Bleugh. How long has it been since I've posted here? Too long!
So, spring is definitely in the air over here now. It's like no-one's ever felt the sun before. It's like we didn't even know what flowers WERE. It's as if we had never experienced a gentle, warm breeze...
The best way to celebrate this sudden (and hopefully not short-lived) burst of warm, loving springy goodness is to, in my opinion, get in the kitchen and bake an apple pie. At least, that's what I did...
It is fairly easy, and absolutely delicious, especially warm with a splodge of whipped cream.
Here is the recipe, I've adapted it a bit from the original, that can be found here (cough cough, "adapted"? sort of, just added more cinnamon...).
Okie dokies, get some ingredients out first (or pop to the shops tout suite!). For the pie's filling, you will need:
About 3 or 4 good Bramley apples.
140g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
And for the pastry, you are going to need:
50g caster sugar
2 eggs (medium or large)
350g plain flour
Start by peeling, coring and slicing the apples into little slices (this is the most tedious bit!).
Set them aside when you've finished; these apples are super juicy, so set them down between two sheets of paper towel.
Now for the pastry dough. Mix together the butter and the sugar. Make sure the butter's nice and soft -- this will make things a lot easier!
Now, add in one of the eggs, and just the yolk of the second one. Keep the white in a bowl set aside, you'll need that later. The easiest way to seperate an egg's yolk from its white is to crack it over a bowl (the bowl that you want to the whites to go in), and just gently pass the yolk from one half of the shell to the other. Eventually, the white will be in the bowl below, and you can add the yolk to the rest of the mixture.
Add in the flour bit by bit, until the mixture starts to clump up a bit.
Eventually it's going to be easier to just use your hands. Make sure the dough is dense enough to keep it's shape. If not, add more flour.
Roll up the dough into a ball (or a lump, in my case) and wrap it up in cling film.
Stick it in your fridge and let it chill there for 45 minutes.
So, what next? Perhaps it's best to do a bit of washing up. If you're anything like me, there will be flour everywhere. Clean that big bowl you've been mixing the pastry dough in, and then use it for the filling mixture.
Mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. When the pastry has finally chilled, turn your oven on, 170C.
Get the pastry out and take about a third of it and roll it flat. Line the dish with it, leaving a bit hanging over the edge.
Remember those apples? Take them out, and pat off any extra juice with paper towel. Now, mix them into the rest of the filling mixture.
Pile the contents of the bowl into your lined pie dish.
Roll out the rest of the pastry and use it to cover the pie. Doesn't matter if it looks messy, as long as it's all covered!
Brush (or slap on with your own hands, student kitchens don't have funcy basting brushes!) on the egg white you've been saving to glaze the top.
Finally, make a few slits with a sharp knife into the pastry so it can breathe. Unfortunately, that is something I forgot to do this time round - it wasn't a disaster, but if you do forget to do this, the juices that would usually evaporate through the holes will stay in the dish, meaning your pie is a little more moist and watery inside.
Put your pie in the oven, and leave it for 40 - 45 minutes. When the pastry is all golden brown on top, take it out and leave it to cool for 5 or 10 minutes (or however long you can resist!).
Best served hot with a dollop of whipped cream, or vanilla ice-cream.
This pie is so easy to make, and it will only take you about two hours in total. Serve it to anyone, and I guarantee that they will love you forever.