Friday, 18 July 2008


"I never see any home cooking. All I get is fancy stuff."
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

A very busy day at work today and hardly any time to do anything else except attend meetings, chair selection panels, and co-host a workshop. After a twelve-hour day, it was a wonderful to come home and relax. The smell of freshly-baked apple pie on days like this is a very welcoming and delightful smell to come home to. Here is how we make it at home:

Ingredients (for the pastry)
500 g flour
250 g butter cut in small pieces
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
250 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoonful ground nutmeg and mace
zest of one lemon, pinch of salt.

(for the filling)
5 apples (Granny Smith are good)
3 tablespoonfuls apricot jam
5 tablespoonfuls caster sugar
1 cupful of sultanas
1 teaspoonful ground cloves/cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add to the butter/sugar mixture the eggs and yolks beaten together, but little by little so that they are incorporated without curdling. Sprinkle the spice and zest into the mixture and work well. Add the sifted flour little by little until a soft dough is formed. Cover with greaseproof paper and let the dough rest for half an hour in a cool place. Peel and core the apples, cutting them into slices. Stew them with the sugar and spices until they soften. Roll out half of the dough to about 4 mm thickness and line a buttered 25 cm flan tin with it. Spread the jam on the top of the pastry and layer the stewed apples mixed with the sultanas over it. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the pie, securing the edges by pressing the layers of pastry together and scalloping it. Cut out a small heart shape in the centre of the crust and sprinkle the top of the pie with coarse sugar. Bake the tart in a hot oven (400˚ F/210˚ C) for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown in colour. Eat hot or cold with lashings of fresh, whipped cream.

Enjoy the weekend.

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