In this spirit of Thanksgiving, which has just passed, it seemed appropriate to bake a pie. My first thought was to bake a sweet potato pie, being typically American, but I just wasn’t confident about how it was going to taste, and let’s face it I’m not going to bake something that I can’t eat in vast quantities!
Plus there’s the pear kick that the blog is on at the moment so this pie was ticking many boxes. My dinner guests didn’t seem sold on the sweet potato pie either, they both thought it was a main course accompaniment – so uncultured!
This was my first ever full on pie. Bearing that in mind I think it went okay. In fact, I was pretty much delighted with it…before it went in to the oven. I got distracted by eating the delicious roast chicken and all the trimmings and overcooked it just a tad. Well, maybe a bit more than just a tad. Carefully selected photos and Photoshop are masking a multitude of sins!
Saying that, the end result was still pretty tasty and enjoyed by the three of us – with some leftovers, we’re not that bad. The filling is sweet and spicy but using Bramley apples helps to keep everything balanced.
I’m definitely looking forward to making another pie, and maybe turning my oven down a little the next time.
Decorating the pie was probably my favourite part!
Pear & Apple Pie
Adapted from Mary Berrys Desserts
For the pastry:
350g plain flour
175g cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8-10 tbsp cold water
For the filling:
6 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
60g brown sugar
1/2tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
Makes one 20-25cm pie.
First make the the pastry. In a large bowl, which together the flour and salt to combine. Add the chopped butter and rub in to the flour until the butter pieces are a combination of oat flake and pea sizes.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the water, one tablespoon at a time. When the mixture starts to come together use your hands to form in to a rough dough.
Tip the mixture out on to a floured surface and knead lightly to form a smooth dough.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and please in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
To make the filling, add all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut in to two, one piece slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger in to a large circle, about 8cm larger than than the pie dish.
Using your rolling pin to help, transfer the pastry to the pie dish. Gently push the pastry into the corners and up the sides, leaving an overhang of a couple of centimetres.
Roll out the remaining piece of dough to a couple of centimetres larger than the pie dish.
Spoon the apple and pear mixture in to the prepared pie dish and dot the top with small bits of butter.
Again using the rolling pin, transfer the rolled dough to the top of the pie. Gently press the pastry on to the fruit and in to the perimetre. Trim the over hanging pastry so you have 2 cm overhang. Press the rim of the pastry together in any way you like. An easy option is to use a fork, or you can use your thumb and your forefinger to form the wavy pattern on my pie.
Use the excess pie to make a decoration if you like. If not, brush the whole pie with milk and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, checking after about 30 minutes to make sure it is not getting too dark on top. Learn from my mistakes!