Monday, 15 April 2013


apple pan pie

Autumn is fresh in the air and i surprise myself this year by actually enjoying the shift of seasons. I usually hang onto summer with a clinging desperation that it will last for as long as possible. But for some reason, perhaps my own internal shift with a real adult appreciation of each season, i am welcoming in Autumn with open arms.

The new season really does bring in such a beautiful bounty of fruit and vegetables. I question how i didn't start a love affair with this season earlier on in my life.

Last week we ventured out early one morning to the magnificent wholesale fruit & vegetable market in Epping. You have to get there early to get your hands on the good stuff. I stocked up on large quantities of the sweeter produce - namely quince, apples, pears & pomegranates, with the intention to pickle & preserve. And to make a tart or two.....

Without wanting to embellish a simple but perfect dish  - i couldn't resist including 2 pears into this classic apple pie recipe . I guess,  well, just because i could.  The colour of the pears new to my pantry, with their rusty brown skins,  scream the colour of Autumn , it seemed only fair to include them.

An Autumn indulgence : Apple & Pear Pan Pie
There are many versions of this classic dish, but i love this one for its ease and versatility. Cooked in a pan that you can use on your stove top & pop in the oven to allow for the pastry to cook really does make it easy . Less washing up too.  In many ways this version of an Apple pie could be said to be a lazy man's Tarte Tatin. It takes the same approach , however, with this recipe there is no over turning the pan to reveal a perfectly assembled layer of perfectly caramelized apples sitting on top a buttery base of puff pastry. Here, you get to enjoy all the same flavours but without the fuss. No overturning. No special arranging. No stress of burning the caramel. How could you not love it. How could you not make it !

serves 6 .  -  basic recipe from Donna Hay

8 large golden delicious apples - peeled, cored & chopped into large chunks
2 Pears - peeled, cored and chopped into large chunks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1 roll ready made butter puff pastry
1 egg slightly -beaten

Turn oven onto 200degC.
Toss the chunks of apple & pear together with the lemon juice, vanilla, sugar and place in your cast iron pan with a heatproof handle. Cover the handle with aluminium foil. Place on the stove top over medium heat and cook for 6-8 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the heat. Combine the corn flour and water to make a lump free mix - you might have to add a splash more water. Pour the corn flour mix over the apple & pears and stir through. Roll out the pastry and cut out a circle shape big enough to cover the apples. Pinch the edges to seal with the pan. Cut extra pastry into any shapes to use as decoration on top of the pie. Prick a few holes into the pastry crust and brush with the beaten egg. Bake in a hot oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve hot with custard.