Bottom Crust Apple Pie

Now this was so easy to make, I am still in shock.We’re back to my New Year resolutions, and the one new recipe per cook book goal. Almost one year ago (very, very soon to be exactly one year!), I received ‘Tarts with Top On’ for my birthday. Written by Tamasin Day Lewis, the book promises instant perfection when it comes to pies.

I love to cook. What I don’t like is to spend hours in the kitchen. Doughs take hours in the kitchen. Or so I thought, till this weekend. It is also time to admit it took me almost a year to get started with these … pies. This Sunday though I felt that I and book could actually get along. I knew pies meant lots and lots of dough, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. (Rain and wind outside helped). Bravely, I opened the book and I started my journey into pie-discovery. Savoury pies, traditional ones, other people’s pies, apple pies, all Amercan pies and of course the more general sweet pies.

I did of course at all times keep in mind the ‘Waiter there is something in my … pie’ event. It seems though that not all ‘top on’ pies have a top. Thus I stopped at an Italian Cottage Pie (to satisfy the requirements) and a bottom crust fruit pie. And this made everyone – well, the two of us – very, very happy.

The bottom crust fruit pie. If you know the recipe, you will see it asks for gooseberries (love them!) and apples. Gooseberries though are hard to come by in Belgium. Or I am at a total loss where I can find them. So I settled for a mix of apples, sultanas and almond flakes. Result: 10 out of 10!

Bottom Crust Apple Pie (serves enough)
750gr fruit (plums, damsons, any type of berries, or apples)
75-85gr sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit
egg white to glaze the pastry
shortcrust pastry made with 225gr flour and 110gr unsalted butter

Make the pastry first. Mix the flour and the butter, adding if necessary 2 to 3 tbsp of water. Once the dough is made, wrap it in clingfilm put it in the fridge for at least 30min.
Prepare the fruits. I used apples, sultanas, and almond flakes. No sugar was needed. Peel and core the apples; cut them into chunks. Depending on taste I am sure you could add some rum, or brandy. Vanilla extract perhaps?
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Roll the pastry out into a large circle, then transfer it to a pie dish. Hurl (!) the fruit into the middle and sprinkle over some sugar. I used 2tbsp of brown sugar.
Fold over the edges of the pastry, making sure they don’t touch in the middle. Hence the ‘non top’. Brush the pastry with egg white.
Bake for 20min, then turn the oven temperature down to 180°C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20-30min. With my oven, I had to cut the second part to 20min.

And this is it: the bottom crust apple pie. Not a tart with a top on, but still a delicious tart. I am saving the one with the top on for the waiter.

Recipe adapted from ‘Tarts with Top On’
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