Apple Pie and Custard

I was wondering what to cook for our usual weekend “sweet treat” and Mark said he had a craving for apple pie. I was somewhat surprised to find that straightforward apple pie recipes are missing from most of our recipe books! There’s a recipe for “double apple pie” in Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess but that looked a like little bit of hassle. There’s a recipe in Sue Lawrence’s Book of Baking but in the end we liked the look of the one in Appetite by Nigel Slater since it looked quite simple.

Actually though, it’s not an apple pie recipe. It’s a “hot fruit” pie and includes berries too. So, in the end we’ve had to improvise and I can hereby present you with the Two Hungry Boys Apple Pie recipe, as invented this afternoon!

The shortcrust pastry is made to Nigel Slater’s recipe – 180g of plain flour and 100g of fridge cold salted butter. Chop the butter into pieces and then rub them into the flour until you have something with the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water and combine to form a dough. You may need a little bit more water, but it will only be a few drops at most. Roll into a ball, flatten a little, wrap in cling film and stick in the fridge for half an hour.

Meanwhile take 3 Bramley apples, peel and core them and chop into small bitesized pieces. Mix them with about 30g of sultanas and put them into your pie tin. Then mix three tablespoons of caster sugar with one half teaspoon of ground cinnamon and scatter the mixture over the fruit.

Take your pastry from the fridge and roll out so it’s just big enough to cover your pie dish. Stick a few knife cuts in the top and make sure it stays in place on top of the fruit by using a little bit of milk to stick it to the lip of the pie tin. You can also paint the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar so it goes nicely bronze in the oven.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes and then enjoy! We also had some homemade custard on the side from a Nigel Slater recipe. Heat 400ml of full fat milk in a saucepan with half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Just as it starts to come to the boil take it off the heat and leave to stand and cool a little. Meanwhile whisk 4 egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of caster sugar together. Pour the cooled milk into the egg and sugar mixture and mix well, then transfer to a pan and heat whilst stirring continuously and let it thicken. Don’t let it get too hot or it will curdle. When it’s the right consistency, transfer to a jug so it doesn’t carry on cooking.

End result was delicious and incredibly comforting!