Stop Press!!!

So, I've killed my hand mixer. I knew it was on its way out anyway cos it started making some funky smells but that was about two months ago and I kind of figured that it might do what most of the appliances in the Stephens family - sort of start threatening to conk out and I then have to humour it and love it - no, hang on, I was thinking of Slaveboy then. Right, ho hum. Anyway. It did today, mid whisking meringue. It was only then did I realise how important it was to have replaced my normal balloon whisk, which, obviously I hadn't. So I had to abandon all that and basically give up.

BUT, not before I made an apple pie. I was given a whole load of cooking apples from my friend, Kak Hery when I went round her house last night. Seeing it is Ramadan, Kak Hery was fasting and she was almost chomping at the bit when Azhar, my friend and I were a teeny weeny bit running late. I would too if I had been fasting from around 5am and desperate to break my fast. Kak Hery is an Asian cuisine Goddess!!! She made a starters of laksa lemak noodles, with all the trimmings of coriander, boiled eggs, plump prawns, sliced chillies and freshly cut limes. She also made ayam masak lemak cili padi which is basically chicken cooked in a chilli and coconut milk sauce with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger. There was also urap, an Asian salad dish, the recipe of which had just been translated to her on the phone by her sister in Malaysia. She also served grilled spiced mackerels which were just to delicious for words. There was some well chilled elderflower presse and also freshly made teh tarik. I really did leave thinking I ought to try harder with my home cooking.

Anyway, Kak Hery doesn't like apples. Pure and simple. She has two apple trees in her garden and she cooks none of the apples. I came home with  big bag of apples and this morning, I fancied some apple pie. Funnily, enough, I have never made apple pie. I've made all sorts of apples cakes, crumbles and muffins but not pies. I had a quick trawl on the internet and found a recipe which appealed but I altered it slightly by using my own favourite pastry dough and increased the amount of sugar as these apples were cookers and had no sweetness to them. I also increased the amount of apples used and baked it in a normal cake tin, rising the height of the pie by double.

Excuse the poor presentation. I am going on holiday on Monday and we are nowhere near ready and I am feeling a tad frazzled. 
And I will be sharing a lodge with bloody vegetarians. Whoever said you could choose your friends must have been a lonely guy.

I didn't quite manage to get a picture of it cut as the whole family descended on me (well, on the pie really) and pretty much got stuck in with some West Country cream from Marks & Spencer's, which in my opinion is the best supermarket cream around.


For the pastry 

350g plain flour 
200g cold butter , cut in small 
2 tbsp icing sugar 
2 egg yolk  (save the egg whites and make a small meringue case with 4oz. of caster sugar)

The rest of the stuff
115 g unsalted butter
25 g plain flour
60 ml water
100 g white sugar
110 g packed brown sugar
8-10 cooking apples apples - peeled, cored and sliced (use leftovers for applesauce and store in fridge)

  1. Put oven at 220C or 205C for fan ovens. 
  2. Melt the butter in a pan.
  3. Add the flour to make a paste.
  4. Add water, and both types of sugars.
  5. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer away.
  6. Line your loose-bottomed cake tin (mine was a 23cm one) which the pastry dough, allowing the edge of the dough to come up to just under an inch from the top of the tin. 
  7. Fill with slices of apples until they create a slight mound at the top. 
  8. Then cut the remaining dough into strips and create a lattice pattern on to of the pie. 
  9. Take the sugared butter liquid of the heat and slowly pour it into the pie, making sure the latticed pastry top gets some of the liquid too. 
  10. Ensure that you place the cake tin on a lipped tray as it does ooze from the bottom during baking. 
  11. Bake for 15-20mins at the original temperature and then reduce the temperature down to 175C or 160C fan ovens depending on how temperamental your oven is (mine is a Chinese Opera dungaree-ed lesbian). Cook for another 40-50mins (or 15mins if you are my friend, Spiker). 
  12. Take it out of the oven. Let it rest for a while. You really want to let the remaining juices to get sucked back in. 

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