Apple & Rhubarb Pie

So I know that Sydney-siders are currently in the full grip of summer and baking a hot dessert is probably the last thing on your mind, but what else is one to do if one buys amazingly fresh and brightly-coloured apples and rhubarb from the farmers’ market?

This post follows on from my market visit about a month ago, where I made some excellent Tempura Zucchini Flowers and an heirloom tomato salad with roasted golden beets for a Meat-Free Monday extravaganza. This pie was the finale to our wonderful meal; I had tried a new pastry recipe which turned out a little more cracked (let’s call it “rustic”) than I was expecting, and Night Owl was delighted with the pastry picture I had cut out on top, declaring the pie was an “i-Pie”. Bless.

The pastry, while cracked – was firm and buttery, and quite surprisingly sturdy. The pie was too much for us both to consume in one sitting, and I found that after a night in the fridge the pastry still held its shape and crisp texture, which made for great leftovers. I had cooked down the apples and rhubarb a fair bit the day before, and during its time in the oven they had simmered down further in the most luscious way – almost like a sweet and tangy fruit puree. I find that cooked rhubarb has the most deliciously jammy tang and bite which reminds me of the red Roll-ups I coveted in primary school.

This amount was enough for four servings.

You will need:

  • 15g butter;
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced;
  • 75g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle;
  • 4 stalks of rhubarb, washed and sliced;
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon;
  • thick cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve.

For the pastry:

  • 150g plain flour;
  • 75g butter, cubed;
  • One egg, whisked.

To make the pastry, place the flour and the butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add half of the egg and one tablespoon of chilled water and process until it comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, or – like me, you can also prep the filling the day before.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the apples and sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat. Add the rhubarb and cinnamon and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the fruits are softened.

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Transfer to a 1.5L (approximately 3 cup capacity) pie dish and set aside to cool. I had just a bit too much filling and so filled a small ramekin to prepare a crumble-for-one to keep in the freezer for when a craving hits 😉

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Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper and cut an inch wide strip of pastry. Press this around the rim of the pie dish and brush with a little water. Cover with the remaining pastry, then trim the edges – this helps the pastry lid from shrinking. Pinch the pastry together to seal, brush with the remainder egg mix and scatter with the extra caster sugar. Using a skewer, poke a few holes on top to allow the hot air to escape while baking.

Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden, and serve hot or warm with thick cream or ice cream (I used Connoisseur’s Derwent Valley Raspberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream 😉 ).

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