Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart


Some ingredients, when cooked together, simply bring out the best in each other. As is the case with this Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart. Also, the leek’s subtle onion flavour is enhanced by the crumbled Stilton cheese, in an egg and cream custard base. The nutty pastry crust provides the perfect crunchy texture and flavour. A delightful balance, that is a treat to our tastebuds.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

A marriage of flavours

While the chopped walnuts give the pastry a rustic, wholemeal look, it is, in fact light and crumbly. Adding additional flavour to the finished bake. Likewise, the crumbled Stilton cheese mellows on baking. Providing a salty contrast to the mild egg custard. Surprisingly, the mild onion flavour of the leeks doesn’t get lost in this tart. Rather, it brings everything together and sings on the tastebuds, above the other flavours.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart a feast for the eyes.

Slices of leek are sautéed gently, before placing in the tart. This not only ensures they are soft in the baked tart, but also concentrates the flavour. While baking, the rings separate and rise up through the tart. Also ensuring that each bite has tasty fresh, green leek in it.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart crunchy and creamy.


This tart is perfect for a light lunch, with salad, or as a main meal with a hot, buttered jacket potato. Also, it makes perfect picnic or buffet food, as it can be served at room temperature. The added nutmeg is barely noticeable, yet enhances all of the tart’s flavours. Leave it out and the finished bake tastes as though it is missing something. I encourage you to include it, freshly grated, if possible!

Recipe: Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart serves 4-6

For the pastry

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Walnuts – finely chopped

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1/8tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

125g/4.5oz Cold Unsalted Butter

60mls Cold Tap Water

For the filling

100g/4oz Stilton Cheese

1 Large Leek

4 Large Free Range Eggs – plus 1 extra for the egg wash

3tbsp Double Cream

1/4tsp Nutmeg

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper


A loose bottom tart tin that is approximately 25cm wide x 5cm deep or 10″ x 2″ is needed for this recipe.

Making The Walnut Pastry Crust

  • First of all, in a large bowl add the flour, chopped walnuts, salt, pepper and diced, cold butter. Then using your hands, or a pastry cutter, rub/cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs with pea sized chunks of butter present.
  • Now make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the cold tap water 10mls at a time. Using your hand, fingers bent and shaped like a claw, mix the dough after each addition. Work quickly to avoid the dough warming up and becoming oily. You may not need the full amount of water specified. Stop adding water once the dough comes together to form a rough ball. Set the bowl to one side.
  • Wipe the worktop with a clean, damp cloth. Then place the cling film (approximately the size of a large baking sheet) directly on to the damp surface. It will ‘stick’ and not move around.
  • Finally, tip the walnut pastry dough on to the cling film. Knead the dough lightly into a disc shape. Avoid working the pastry for too long as this will result in a hard, tough, crust.

Chilling the pastry

  • Wrap the pastry disc in the cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until it is chilled. Making pastry the night before use allows it to chill thoroughly before rolling out.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

    Making the Walnut Pastry Crust.
  • 10 minutes before rolling out the pastry, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.
  • If you wish, lightly butter your tart tin, I never do. Place the tart tin on to a baking tray and put to one side.

Rolling out the pastry

  • Place the chilled pastry on to a clean worktop and roll out evenly, until it is a slightly larger circle than the combined width and depth of the tin. Approximately 30cm/11″ in width.
  • Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to the tart tin. Allow the pastry to settle into the tin. DO NOT stretch it as it will only shrink while baking.
  • Ensure the tin is fully lined and then trim away any excess pastry.
  • Dock the base of the pastry tart with a fork and then line with baking parchment. Fill the lined tart with baking beans, or ceramic balls and place into the top of the oven.
  • Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out the baking parchment and beans.
  • Return the tart to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Layering the leeks and Stilton

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Preparing the Leek and Stilton filling.
  • While the pastry is baking, prepare the leek. Strip the outer 2 layers, cut off the root end and top, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • Cut the leek into whole rings, approximately 1cm deep and the gently sauté in a dry pan over a medium/low heat for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened.
  • Remove the pastry shell from the oven when baked.
  • Carefully transfer the whole leek rings to the tart shell. Add any odd pieces of leek around the whole rings in the tart.
  • Cut the rind away from the Stilton. Now, using a fork, break up the Stilton, on a board, into crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the leek  in the tart shell.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F.
FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Preparing the egg custard and decorating the tart.

