Amazing Apple Pie

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Today it is Sunday, traditionally the day of rest. Since not everyone gets to stay at home, I have a treat for you. Either to make for your family and loved ones when then come in from work, any day of the week, or just because it is so delicious. A dessert that will make you want to go for a brisk walk afterwards, or snuggle up on the sofa and have a nap. Here is my Amazing Apple Pie.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie

A Time To Rest

Rest and relaxation is so important. More so nowadays in our 24/7 world. While life, with work/children/DIY/etc. can sometimes feel as though we are chasing our tails. It is important to take time to stop and rest. Turn off our electrical devices, mentally switch off from all the tasks still to be ‘done’ and simply be. Whether that be playing a board game, reading a book or going for a walk. Rest is good for our mind, body and soul.

I will let you into a secret, once you’ve finished your list of things that MUST be done, guess what? More ‘jobs’ will miraculously appear! So if we take a few hours, or even a whole day to chill out, rest, or spend time doing something, that in itself is relaxing, we will feel soo much better. And be ready to face the world and all the demands that are placed on us.

We were created to work and be fruitful (no pun intended on the Amazing Apple Pie) but also to rest.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie

Not Forgetting The Workers

Obviously I’m aware many, many people cannot rest on a Sunday. Our Doctors and Nurses, who do such a fantastic job of treating and looking after sick people, don’t just down tools and stop because it’s Sunday. There are millions of people who, without their commitment to providing our security, ensuring our power supplies continue, indeed run our government and many, many more dedicated professions who work around the clock. Far too many to mention here – who ensure the smooth running & care of the population of our Great United Kingdom. To them I give my heartfelt thanks. Just think, Vicars don’t get Sunday off.

Baking And Gardening – My Ways To Relax

Rest doesn’t have to mean just plopping down in front of the telly, although if that’s how you chill out, go for it! Personally I love gardening, gentle gardening, pottering. Planting a few bulbs, deadheading, a little light pruning, nothing that causes me to beak out in a sweat and lands me on the sofa for 3 days, simply because I’ve overdone it. That is not rest, I’ve learned the hard way!

Baking is right up there with gardening as a form of relaxation for me. Gentle pastry making, not frenetic mid-week meal cooking, followed by mums taxi running one child to piano, my lil man to scouts, not to mention the impossible task of getting a filthy rugby kit washed, dried, ironed and ready by the next day. I don’t even own a tumble drier!

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie served with Luxury Homemade Vanilla Bean Custard.

So to my recipe for scrumptious Amazing Apple Pie: am I stressed Noooo. I find the whole process relaxing – if you find that strange – that’s ok. You do what you must to relax, I bake or garden!

You will need a 9-10″ glass pie dish ( the glass really does make a difference – the bottom of the pie doesn’t go soggy – don’t know why – but glass seems to conduct the heat better, resulting in a pie that is baked evenly on the bottom as well as the top! Anyhow it works!!!

Recipe: Amazing Apple Pie serves 6

For the pastry:

350g/12 oz Plain White Flour

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

75g/3oz Unsalted Butter – cold & cubed

75g/3oz Vegetable Shortening – cold & cubed (or broken into similar sized chunks as the butter) I use Trex

1 Free Range Egg, whisked with 1 tbs of water – for egg wash

1tbsp Demerera Sugar – I use Billingtons

For the filling:

600g/1lb 4oz weight of peeled Apples – Tart varieties (such as Granny Smiths, or cooking apples such as Bramleys) are best, but windfalls of any variety can be used

2 tbs Corn flour also called corn starch

1 Large Lemon – juiced

2 tbs Vanilla sugar or caster sugar & 1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Method: Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6

Making The Pastry

Place all the ingredients into a bowl (of stand mixer if using, with paddle attachment), using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, quickly rub/cut/blend the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles lumpy breadcrumbs – pea sized pieces of fat should still be visible.

Add enough cold water – 1 tbs at a time until the pastry JUST comes together, stirring with a butter or palette knife. Just as the mixture starts to clump go in with your hands and gently and quickly bring the clumps together into a ball.

Place the pastry onto some cling film, pat out to form a disc & then cut the disc in half, reshape each half back into a disc. Wrap each half in cling and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins to allow the pastry to relax.

NOTE : Whilst the pastry is resting you can prepare the filling – see below.

As soon as the pastry has rested remove it from the fridge and place 1 disc on a clean floured surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin start rolling, using even outward motion and turning the disc, adding small amounts of flour so that the pastry doesn’t stick.

When the circle looks wide enough to fill the pie dish, will a small amount of over lap, place the pastry into the UNGREASED pie dish, so that the excess pastry drapes slightly over the edges of the pie dish.

Please don’t worry,  if you have followed the recipe and are using a glass pie dish IT DOES NOT need greasing. There is enough fat in the pastry for it not to stick. If you have used a different type of pie dish I would play it safe and butter it first.

Preparing The Apple Pie Filling

Peel, core and quarter the apples. Slice the quarters into 3.

