Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bramley apple pie

Bramley apples are a traditional English cooking apple, that are very hard to find here in Canada.  Two years ago I bought a small Bramley apple tree and was assured that in three years I would get my first apple.  A long time to wait especially when you are as impatient as I, but I have discovered a vendor at Coquitlam farmers market, that if you get there early enough has this wonderful tart cooking apple.

If you are not lucky enough to get your hands on these (though your really should try) then use some other kind, or even a mixture of different ones.  there are so many around at this time of year it is hard not to make apple pie

Bramley apples
These are large apples and only 3 or 4 will make a decent sized pie.

Short crust pastry

8oz all purpose flour (one cup)
3oz lard cut into small cubes (1/3 cup)
1oz butter cut into small cubes (1/8 cup)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
1/2 cup of orange juice

3 or 4 very large apples or equivalent of smaller ones
3 tablespoons of cinnamon
Brown sugar to taste
1/4 cup of butter

Put all the pastry ingredients except for the juice, in to a bowl.

ingredients waiting to be blended
Either rub the fat into the flour with your hands or cut in with a pastry cutter, which ever is your preference until it is the texture of course breadcrumbs.

Is that course breadcrumbs or fat rubbed into flour?
Add the orange juice, I use juice as the acid in it makes the pastry more tender, as well as adding a subtle orange flavour.  Mix with a fork until the juice is just mixed in to the flour and a paste is created. Handling the pastry as little as possible helps keep the pastry tender as well.

Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1/2 in the fridge.

Pastry relaxing 
 Whilst the pastry is resting peel and chop the apples, then mix in a bowl with brown sugar and cinnamin.  I do not have a very sweet tooth so with most apples I add hardly any sugar. Bramleys are a true cooking apple and therefore quite tart so I added about 1/2 cup, I find brown sugar gives a little bit of a caramel flavour which is why I use it rather than white sugar.

Apples soaking up the sugar and cinnamin
Now roll out the pastry into a large roughly round shape.

Very roughly round
I am lucky enough to have my Grandmothers rolling pin, and there is never a time that I do not think of her when I use it.  I am also lucky enough to have a baking station with a marble top that my Father built me, which really makes rolling out pastry easier.  When you get it to the right size gently roll the pastry around your rolling pin.

Pastry rolled over the rolling pin ready to go in the pie plate
Then unroll on to the pie plate push gently into the pie plate and then pour on the apples and dot with butter and fold over the edges.

Ready for the oven
You can brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar, this makes a crisp outer crust.  Bake in a 350 oven for 3/4 of an hour.  Bramley apples completely breakdown when you cook them and create almost an apple sauce texture.

Finished and ready to eat.
Though I say so myself this was a very good pie and my Grandmother would have been proud of me, though she would have served it with cheddar cheese, we ate it with strained yogurt Yum.

1 comment:

  1. I've had this pie...it is amazing. Autumn is not the same wtihout celebrating the fruit of the season. Go Gillian!!