Apple and quince pie

April 24, 2011

My adaptation of Nigel Slater’s apple pie with blackberries. Quince adds a delicious depth of flavour. You will need a traditional oval 2-litre pie dish that measures about 32cm in length.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

250g plain flour
150g butter, cold from the fridge
ice-cold water

For the filling:

6 large Granny Smith or other apples
1 quince
sugar to taste

double cream to serve

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl with a small pinch of salt. Cut the butter into small chunks and rub into the flour with your thumbs and fingertips (or you could do it in the food processor).  To bring the mixture to a rollable dough, add a little ice-cold water. Start with a tablespoonful, adding it gingerly (too much is difficult to correct) and draw the dough in from the sides to form a ball. You may need a couple. You are looking for a dough that is firm enough to roll but soft enough to demand careful lifting. Wrap in cling film and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Set the oven at 200 C. Peel, core and quarter the apples, cutting them into thick slices or chunks, then put them into the pie dish. Peel, core and slice the quince and add to the apples. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.

Roll the pastry out to fit the top of the dish. You want enough extra pastry around the edge to be able to cut off and cover the rim of the dish. The simplest way to do this is to turn the dish upside down on the pastry and score around the top, then score a second line around the outside as wide as the rim.

Wet the rim of the pie dish – water will do – then fix the outer rim of pastry to it, cutting and pasting to fit. Wet it with water or egg. Lift the pastry on to the pie, pressing the edge firmly on to the pastry rim. Crimp it to seal with your thumb and first finger, or by pressing down with the prongs of a fork.

Cut two or three short slits in the centre of the pastry to let out any steam. Brush with a little milk and dust with caster sugar.

Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and pale gold, covering it as needs be to stop it browning.

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