Place the prepared apples into a bowl and pour over the lemon juice, cornflour, sugar and spices. Using clean hands toss the apples so that each piece is covered in the lemony, gooey mixture.

Place the apple mixture onto the pastry base.

Using a pastry brush lightly brush the outside edge of the pastry with egg wash.

Remove the 2nd pastry disc and roll out as before, ensuring when placed on top, the circle of pastry slightly overlaps the top of the pie.

Using a sharp knife carefully trim the excess pastry. Either use a fork or your forefinger and thumb and press the lid of the pastry to seal it around the rim to the bottom layer.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Creating an Amazing Apple Pie

Make a few snips in the top of the pastry, to allow any steam to escape.

Creating A Decorative Pie Lid

If you want to be creative, make leaves, berries, whatever you want to decorate the top of the pie, making sure you don’t cover the slits in the pastry up. I just happen to have a mini apple shaped cutter that I couldn’t resist using on this pie.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Decorated with Pastry apples and leaves, this Amazing Apple Pie is ready for the oven.

Baking The Amazing Apple Pie

Brush the top of the Amazing Apple Pie with egg wash and then sprinkle the Demerera Sugar over the top of the pie. This adds an extra crunch and very mild toffee flavour. Put the pie dish onto a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The pie is cooked when it is a gorgeous golden colour, on top and underneath.

Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for 15 minutes, this will make it easier to slice.

 

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie 

Serve this Amazing Apple Pie with Luxury Homemade Vanilla Bean Custard, cream, vanilla ice cream (or all of them!) and a big smile. Wait and in that moment of the first mouthful being eaten, you will become the most popular, loved person in the room.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Amazing Apple Pie you may also like these:

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Autumn almond apple cake a gluten free bake using fresh free apples from the garden.
Autumn Apple Almond Cake – gluten free.

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Iced Bakewell Tart option for un iced version too.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Blackberry Nectarine Tart

This pie cries out to be shared with family, friends and loved ones alike. Also why not pop across the road to the gentleman who recently lost his wife and share a slice of pie with him?

Sometimes, when we are stumped by what to say, our actions can convey more than words ever could.

Until next time, challenge yourself to share with someone who is outside of your comfort zone. You may just make somebody else smile?

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Super Easy Shortbread Cookies.

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Hello again. I’m really enjoying this blogging lark, I hope you are enjoying my thoughts and recipes too? Please leave a comment if you try any. I’d love to hear how you got on. So today let me bring you my Super Easy Shortbread Cookies.

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

Today is the day…..all the children back at school. My mind is buzzing with all the possibilities that today holds! All the things I put off during the summer holidays  to spend time with our 11, 13 and 15 year old children.

I love having them home, they all get along pretty well (not bad for 2 older girls and my boy) and I shall miss their music/chatter/mess… Well maybe not the mess. But they do fill our home with energy and fun. Still tomorrow is the weekend, so today I shall enjoy the peace knowing chaos is only a day away.

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

Hmmm there’s jam to be made, not really in the mood for that, tidying – but it’ll only need doing again on Monday. Cookies! I have nothing really against shop bought biccies but you really can’t beat homemade and these are a doddle.

You will need:

2 x baking sheets with parchment paper on them.

Cling film (I’ll explain later)

Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature : it really makes a difference.

Recipe: Super Easy Shortbread Cookies makes 20-24

150g/5 oz Caster Sugar (plus 2 tsp for sprinkling on top)

1/4 tsp Salt

225g/8 oz Unsalted Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk – the white can be frozen for up to one month, perfect for Pavlova

225g/8 oz Plain White Flour

50g/2 oz Corn Flour – corn starch

Method:

  • Place butter, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  • Whisk or beat (using a wooden spoon) together until the mixture is very pale yellow.
  • Now mix in the egg yolk and vanilla paste/extract.
  • Sift in the flour and corn flour.
  • Mix thoroughly, but gently until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Now take a big, deep breath. The smell is scrummy and will help you recognise later when the Super Easy Shortbread Cookies are nearly cooked!
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Making the cookie dough.
  • Set the mixture to one side so that you have a clear work top in front of you. You will need a clear space in front of you. Wipe this space with a clean, slightly wet, dish cloth.
  • Taking the clung film unwrap about 12 inches (30cm) lay it over the damp work surface as you do so. Magically the cling will lay flat and not become a tangled mess!
  • Place half of your cookie dough on the cling film in a rough log shape.
  • Using your hands and the cling mould the dough into a log, with a diameter of approx 1 1/2″ (7cm)
  • Wrap tightly making sure the cookie dough is as even as possible along the log.
  • Carefully transfer this to the fridge laying it on a flat surface (the dough will still be quite squishy – I usually lay it lengthways across my palm).
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the cookie dough. Leave the dough to rest and harden up for at least 2-3 hours.
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Creating the cookie dough log, chilling and slicing the cookies.
  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4, just before you remove the cookie dough log from the fridge.
  • Remove 1 log from the fridge and leave to warm slightly for 5 minutes (I find leaving it for this time makes the dough easier to cut and not crack).
  • Using a sharp knife cut regular discs approx 1/4″ (1/2cm) wide.
  • You should end up with 10-12 cookie discs.
  • Place these on the parchment paper lined baking sheets, making sure there is at least 1″/2.5cm gap each way between the discs.
  • Sprinkle each cookie with a little sugar.
  • Place the baking trays in the centre and lower part of the oven
  • Bake the Super Easy Shortbread Cookies for 14-17 minutes. When baked they are a light golden colour.
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
  • When you start to smell the scrumptious buttery, vanilla smell it’s time to check on your cookies. DON’T PROD THEM – however tempting! They will still be soft and firm up on cooling. These cookies are cooked when they turn a light golden colour. Remove from the oven, careful they are hot!
  • Leave the cookies on the baking tray to cool completely.
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
  • The sprinkle of sugar added just before baking gives the cookies a sparkling sheen once baked.