Making and adding the egg custard

  • Crack 4 eggs into a large jug. Add the double cream, nutmeg and pepper. Whisk together using a fork, until the mixture is uniform.
  • Pour the egg custard carefully into the pastry tart.
  • Carefully, as the tart is still warm, run a piece of butter around the top perimeter of the tin. This will stop any pastry decorations sticking.
  • Gather together the pastry offcuts. Roll to the thickness of a one pound coin.
  • Use a 1 inch/2.5cm approx. cutter to cut out about 25-30 circles. These will be placed around the edge of the tart.
  • Break an egg into a small bowl, add 1tsp of cream or milk and whisk together. This is the egg wash.
  • Take the first cutout and with a pastry brush, dipped in egg wash, brush both sides of the circle. Place the circle on to the edge of the tart. The centre of the circle should be in contact with the edge of the tart. Continue, using the same egg wash method and placing the 2nd circle so that just overlaps the first disc.
  • Keep going until the whole perimeter of the tart case is covered. I used 22 pastry discs. The number you need will depend on the size of your tart, how much the discs overlap and other variables.
  • Finally, when the decorations are in place, pour any leftover egg wash into the tart. As long as there is room.

Baking The Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

  • Place the tart carefully into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. The tart is baked when there is no wobble in the centre, the filling has set and the egg custard is golden.
  • When fully baked remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the loose bottom tart tin.
FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Golden Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

This tart is delicious served warm for lunch or dinner, Also is is very tasty eaten cold or at room temperature, making it ideal for summer picnics and buffets.

It will keep for up to 3 days, stored in a container or, wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge.

Leek Stilton Tart

If you have enjoyed this recipe For Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart you may also like these:

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Smoked bacon asparagus quiche.
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts


Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine

Homemade quiche and tarts taste a million times better than most shop bought varieties available. Seasoning, ingredients and indeed the pastry can all be tailored to our own personal tastes. While I haven’t taken on the challenge of Filo Pastry yet, shortcrust is incredibly easy, see Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Whether served with a jacket potato and salad for a substantial meal, or grabbing a slice to eat whilst on the go, tarts and quiches are easy to make. They are also very satisfying to eat.

Do you have a favourite flavour combination for quiches and tarts?

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

Sammie xx


Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche


June is Asparagus season, here in the U.K. Such a vibrant, distinct colour and flavour when cooked. So I decided to incorporate it into this utterly delicious Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche such a delicious flavour combination.

Making the best use of seasonal vegetables is so important to me. Also, it makes me appreciate them more. While strawberries always taste better in the summer, because that’s when they grow in this country. Asparagus is the same. Vibrant, green shoots that can be enjoyed in any number of recipes.

And one of my favourite ways to enjoy them is in this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche perfect with salad.

Easy Baking Using Seasonal Produce

I have made this quiche twice now, in as many weeks and believe me when I say, I’ll probably make it next week too. In fact I should probably make two, so that I can stash one away in the freezer for when asparagus is no longer available.

Using good quality, outside reared bacon makes all the difference to this dish. Because it is not pumped full of water and who knows what, when placed in a hot, dry skillet the bacon sizzles. There wasn’t any liquid leaching from it and oh, it tastes so good!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a tantalising bite 😉

Making this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche is easy. So is making your own pastry, there’s a link in the recipe. It doesn’t take long and is a tried and tested recipe that creates the most delicious buttery crust for it’s eggy filling.

I like to get the pastry made first thing in the morning. I always make double as it takes hardly any extra time and stores really well in the freezer. If using frozen pastry defrost it overnight in the fridge.

Recipe: Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche – serves 6

500g/1lb 2oz All Butter Shortcrust Pastry see Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry the recipe will also give you tips on how to line a tart tin, blind bake and there’s another quiche recipe as well

12 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon – take off any rind and cut into 2.5cm/1″ chunks

6-8 Asparagus Spears – washed trimmed and cut into 5cm/2″ pieces

50g/2oz Strong Cheddar – finely grated – I use Wyke Farm Cheese

6 Large Free Range Eggs – note if making to freeze add an extra egg and leave out the cream – my eggs were from Waitrose

50ml/2fl oz Double Cream

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Making The Shortcrust Pastry Tart Case

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.

Note – the filling can be prepared whilst the pastry case is baking.

  • Make the pastry, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place your quiche tin on a baking tray.
  • Lighty dust the work top with flour and roll out the pastry, from the centre outwards. Move the pastry around to ensure that it isn’t sticking to the work top.
  • Use the rolling pin to transfer the pastry, lay it gently into the quiche tin.
  • Gently push the pastry into place, if you stretch it, it’ll shrink during baking. I know trust me!!
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Nicely finished pastry case.
  • Roll the rolling pin over the top of the quiche tin and it will trim the pastry, leaving a lovely clean edge.
  • Use a fork to dock the bottom of the pastry, it allows steam to escape during baking.
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly bigger than the tin, scrunch up, line the pastry case and fill with baking beans.
  • Place in the top of a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, lift out the baking beans and return for a further 5 minutes until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and set to one side.

