Sunday 29 May 2011

Classic Apple Pie and Custard

With cooler weather setting in, there is such delight in tucking into classic winter dishes like homemade apple pie and custard... classic comfort food! It feels good and there's nothing pretencious about it...just like a big warm hug :)

I made this pie and custard to bring to our friends' place for a dinner party over the weekend. The two components are surprising easy to make at home - it makes me wonder why I ever bought apple pie from the freezer section. As for homemade custard, there really is no comparison to the gelatinous yellow goop out of the carton from supermarkets - where's the comfort in that?!

Apple Pie
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay

1 quantity sweet shortcut pastry (see recipe below)
1 egg, lightly beaten
sugar for sprinkling (optional)
8 green apples (1.2kg/2lb 7oz), peeled and chopped
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp almond meal

1. Preheat the oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F). To make the filling, place the apples and water in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring the apples occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cool completely.

2. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.

3. Divide the pastry into two-thirds and one-third. Roll out the two-thirds portion on a lightly floured surface until 3mm (1/8 in) thick and place in a shallow 24cm (9 1/2 in) pie tin. Sprinkle over the almond meal and pack the apples tightly into the pastry shell.

4. Roll out the remaining pastry to fit over the top of the pie. Brush the rim with water, press the edges together and trim. Cut several slits in the top of the pastry, brush with the egg and sprinkle with sugar (optional). Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
150g (5 oz) cold butter, chopped
around 2-3 tbsp iced water

1. Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined.
3. Tip onto clean work surface and knead the dough together lightly.
4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Classic Custard
an original Diary of a Ladybird recipe
600ml pure cream
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp quality vanilla bean paste)
6 egg yolks
70g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1. Place the scraped vanilla bean and seeds in a medium size saucepan along with the cream. Heat until just before boiling point and remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until thick and creamy.
3. Whisking continuously pour the cream into the egg and sugar mixture and then return the mixture to the suacepan.
4. Stir over low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and transfer into a bowl though a sieve. Squeeze excess custard off the split bean and return to the custard to allow the vanilla to infuse further.
5. Serve immediately; or if not, cover with clingflim as pictured below and refrigerate until serving time. Refrigeration with prevent the custard from cooking further.
Put the two together and tuck in! I just love the combination of pie fresh out of the oven and cool custard - simply delicious!
So when you think winter comfort food, what's on the menu for you?
Till next time,
Ladybird x


  1. Definately custard for us too, but the combination with apple pie is hard to resist!

  2. Mm....this apple pie looks so good I want apple pie right now!! We'd always bought apple pies from the freezer until I made apple pie for the first time two years ago- I was wondering exactly the same thing ;) It's tastes so much better!

  3. oh my goodness, that pie is perfect!

  4. Yum!
    I havent had apple pie in quite some time. Deffinately perfect for a dinner party.


  5. This looks delicious! Also one of the easier apple pie recipes I've seen...maybe I'll give it a go =)

  6. Please make this for me when I come to visit!! QA xx

  7. a bit warm hug indeed :D
    i love how chunky your apples are and how they stayed in shape instead of beign too mushy!

    for me winter comfort food is crumble (just coz its easier to make!)

  8. Apple pies are one of the best things about winter. Yours looks super yummy, I love the big chunks of apple and with homemade custard.. swoon

  9. Just beautiful, looks so yummy. Couldn't agree with you more about making our own pies & custard, they are so superior to anything you could buy & specially when we bring them to someone's place for sweets - a big warm hug of food for sure. Great tutorial - gotta love Donna Hays touch don't you!


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