Monday, 8 November 2010

Apple, Fig and Almond Pie

This pie was a last minute idea, to use up the last windfall cooking apple, and to make a change from fruit crumble. I was in a rush to get it into the oven before the F1 Grand Prix started, so decided to go with a free-form pie, as it wouldn't matter too much if there was any pastry shrinkage. I did have time to rest the pastry after it was mixed, but I don't think it was entirely  necessary in these circumstances.

I added chopped dried figs and ground almonds to the apples to soak up any excess juice and provide a bit more texture and flavour to the filling. I also made the basic shortcrust pastry with SR flour as I like the soft, crumbly result it gives. Using lard in the pastry also adds to the 'shortness'.

250g SR flour
60g lard
65g salted butter
cold water, to mix
1 large cooking apple
1 large eating apple - or more, see note at end
about 10 dried figs, each cut into six pieces
zest and juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons ground almonds
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top

Rub the butter and lard into the flour, and use enough cold water to make a soft but not sticky dough. (I find it easier to rub in the fat if it has warmed up a bit from the fridge temperature.)  Gather the dough into a ball, knead lightly, wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Prepare filling - peel core and slice the apples and put into a bowl. Add the zest and the juice of half a lemon, and mix to coat the apple slices. Mix in the sugar, ground almonds and fig pieces.
On a floured surface, roll the pastry into a rough circle shape about 40cm (16") across, and transfer to a baking sheet. 
Heap the filling into the centre, leaving a 8-10cm margin all round.
Fold the margin of pastry up over the filling, gathering any excess into folds. This should leave a small area in the centre not covered with pastry - if you have too much pastry, break away a little from the edges to leave a hole in the centre.
Brush the pastry with water and sprinkle thickly with sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven (190C) for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

Serve warm, with cream or Greek yogurt.

I'm happy that I judged the added figs and ground almonds correctly - there were no excess juices to make the pastry base soggy. The figs added a lovely flavour and texture to the apples, and the lemon could be tasted too.

Note - You can see from the cut pie that the filling is not very deep. This amount of pastry could easily have taken more filling - at least another apple - but I had to go with what I had available.


Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

I love this kind of folded pie, it's so easy and fuss-free... great use of left-over apples.

Gillian said...

Hmmm that pastry looks so good. I can see what you mean about more filling ... but served with custard would be heavenly!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love apple, and almond. I mean, there is no better combination. As for fig, that's hard to come by in Australia. But I must keep looking!

Anne said...

Really like the idea of using SR, always thought had to be plain for pastry, think was drilled in by my food tech teacher!

Love the the combo too, love figs, almonds and apples! Have got a couple of bramleys left in the figs but might be able to improvise!

Suelle said...

Anne - plain flour is best for some pastries, but occasionally I like the different texture that SR flour gives. I always use SR flour for mince pies!

Brittany - I'm surprised you can't get dried figs easily in Australia! One tends to think that most ingredients are globally available these days.

Katie said...

Looks delicious and I love the idea of adding figs to the apple. Love the free-form pie. Just what we need in this cold weather

Chele said...

Finally - another F1 fan!!! Loving the free form pie idea ;0)

Choclette said...

The addition of figs is an inspired idea Suelle.

celia said...

Love free form pies, Suelle! Yours looks delicious and Choc's right, the addition of figs is a fabulous idea!