Assembling The Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F.
  • In a dry skillet/frying pan, over a medium heat dry fry the bacon until cooked, but not crispy. Off the heat add the asparagus and allow to sit for 5 minutes or a bit longer.
  • When the bacon is cool enough to handle arrange in the base of the pastry case.
  • Then arrange the asparagus spears however you like.
  • Top with the finely grated cheese.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the egg custard.
  • Crack the eggs into a jug – I always crack mine separately into a small bowl first.
  • Add the cream, if using and a good season of black pepper.
  • Whisk with a fork to combine and then pour carefully over the pastry tart.
  • Leave a gap between the pastry rim and the custard. The quiche will rise whilst baking and it’s not the end of the world if it leaks, but prevention is better than cure. Gosh I sound like my Grandma, what a wise woman she was.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the oven.

Baking The Quiche

  • Place the quiche into the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden without a wobble in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche it’s freshly baked smell is tantalising.

Serving And Storing The Quiche

This delicious tasting Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche can be served hot, warm or cold, making it perfect for buffets, picnics, easy dinners, packed lunches.

I had the last piece of quiche, cold from the fridge today, for lunch. It was absolutely yummy and as it is quite muggy, it was refreshing as well as filling.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a delicious summer meal.

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche will keep well wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days and successfully freeze for one month. In fact I have a lovely friend on Twitter – Lou – who baked this yesterday, without the cream and popped it in the freezer for a party in a few weeks time.

Make the most of the asparagus season, it is all too short!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche you may also want to try these:

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

Spicey Sausage Rolls

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Pastry is such a versatile medium to bake with, see my Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts . It lends itself very well to portable food, which means it’s great for family and friend get together’s. Since the heart of Feasting is Fun is sharing. I share my recipes, as do some of you. We share our makes and bakes with neighbours, unsuspecting delivery men – oh that’s just me on that one then. Most of all we have fun enjoying the smile a homemade dish can bring to another’s face.

So, 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.



Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry


Is the prospect of making your own pastry daunting? Because, for many people it is. Therefore, today I am going to show you how to make foolproof, Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that works for both sweet such as this Lemon Lime Merigue Pie and savoury bakes like this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry

Since being taught to make pastry from an early age, I wonder if the fear that surrounds making it is simply that the skill is not being passed down, through the generations like it used to be. Another reason could be that Home Economics and cooking are not taught as widely as they once were. Likewise, commercially made pastry is readily available in most grocery shops. Yet nothing compares to the crisp, buttery flavour of homemade pastry.

FF Lemon Lime Meringue Pie
Lemon Lime Meringue Pie

Watching cookery programmes, where they may portray the ‘art’ of pastry making as a complicated process can be off putting. So it is understandable that some people are terrified to make pastry and therefore never attempt it. Today, in this tutorial, you will learn how simple it is to make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that turn’s out beautifully every single time.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry great for quiches.

Keeping Things Simple

First of all, to reassure you, no kitchen machinery is used. Not even a food processor. Because, if I’m being completely honest, setting the food processor up in my kitchen takes longer than actually making the pastry by hand. So I really can’t be bothered with the hassle. Rather, the only two pieces of equipment I use are a dinner knife and pastry cutter.

If you haven’t seen or heard of a pastry cutter, they look like this.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Pastry Cutter

They can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon or kitchenware shops. And a quick glance on the internet has assured me that the cost is £5 or under.

Keeping It Chilled

Most importantly, the simple key to making good pastry, is to work quickly and yet not rush, while keeping everything as cold as possible. Please, please do not become neurotic about it, as I have seen with some people.

Since my personal experience is that whenever I am stressed, rushed or uptight about something, if I bake, it inevetiably goes wrong. Or at least isn’t my best baking. Therefore, making pastry while relaxed and using a reliable recipe should guarentee good results.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Fabulous pastry for all your tarts and quiches.

Choosing The Best Ingredients

So that’s mindset and equipment sorted, next are ingredients. I use unsalted butter in all of my baking as it tends to be better quality than salted and also allows me to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Organic, stoneground flour and organic or free range eggs will always produce the tastiest pastry. Finally, adding salt is more important than you may think as it enhances the pastry’s flavour.  And in comparison, very little is added to commercially available, ready made pastry.

Also, the quantity of cold water added, is a guide, as different batches of flour, butter and the weather, can all affect how much water is needed to bring the dough together.  Don’t panic I will walk you through every step.

Recipe: Make 900g/2lb Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry

Enough to make 2 x 25cm/10in tart cases.

