Baking an Apple Pie may sound like basic beginners pastry to most home cooks. To me, it was a tremendous challenge to achieve an apple pie that would both be delicious and look fabulous. I attempted many times before and never quite succeeded. With time, I have learned the reasons of my failure. Pastry is an exact science, quantities and proportions are not negotiable data, and improvising is just not an option. This time, I am not entirely sure about the fabulous looks, but I am absolutely certain that my pie was delicious – there’s not a crumb left anywhere in the house, isn’t that proof enough?!
I have fond memories of my childhood, when back then my mum was making our rainy Sundays special by baking her wonderful apple pie. I still can remember the nice smell in the house when the pie was coming out of the oven. We kids were gathering around my mother, trying to make our way through each other so to reach it first, even though the pie was still too warm to be touched with bare fingers and my mother was already anticipating our moves, lifting the pie above our heads and loudly saying “Wait up, kids!”. We would then get quite excited in the kitchen, and receive the order to go and set the coffee table in the living room, while my mum would heat water and prepare some tea and coffee to drink along.
We were living in Nice, South of France (we still are), and there is something very special about us, Niçois and Niçoises: we don’t know how to deal with the rain. Worse, we don’t want to have to deal with the rain. Hopefully it does not rain too often here, but when it does… On a rainy day, we do not go out. On a rainy day, we stay at home and give frequent looks through the windows, the heart loaded with a heavy sadness, checking on the clouds and the wind, and hoping for a quick return of the Sun. We used to play board games a lot on these rainy Sundays, and when snacking time was coming in the afternoon, and that apple pie smell was coming out from the kitchen, we would immediately put an end to the game and gather together in the living room to eat this family favorite that was my mother’s delicious apple pie. My recipe of today is a bit different from my mum’s recipe, but I hope it will become my family’s favorite throughout time too. This post is part of Our Growing Edge hosted by Susan this month at Simply Sundays.
- 1 pastry crust
- 3 large apples or 4 medium apples
- 50 grams of caster sugar
- a bit of cinnamon to taste
- For the base: 3 eggs, 80 grams of sugar, 20 cl of light cream, 1 tsp of cinnamon
- Preheat the oven at 210 degrees C, and get the pastry crust out of the fridge 15 minutes before unrolling it.
- Prepare the base in a bowl. Combine eggs and sugar, then add the light cream and cinnamon.
- Unroll the pastry crust in a baking dish with the baking sheet.
- Pour the base over the crust and immediately put it in the oven to pre-bake it for 15 minutes.
- During these 15 minutes, peel the apples and slice them, taking care of slicing evenly, and not too thick nor too thin (3 mm sounds like the good measure).
- Take the dish out of the oven and garnish the pie. Begin with the exterior circle, and finish with the center.
- Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake in the oven during 30 minutes.
- If the apples don’t caramelize enough (like it happened in my oven), drizzle a bit of water over and up your tray a little in the oven.
- After 10 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the pie inside during 30 more minutes.
- Serve warm or cold, as you prefer.
For next time, I am just thinking about something else while I’m writing – another technique – that could give a more even color to my apples. What if instead of sprinkling sugar and cinnamon over apples, I’d brush them with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and melted butter?
Have you ever tried this technique? Does it work? Have you tried something else for a good coloring of the apples? Please share your experience in the Comments section if you have, I could use a tip or two! And of course, for the love of sharing :)
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.