Apple, rhubarb and ginger pie
With the Pie Ladies
3 peeled and de-cored granny smith apples chopped into 2cm
1 1/2 cups rhubarb
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of water mixed with one tablespoon of cornflour
1 tablespoon of lemon rind and lemon juice
Place apple, water and rhubarb in saucepan and simmer for 8 mins (fruit does not need to be 100% cooked at this stage as it will continue to be cooked when cooked in the pie). Nicer to have some bigger chunks of rhubarb rather than a paste.
Remove from heat and quickly mix cornflour mix - return to the heat briefly and thicken up if necessary. This can be added to the sweet short crust warm as no pastry layers in shortcrust.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C.
- Any seasonal fruit can be used try pears and quince and an alternative to apple. Frozen berries adds a delicious and convenient alternative to Rhubarb.
- Orange rind and lime rind can be used instead of lemon
- You can add nuts, oats and coconut to extra pastry to make interesting crumble top
- Experiment with other spices in the pastry such as cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla. Even finely grated lemon is delicious.
- Left over meat from roasts makes an excellent base for pies
- Left over casseroles just thicken with cornflour and adjust seasoning for fillings
- Pie filling need to have lots of flavour, you can never season enough!
- Red wine you don't need to have the most expensive cooking wine, but do use one that is at least drinkable - you don't want to add vinegar to your pie filling.
- Pastry recipes freeze well, make a double batch and keep as a back up for times when you are extra busy.
- Muffin trays work really well for mini pies, often second hand shops have old pie tins for sale you can build up and eclectic set.
- Ensure you don't overwork pastry, it is good to have cold hands. This is to stop the butter melting into the flour part of the pastry. How pastry works is that the layers of butter in matrix of flour when put in the oven heat up and release water as steam which then lifts up the flour mixture and creates the layers you get in flaky pastry. Commericially a pastry break is used where butter is added in layers and it is folded into book folds and creates hundreds of layers of butter in-between the flour mixture. To this effect make sure fillings are cold before putting into the pie so the butter doesn't melt.
- Always prick the top of your pie to allow the boiling steam from the centre of the pie to escape, otherwise the pie will boil over.
- To stick the top of the pie to the base brush with water and crimp to ensure a good seal is created.
- Brush pies with a mix of egg yolk and milk for a lovely golden finish.
- Above all have fun and get creative when you are making your pies, pastry roses and little patterns on the top plus different decorations also add a lovely touch.
(TX: 22 July 2011)