400g/14oz Plain White Flour

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – cold from the fridge and cut into cubes

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

2 Large Free Range Egg Yolks – I use Waitrose own brand

Approx 180-200ml Cold Tap Water

Making The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry Dough

  • First of all, into a large bowl add the flour, salt and cold cubed butter.

Ready to start 'cutting in' the butter.

  • Using the pastry cutter, push and twist it into the flour, rotating the bowl occasionally. Scrape any butter that has become stuck on the pastry cutter off using a regular dinner knife.
  • Keep cutting the butter into the flour until it is about the size of peas.

You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.

  • Note: the flour does not look like breadcrumbs. Traditionally this is how pastry making is taught, to rub, or cut into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you do this your pastry will be okat. Yet, if you leave pea sized pieces of butter in the flour you will end up with crisp, Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
  • Next add the 2 egg yolks into the centre of the mix.

Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?

  • Add 150ml of cold tap water and stir the mixture using a dinner knife.
  • Continue adding water, in small amounts, 10mls, at a time, stirring with the knife until the pastry starts to come together.
  • Now switch to using your hands. Create a claw-like figure with your fingers. Gently bring the dough together, adding a little more water as necessary, until it just holds together in a rough ball shape.

The perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.

  • Wipe the worktop surface with a clean, damp cloth, then lay over a large piece of cling film – the wet surface helps the cling film to stick and not move about.
  • Tip out the ball of pastry onto the cling film.
  • Wrap and shape into a large disc.

Your All Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!

Resting The Pastry

  • Place the wrapped pastry into the fridge and chill for at least one hour.
  • And now put the kettle on and congratulate yourself on making Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

This recipe makes enough pastry to bake a 2 x 25cm/10in quiches.

  • While the Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is resting in the fridge, it is an ideal time to prepare the filling.

Rolling Out The Shortcrust Pastry

  • Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.
  • Weigh the pastry where a recipe calls for a specific amount. Alternatively cut in half when making a quiche.
  • Shape one piece of the pastry into a ball.
  • Roll out gently from the centre of the pastry to the edge. Ensure the pastry keeps moving by dusting underneath lightly with flower.
  • Ideally the pastry should be about the thickness of a £1 coin – approx 1/4 inch.
Rolling out the pastry.

Lining A Tin With Pastry

  • Loop the pastry around the rolling pin, this makes moving it easier and stops it stretching.
  • Gently allow the pastry to loosely fill your tin and then remove the rolling pin.
  • Ease the pastry into the tin, if it is fluted be sure to press the pastry into each of the flutes. Most importantly avoid stretching the pastry, as this will result in the pastry shrinking during baking.

  • Roll your rolling pin over the top of the tin and it will cut the edge of the pastry perfectly.
  • Dock (press with a fork) the pastry base, as this helps steam escape and creates a flat base.
Docked un-cooked Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry tart.
  • Place the tart tin back in the fridge for 30 minutes, this really helps the pastry keep it’s shape when being baked.
  • Cut some baking parchment larger than the width of your tin.
  • Scrunch up and then lay on top of the pastry in the tin. Fill the baking parchment with ceramic baking balls.
FF Perfect ButterShortcrust Pastry
The ceramic baking balls keep the pastry’s shape as it bakes in the oven.

Blind Baking The Pastry

  • Place the pastry lined tins onto a baking tray and put in a preheated oven at 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • As soon as the baking time has finished remove the tin from the oven.
  • Using the baking parchment, lift the baking balls free from the pastry lined tin.
  • Place the baking balls in a heatproof bowl to cool.
  • Put the tart tins back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes if using for a filled tart or quiche. If baking the tart shell until cooked, depending on size, bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
Beautifull be golden tart shell.

Look at the gorgeous Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry crust. Deliciously light, crisp and buttery.

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

As you can see from the photos this recipe really does produce Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry. Also, the pastry has such a delicious flavour of it’s own, becoming part of the dish, not just a carrier of other flavours.

Unused Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry can be kept wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 2 days, or it can be frozen, wrapped in cling film and popped into a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Top Tip: Freeze any leftover pastry and after a while you’ll have enough for a recipe!

If you have enjoyed this Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry here are some other recipes you may like to try:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Smoked ham and cheese create a classic Quiche Lorraine.

Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche 

FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Iced Bakewell Tart

Lemon Curd Sponge Tart

FF Lemon Curd Sponge Tart
Lemon Curd Sponge Tart

As with anything new, practising will improve your technique and consequently the pastry that you make. Since homemade pastry requires only a few ingredients, it is handy to know how to make your own. Whether it is for sweet or savoury bakes, this pastry recipe works beautifully. Also, it is much cheaper to make your own from scratch compared to buying ready made. And you know exactly what has gone into making it.

So 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.


Amazing Apple Pie


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

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