Pop the kettle on and try one, just to make sure they’re good. These cookies travel well and I like to pop some in cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbon and pass them on to friends andfamily. They are also scrummy when shared with a close friend over a cuppa and a heart to heart chat.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Super Easy Shortbread Cookies you may also like these:

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies 

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Cherry Bakewell Cookies 

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Rolo Chocolate Cookies 

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies

Since I am a self confessed Cookie Monster, I assume that others are too. Baking fresh cookies, ready to share, is one way of showing my friends and family how much I love them. I mean I’m giving away cookies! Whether it’s cookies, cakes or other bakes, I have never had anyone turn down the gift of a homemade treat.

If you want to see more of my recipes, or show me your bakes you can find me on Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest – @sammiefeasting

Sammie xx

No part of this post may reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

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Lemon Drizzle Cake has to be one of my all time favourite cakes. While there are a gazillion recipes on the internet and in books, I wanted to add my own. Firstly because hopefully this blog will become a go-to resource for our children as they continue on their cooking and baking journey. Also, I like my lemon drizzle a certain way. That is, with a fresh lemon glacé icing draped and drizzled over the top. I hope that you enjoy my take on this classic cake?

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake

Since there are various ways to make a lemon drizzle cake, I thought I’d explore them. Traditionally a lemon sugar syrup is made and poured over the top of the cake, creating a crunchy, sugar crust as it cools. For my take on this version see these Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes.Perfect individual portions of sunshine.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemons And Their Versatility In The Kitchen

Lemons are a must-have ingredient in my kitchen. Used in both sweet and savoury recipes they are essential in my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad where the un-waxed, scrubbed lemons are cut so thinly they are eaten as part of the dish. Also they are used to thin down mayonnaise for my Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw.Whether halved and added to the cavity of a roasting chicken, or simply squeezed over baked salmon, they add a burst of flavour that lifts each dish.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

While lemon extract is available and I confess sometimes is used in my recipes, nothing is quite as good as using the real thing. During lemon season I buy un-waxed lemons as they tend to be slightly under ripe. However, I have had many a mouldy lemon lurking in the fridge! So, if buying waxed lemons, simply scrub under hot water with a nail brush. As a note, I lightly scrub un-waxed lemons as well if using the zest.

You will need a 25cm x 11cm x 7.5cm (10” x 4.5” x 3”) 2lb loaf tin,

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake serves 8-10

225g/8oz  Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Egg

250g/9oz Plain White Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Whole Lemon – finely zested and juiced

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt, halve quantity if using free flowing

175g/6 oz Icing Sugar

Optional – White and Yellow Sprinkles – mine are from Waitrose

Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, 325F, gas mark 3.

Making And Baking The Lemon Cake

  • Place butter, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl and whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  • Add 2 eggs, the vanilla extract and half of the sieved flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Whisk until just combined.
  • Now add the last 2 eggs, remaining flour and lemon zest.
  • Stir the ingredients together with a metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the lemon cake batter into the prepared tin ensuring the top is level.
  • Place the cake into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes. My cake took 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake before and after baking.
  • While the cake cools make the glacé icing.

Making The Fresh Lemon Icing And Decorating The Cake

  • Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir until thickly combined and completely lump free. If the icing is too thick add a few drops of water.
  • After 20 minutes cooling, run a palette knife around the outside edge of the cake. Turn the cake out – take care it will still be warm. Peel back the parchment paper from the base and discard.
  • Place the cake on to a cooling rack which is then place over a tray or plate.
  • Using a spoon drizzle the lemon icing over the cake, encouraging it to drip down the sides in places.
  • Finally scatter over some yellow and white sprinkles and leave the cake to cool completely.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Freshly iced Lemon Drizzle Cake in the Spring sunshine.

Once cooled this cake is easily sliced. Serve with lemon tea for extra lemon flavour.

Keep the cake in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. Refrigerate during warmer weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake you may also like these:

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Since this cake is so delicious, it’s good to know that I have successfully doubled the recipe and baked two cakes at the same time. It is my firm belief that all food tastes better when shared. So, whether you are baking this cake for yourself, or alternatively as a gift, it’s definitely worth making two. In fact why not give both cakes away?

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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