Eat Your Heart Out // Mum's Apple Pie with Anthropologie Europe
I hope she'll forgive me for saying this - but - my mum is a woman of very few recipes. Let's just say, I didn't get my interest in cooking from my mother. But, she does have a few recipes that she actually knocks out of the park - and this one in particular is not just requested, but demanded at every large family event. And when Anthropologie Europe asked me to re-create one of my mother's recipes - it was a no-brainer. Mum's apple pie.
I've definitely helped make a fair few of these pies in my lifetime, but this is the first one I did all by myself. By some miracle, I managed to make a decent pastry - a step that I knew had the potential to suck all of the light from my eyes if it went south. Thankfully, the pastry gods had mercy on me this time.
So here we go. You'll need:
-2 cups plain flour
-1 tsp salt
-3/4 cup chilled vegetable shortening
-4-8 tbsp of ice water
-1.5K cooking apples
-3/4 to 1 cup white sugar (depending on the tartness of your apples)
-2 tbsp of lemon juice
-3 tbsp of flour
-2 tsp of cinnamon
1 egg to wash
Start with your pastry. Mix together the flour and salt with a whisk to combine. Then, add your well chilled vegetable shortening and cut it into the flour mixture. You can use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to do this. Work the shortening into the flour this way until the mixture resembles bread crumbs and there are no large pieces of shortening.
Next, add the ice water a little bit at a time. Use a fork to gently combine the water to the mixture, adding water until it begins to turn into dough.
When it is sticking together just enough, gently form it into a ball and cut into two equal parts. Then, on a floured surface, form them into two small discs and then wrap in cellophane and put in the fridge to chill. They need to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Then, peel, core and slice your apples. Try to keep the pieces as even as possible, so that they cook on the same timeline. In a large bowl, place your apple slices and add your lemon juice to help deter browning. Then mix together your flour, sugar and cinnamon and add to the apples, stirring until they are coated.
If you take as long to prepare your apples as me - then your pastry will probably be properly chilled by now! Take the discs out of the fridge and give them a few minutes to warm back up to room temperature. Flour your surface and lay the first disc out and flour the top of it as well. Also flour your rolling pin (which you can also chill in the fridge to make this process easier!). Now gently roll out your pastry into two large circles, big enough to fit over your pie dish. Put your first crust in and make sure it fits down to the edges of the dish.
Then put the apple filling inside the crust. Put your top crust overtop and apply pressure on the edges to adhere the two crusts to one another.
Then you can cut off the excess dough and create a pattern on the crust using your fingers, or a fork. Poke some holes in the top of the crust to help ventilate the pie as it bakes. Then, whisk together one egg and using a brush, put a thin layer of the egg wash all over the pastry. This will make your pie pretty and the pastry have a nice crispiness to it!
Pop the pie in an oven preheated to 225 Celsius for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 170 Celsius and cook for another 50 minutes. If you find the top is getting too browned, or the edges of the pie, you can cover them with aluminium foil. Partway through the baking, you can also remove the pie from the oven and tilt it carefully over the sink, as some apples will produce a lot of water and getting rid of it will make your pie much nicer!
When it’s done cooking, test it with a knife to make sure the apples are soft. Eat it hot or cold and preferably with some vanilla ice cream!