Before I went on holiday I went through the fridge and tried to use up anything that would go off before we went away, or throw out anything that I couldn't use but would go bad. I had a bowlful of apples on the table that I hadn't gotten around to eating and as they were already going a little soft, I knew they wouldn't be any good by the time I came back from holiday (not to mention the fact that I am going to Edinburgh for work for a couple of days as soon as I get back!).
One of my favourite things to make with apples is apple pie, and as I was recently sent this lattice pastry cutter from a German company called MeinCupcake which also has the UK site CakeMart, which I was excited to try it out. I've often wondered how you create a perfect lattice effect in pastry on top of a pie and if it takes ages - now I know, and I can tell you that it doesn't! Read on to see what you have to do....
Apple pie with raisins, by Caroline Makes
6-8 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
100g caster sugar
handful of raisins or sultanas
250g plain flour
140g cold butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
First stew the apples, by heating in a pan with the sugar and water - the water stops them sticking and you can add more or less as you like. I did this over a medium heat for about 20 minutes; it depends how soft you like your apples as mine retained the sliced shape but you can also cook them until they are soft enough to mash.
To make the pastry, rub the cubes of butter into the flour with your fingers until you have a dough. Add a couple of spoonfuls of water so you have a pliable dough. It's a good idea to put this in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm for about half an hour, which you can do while your apples are cooling. Preheat oven to 180C.
Roll out half the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface and use to line your pie dish.
Add the raisins or sultanas into the apple mixture and spoon into your pie base.
Roll out the remaining pastry and roll the lattice cutter over it. You'll see that the lines are broken by parts where the cutter doesn't cut through and the pastry stays joined together. I couldn't figure out initially what to do so had to watch a video on YouTube - carefully take each end of your pastry and pull apart and the lattice should open like a concertina!
Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Unfortunately mine didn't quite work perfectly. I blame the fact that my pastry was overworked; it took me several attempts to figure out how to do this as there were no instructions with the lattice cutter and it was only later that I resorted to YouTube. I wasn't sure whether my pastry was getting too sticky so I kept adding flour, which was probably a mistake; once I had figured out how to use the lattice cutter and tried to pull my pastry apart, it was too dry and broke in several places. So you can see the idea but it doesn't look perfect - next time I think I might try with ready made pastry!
I'm sharing this with the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen, since I made this to use up fruit that would otherwise go to waste while I was away.