2. My Oh My! My First Apple Pie! England

If I’m ever going to fit in baking eighty things I realised that I need to get cracking. After a little post work trip to the pub I decided to make use of all the apples that we have in the house and attempt my first ever complete pie!

My Nana used to bake an Apple Pie for Sunday tea every week when all the family would congregate at her house in Sunderland. So it seems right that I bake a proper English Apple Pie. I (loosely) used this recipe for the Ultimate Apple Pie.

I didn’t really consider how much time it would take to peel, core and slice 1kg of apples,. After almost taking off a finger tip or two, I succeeded in chopping up rather a lot of apple. I couldn’t quite figure out if the recipe required 1kg of apples pre- chopping and coring or after, so I threw in a couple more for good measure.

Unfortunately I forgot to purchase an adult sized rolling pin so the pastry was a bit on the thick and lumpy side. The recipe called for golden caster sugar, which does not exist in my cupboard.  Instead I concocted my own, from muscovado brown sugar and granulated sugar. This resulted in a rather grainy textured pastry. Probably not what the professionals would do but by this time I had invested too much to start again, so on I ploughed.

miniature Rolling Pin ( Also note Hello Kitty toaster in the background)

I probably should have checked that I owned the correct size pie dish before I began. But who ever thought about planning that far in advance? This didn;t occur to me til I noticed that I had a ridiculous amount of pastry for my little enamel pie dish and that I had rolled it to a similar thickness of turf. I tried to roll it out a little more, but how on earth do you get it into the dish without tearing it?!! I seem to have perfected what can only be described as a ‘pastry flip’, almost like what you do with a pancake, but using pastry flattened onto cling film instead. It did the job and I tried to thin it out further by hand.

In addition to the new sugar combination I decided to stray further from the recipe to my peril. I thought surely with that vast amount of pastry the base will need a bit of blind baking, so I ad libbed. Dangerous. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Then came the fun bit, trying to squash as many of the cinnamon apples into the tin as possible. They look a bit like chips…

Chips or Apples?

Then to carry out another pastry flip. On with the lid. It wasn’t that easy to join the lid to the partially baked base (Maybe that’s why they tell you not to blind bake it? So you get a proper seal?) The result? It didn’t really look anything like what my Nana would bake. More like a pie Desperate Dan may have mistaken as containing an entire cow…

Too many apples inside? Desperate Dan would be proud.

I still had loads of pastry left so I thought I would invent something else. Using my Yorkshire Pudding tin I made some mini apple pies, or cricket balls filled with apple. All that was left to do was to slap on a coat of egg wash with my new pastry brush and whack them into the oven.

Apple filled cricket balls in a Yorkshire Pudding tin.

There seemed to be a lot of apple escaping from my modest steam vent and coating the bottom of the oven, but fret not. They looked a good colour! By this time it was about 11.30pm so it was way past apple pie eating time. I let it cool overnight and then kept it in the fridge for a Sunday treat. I just had a piece and I was very happy with it! I think the lumpy sugar must have melted in the oven, as there was not a chunk to be seen.

The end product

Although it was quite difficult to remove from the tin (a spoon had to be deployed) the pastry was most definitely cooked. I’m not completely sure if there’s supposed to be such a gap between the lid and the filling, but it all tastes the same. Complimented by a splash of custard of course too. The little cricket balls were rather pastry heavy but the Yorkshire Pudding tin worked a treat.  A perfectly handsized pudding and a good accompaniment to our road trip, providing much needed sustenance when we broke down yesterday! I’ve created a slideshow below of all the photos…

ps. Still no news from Paul Hollywood. I guess my Tarte au Citron efforts weren’t up to his standards… I’m very excited to watch the final Great British Bake Off on Tuesday!!! I’ve already ordered the book and Mary Berry’s very 70’s cook book which may help to alleviate the GBBO withdrawal symptoms.

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6 responses

  1. Mmmmmm sounds delicious if a little filling …. also I have a blackbird shaped pie vent to donate to your collection, and maybe a Vanilla pod which you could leave in a jar with your white sugar to make a tasty item for baking let me know.XoX

    • Thanks so much! I had a look at your Victoria Sponge today and it looks fantastic! Very impressed. I’m still waiting my GBBO book to arrive, but have purchased a Mary Berry book too which I’m planning on baking quite a bit from soon too. I’m desperate to try another GBBO technical challenge again soon, maybe the Croquembouche?! Although it maybe a little soon in my baking career to attempt that one just yet. I am still yet to try macaroons too. The tarte au citron was immense though if you haven’t tried baking that I recommend it! I’ve just been baking my next challenge tonight… will be posting the blog on it very soon. The Sacher torte may have to feature somewhere soon too! I will be following your blog. What’s on your bake wish list? Any suggestions for me too?

  2. Wow your brave ! The Croquembouche scares the life out of me 🙂 Given your description the Tarte au Citron looks like it will be on our list soon. Also on our wishlist from the book are the Eclairs (page 232) and the Rum & Rasin Baked Cheesecake (page 260) oh and the Millefeuilles (page 214) oh and the …. Sorry ! Maybe I should just say the whole book 😉

    We shall follow your blog too, maybe this could be the Great Blog Bake Off ? as we compare each others baking

    • Oh yes I totally agree I could quite happily work my way through the entire book! Looking forward to pushing myself that little bit more and trying the baked cheesecake and maybe the mousse cake too!! I think I managed to click to follow your blog (my phone is being a bit slow) so will be reading all your updates! 🙂 looking forward to seeing your next bake!

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