Mincemeat and Apple Pie
Apparently fruit pies can be a bit tricky due to a high risk of a “soggy bottom”. This recipe proves that to be nonsense. This pie is really easy and actually quite quick to make and there is not a soggy bottom in sight.
This pie serves 8 people.
Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)
10oz Plain Flour
4oz Light Brown Sugar
3tsps Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Salt
8oz Butter (soften in a microwave for 10-15 seconds, full power)
1tbsp Chilled Water
16oz Bramley Apples
4oz Caster Sugar
1tsp Almond Extract
2oz Ground Almonds
4oz Golden Caster Sugar
½ oz Demerara Sugar
In a large mixing bowl, sieve 8oz plain flour, 4oz light brown sugar, 1tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp salt for the pastry. Whisk the ingredients with a hand whisk to evenly combine them.
Cut 4oz butter into cubes and add to the flour mixture. Rub the mixture between your fingers repeatedly to generate “breadcrumbs”; make sure all of the large lumps are rubbed out so that you have fine “breadcrumbs”.
Mix one egg and the water and then pour a little bit at a time into the “breadcrumbs” and bring the dough together with your hands.
Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Peel and dice the apples (cut each apple into eight segments and then cut the segments in half). Wrap the apple in kitchen roll and place in an air-tight container for at least 1 hour. This is to remove as much liquid as possible from the apples, helping avoid soggy pastry later.
In a medium sized bowl, place the caster sugar and 4oz butter (cut into cubes). Cream the two together with a wooden spoon by pressing the mixture into the base of the bowl repeatedly. Add one egg and the almond extract. Whisk the ingredients together with an electric whisk.
Sieve in 2oz ground almonds and beat in with a wooden spoon to produce a frangipane paste.
In a large bowl, place 4oz golden caster sugar, 2oz plain flour, 2tsps cinnamon and 4oz sultanas. Whisk together with a hand whisk until evenly combined.
Take a smooth flan/pie dish with a loose bottom (mine is 22cm/8.5inch in diameter) and grease it thoroughly with butter.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out two-thirds of it on a floured work surface. Regularly flip the pastry over and turn 90o after every few rolls of the rolling pin to stop the pastry from sticking to the work surface. Add more flour when necessary.
Once the pastry is about 5mm thick, gather it all up into a ball and roll it out again. This makes the pastry a lot more manageable and less likely to tear. Get the pastry about 5mm thick.
Take the loose bottom out of the tin and gently fold the pasty in on itself so that it is small enough to fit on the disc. Slip the disc underneath the pastry and then put it into the tin.
Fold the pastry back out and gently press it into the corners to line the tin in pastry.
Roll a rolling pin along the top of the tin to remove all the excess pastry.
Roll out the remaining pastry in the same way, ready to top the pie.
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC (350oF, Gas Mark 4) with a baking tray in the oven.
Sprinkle flour on the base of the pastry case to soak up excess liquid when the pie cooks.
Spread the mincemeat across the base of the pie. Spread the frangipane on top of the mincemeat.
Add the apples to the sultana-sugar mixture and coat the apples.
Spread the apple mixture on top of the frangipane and press down firmly to pack as much into the pie as possible. The layer of apples should be above the level of the tin.
Crack the remaining egg into a mug and use a pastry brush to paste the egg around the edge of the pie.
Place the remaining pastry on top of the pie and press the edges down. Cut off the excess pastry.
Paste egg across the top of the pie and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top. Cut three slits into the pastry to allow the steam to escape when cooking.
Place the pie onto the heated baking tray and bake for 35 minutes.
I was really impressed with this pie; the pastry came out perfect and the filling is packed with flavour. Perfect for Christmas.