No one does fruit pies and tarts as well as the United States especially in the country towns. I scoured the country trying to find the secret of the luscious gooey apple pies and as you can see from this recipe it’s all in the syrup made from apple ‘juice’ and butter. What more fitting way to celebrate 4th of July than with this Apple Pie. Serve with ice cream – ‘a la mode’ – as the Americans would say.
1.2 kg (2.5lb) granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm thick slices
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark treacle sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maizena/cornflour
Flaky pastry to fill a 9 inch (23cm) pie dish – ensure it is deep enough as this is a typical American high pie.
- Line deep pie dish with flaky pastry.
- Mix apples and all the ingredients excluding the butter, maizena and pastry in a large bowl.
- Macerate for at least 30minutes. Drain in a colander collecting all the “juice”. You need about 1/2 cup of “juice”.
- Boil this “juice” together with the butter in a small saucepan until thick and the liquid has halved.
- In the mean time add the maizena to the apples and and mix till dry.
- Now add syrup to apples and stir through. Place in pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes to maintain flakiness of the pastry.
- Remove plastic wrap. Bake in preheated oven at 425F/210C for around 40 minutes in bottom shelf of oven.
- Cool for 4 hours before serving.
Ok, it takes a while to peel and slice the apples. To get the best results you do need to do this by hand as a food processor does not get the thickness quite right… but the tart is to die for. The tang and freshness of the apples topped with just the thinnest of ground almond toppings works so well. I have no idea if the tart keeps well as it is always eaten so fast – definitely a way to win friends. My painter, Ted, painted my outdoor walls in return for a slice!!! Omit ice cream or cream. Serve at room temperature – not warm. This tart needs no embellishment – perfect just as it is.
750 g cooking apples (about 6 medium-sized Granny Smith variety)
¼ cup honey
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon brandy
- Peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice each quarter lengthways into 4.
- Make a syrup by boiling the honey, butter, cinnamon, lemon peel, and juice and brandy together in a large frying pan.
- Add the apple wedges and simmer for 10 minutes. Marinade overnight.
- Spoon into a 25 cm (10 inch) pie dish.
125g(5 ounces) butter
125g(5 ounces) castor sugar
2 eggs, beaten
125g(5 ounces) ground almonds
- Cream the butter and sugar in a Kenwood mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat well.
- Fold in the almonds.
- Spoon over the apples in the pie dish. The topping will be very thin.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve at room temperature – NOT WARM.
This dish occupied legendary status though I was never really sure why. I guess everyone loves apple type desserts and those who tasted mine swore it was the best they ever had. I used to make these in leftover Sara Lee containers by the dozen and freeze them so that I always had one for unexpected guests or to act as a filler after a light family meal. Bianca would never have any as she didn’t like apples – maybe one day she’ll have a go and taste this.
1x454g(1lb) can pie apples
1/4cup sultanas or raisins
1/4cup chopped walnuts
zest/rind from half a lemon
2-3 Tablesppons lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
- Heat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Make crumble by processing flour, sugar and butter till crumbly. Add more butter if crumbs are too fine.
- Layer pie apple in a 19cm(7 inch) diameter soufflé dish.
- Sprinkle with sultanas, lemon zest and juice, nuts and cinnamon.
- Stir gently to mix.
- Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly on the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes till brown (20 minutes if you’re going to freeze).
- Eat with vanilla ice cream, cream, greek yoghurt or just as is.
Luscious – something about a dessert that is warm and fills the house with delicious smells, has the fresh taste of baked apple, crunchy walnuts, and chewy sultanas. THEN it is soaked in that gooey brandy cream sauce. This tipsy apple pie is a complete sensory experience and a fitting end to a barbecue or seafood dinner. I always say that if the meal has been light, go overboard on the dessert. Oh, and it can all be pre-prepared other than the actual cooking in the oven.
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup flour
½t(3ml) baking powder
1x454g tin pie apples
1/4 cup sultanas or raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
ice cream or cream to serve
Sauce – Simmer the following for about 5 minutes:
50ml dark brown sugar
Add 50ml brandy when removing from heat
- Cream sugar and butter in Kenwood mixer.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
- Fold in sifted flour and baking powder.
- Pour into deep butter pie dish with high sides some 25cm in diameter or use a 20x25cm rectangular dish with high sides.
- Spoon over pie apples.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, raisins and walnuts.
- Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes.
- Pour over warm sauce and return to switched off oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice cream.
- Delicious !!!