Whenever I make apple pies, I will recall an incident in 1989 when I was still working in IBM. I used to bake pies and tarts and bring them to the office to share with my friends: peach tarts, apple pies, fruit tarts. The things that were ‘in’ in the 1980s and 90s in Singapore.
One of my colleagues, Thomas Tan liked some of these tarts so much, he asked if he could buy them. Prior to working in IBM, I used to make mooncakes to sell to pay my university fees. But I have never sold apple pies or any western desserts though I grew up making them with my dad.
So, carefully, I chose the best apples, soaked the biggest raisins in rum and made the best short crust pastry. Once done, I put the pie neatly into a big box and drove my father’s Nissan Sunny precariously to deliver my pie, which I put on the back seat. And of course, I had to jam breaks at some point and the whole pie fell to the ground?!
Thomas still paid for the pie, and we ate the crumbs anyway. He even complimented that the pie was good. It was an incident that I will always recall whenever I make these pies. They still are really good, so give it a shot if you, too, have bags and bags of apples like me. My hubby just cannot resist discounts.
1 cup whole meal plain flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
140g Unsalted butter (cold and cut into small pieces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp milk
Raw sugar to sprinkle on top
1 more egg to egg wash the pie
8 Granny Smith apples, skinned and cut into 8 slices
1/2 Lemon (zest and juice)
2 Tbsp Rum
50g Unsalted butter
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/2 cup raw sugar
- Put the butter, flours and salt into a blender and pulse till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and milk if required and blend until the mixture comes to a dough. Do not overbeat.
- Refrigerate for about 20 minutes while you make the filling.
- Once the apples are cut, add the lemon juice to coat the apples. Add the cinnamon powder, rum and sugar to apples.
- In a warm pot, melt the butter and then put in the prepared apples.
- Cook for 15 minutes. The apples should be slightly caramelized but not soft.
- Remove from the apples from the fire and cool.
- Continue to thicken the gravy and set aside.
- When the apple was left to cook, line a pie dish with the pastry. To do this, take 2/3 of the pastry and roll it into a large circle that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish.
- Then loosely roll up the pastry and place it over the dish, and then line it. Cut away the extras.
- Poke some holes and put the dish into the freezer.
- Blind bake pastry for 15 minutes at 190C.
- If the pastry has shrunk, use a sharp knife and trim the sides so that the pie is of equal height all over.
- Brush the pastry case with the egg. Do a thorough job if you don't want soggy pastry.
- Place the apples and pour the gravy over.
- Cover with the remaining 1/3 of the pastry. Cut a few slits on the cover pastry.
- Egg wash the top and sprinkle generously with raw sugar.
- Bake for another 45 minutes at 180C until the top is golden brown.