I’m Team Pie
There are two types of people in the world; those on Team Cupcake, and those on Team Pie. I am of the latter, and love nothing better than baking a fine pie and sharing it with friends and family. Cupcakes are cute, small and too perfect for me. They’re a personal-sized serving of sugar and flour, overly sweet and impossible to eat. Even with the memo about how to properly eat a cupcake, you can’t exactly tear apart the perfectly presented lemon zest cupcake with organic vanilla lavender icing and crystallised ginger topping. You’re expected to eat it like a dainty lady at afternoon tea with grandmama because the baker put so much effort into this tiny piece of art. Not for everyone.
I am team pie. I prefer to bake something large, with visible chunks of delicious fruit that makes my little flat smell dreamy, then proceed to share the pie with loved ones. And I sometimes want that extra slice – I don’t want portion control because I’m indulgent on occasion – and I worked hard, and I’ve earned a second slice thank you very much. Pies are also a very seasonal, with the fruit fillings based on what is on sale this week at the supermarket. And you can try different pies at once! Imagine trying three small slices of cupcake – people would look strangely. But instead, I can attend a pie party and try pumpkin, apple and plum without feeling like a gobble guts.
So here’s to Team Pie!
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup butter, chilled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4-8 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg, beaten, for the wash
- 4 granny smith apples, thinly sliced
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cranberries, rinsed and picked over
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons flour
- - To make sure you can get a super crispy crust, I recommend placing all the crust ingredients (butter, flour, salt, sugar) in the freezer 30 minutes before using. Everything should be cold. Start by mixing the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl before adding the butter. Using a pastry cutter, mix the butter and flour until it becomes a coarse mixture - don't worry if there's a few chunks of butter.
- - Start by adding 4 tablespoons of ice cold water. The water should hold the dough together, but the dough shouldn't be at all sticky, more like a soft clay consistency. Add more tablespoons, one at a time, until the dough is uniform and holds together, but not sticky.
- - Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour.
- - Meanwhile, mix fruit, sugar, orange zest and spices in a large bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. You can roll out the bottom while you're waiting.
- - Remove one half of the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a little extra flour over the dough ball and begin rolling into a thin circle. Roll out the circle a little bigger than needed so it entirely covers the pie dish. I usually turn the pie dish upsidedown over the dough to see if it's going to fit. Gently transfer the rolled out dough to a pie dish, cut the overhanging edges (leaving an inch for sealing the top) and pour in prepared filling.
- - Place in the fridge while you drain the liquid from the fruit. Toss 3 tablespoons of flour with the fruit mixture and pour it into the bottom pie crust. Put the whole thing back in the fridge while you sort the top out.
- - Now for the top, I made a lattice crust using these fabulous instructions but I reckon the pie would be better with a full covered crust because apples and cranberries don't bubble and ooze quite as much as say, cherries or strawberries. So similar to the bottom crust, roll the top out large so it can comfortably cover the filling and has enough extra on the side to seal the dough. Gently transfer to the pie dish and carefully position it over the filling. Trim the excess edges and begin sealing the dough by tucking the top under the bottom edges, sealing in the filling and crimping with pressure from your fingers
- - Brush the top with an egg wash and give it a decorative pattern or design to allow extra heat to escape while baking. Fan bake at 190ºC for 40 – 60 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown and the filling is bubbling and the crust is a nice golden brown. Lay foil on the bottom of the oven just in case the filling spills over :)
- - Let cool for a few hours before serving, to let the insides set.
- ... And if you're looking for a picture instruction, I fully recommend the picture guide to the perfect pie crust here.
by Clare Carmichael My Passion for Food