and brush the top of the pie with beaten egg or just milk. Bake for 20 minutes. Then cover the pie with a piece of aluminium foil and bake for another 45-50 minutes or till it looks golden and puffy.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store the rest in a air tight container in the fridge.

Sending this to KFB's Christmas goodies event.

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