Mmmm. What more can you say about apple pie? Well, actually, I can think of a thing or two. Let’s be honest. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like apple pie, even if it’s somewhere deep down inside your most private thoughts? Saying you don’t like apple pie is like saying you don’t like puppies, or the Seychelles, or the Sound of Music. Ahem. You know, a friend once told me, long, long ago, in a far away land, that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who like the Sound of Music and those who pretend they don’t.
I always have to be strict with myself regarding apple pie: to wait wait wait for the fresh crop of apples in the early autumn to make apple pie. It’s all about eating seasonally, non? And yet every now and then I will break down and buy apples in April or May, those shipped in from South Africa or last season’s released from months of cold storage and make a big old apple pie. Yet, that first pie of Autumn, with it’s super crisp, slightly tangy, tart apples is better than the Seychelles, better than it all, and a reminder to us all to be patient next year and just wait a few more months. This pudding definitely has the proof in it.
*note: the dried white Mulberries where a gift to me from my wonderful friend, Ms A, who has opened my eyes to the culinary wonders of Persian food in all it’s glory. You should be able to find them at any Iranian or Middle Eastern food store.
Apple and White Mulberry Pie
1 x pate brise
– 2 cups flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp sugar
– 2 sticks cold butter
– ¼ – ½ cup ice water
1 cup dried white mulberries
1 Tbsp Whiskey
2 ½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter
– put the mulberries in a small bowl, cover with hot water and whiskey and allow to sit for a at least an hour to soften.
Make the pastry:
– whisk together flour, salt and sugar.
– chop cold butter into small pieces and then run into the flour mix until it starts to resemble oat meal with pea sized chunks of butter.
– add water and mix with your hands until a dough just starts to form. Dump the almost-dough onto a piece of cling wrap. Divide the mix into two, putting the other half onto another piece of cling film. Shap each piece into a rough disc, cover completely with plastic and pop in the fridge for an hour.
– pre heat the oven to 440˚F
– remove one half of the chilled dough at a time and roll out into a circle, large enough to line the pie tin with a a good 1½ inch flap over. use one half to line a greased pie tin, in the fridge, and keep the other flat, on a baking sheet in the fridge for the top. Refrigerate pastry for another 15 – 20 mins while you prepare the filling.
– mix apples with lemon juice, flour, sugar and spices, leave at room temp for 10 mins. Add mulberries and mix.
– take pie shell out of the fridge. Fill with apple mulberry mix and dot with butter.
– Brush edges of pie crust with water and place top pastry over the filling, pressing down on the edges to seal the pie. Trim the pastry edge to a 1 inch over hang. Tuck top pastry under bottom along the edges to form a good seal. Use your fingers or the tines of a fork to reinforce and decorate pie edge. Cut 4 slits into the pie, starting from about 2 inches short of the top and running to about 4 inches from the edge for steam vents.
– decorate with pastry leaves, if desired, and brush pastry with milk or beaten egg.
– place you oven shelf on the lowest rung available and bake pie for 50 – 60 mins until juices are bubbling out of the slits and the pastry is golden brown.