Apple and lemon-scented geranium pie
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tamara West
This recipe is a variation of two great apple pie recipes - my grandmother’s and Australian food writer Karen Martini’s.. I have used pastry that is pre-rolled into a rectangle and not so great for lining a round tin, but play around, it does work – it all comes out in the baking. Lemon-scented geranium plants can be found in the herb area of a garden nursery. You could use a cinnamon stick instead.
- Heat the oven to 180C on fan bake. Butter a 20cm x 6cm deep round or square loose-bottom cake tin. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper.
- Cut the pastry so you have two-thirds for lining the tin and one-third for the top. Roll two-thirds of the pastry a little more to achieve a shape that is slightly round. Line the tin with the pastry and trim off any overhang. Use this pastry if necessary to carefully patch any unlined sides of the tin. Brush with a little beaten egg to secure as well as brushing the edges. Place in the fridge while you prepare the apples.
- Peel, quarter, core and slice apples (I cut each apple quarter into 3 slices). Place in a large bowl with the lemon juice, sugar and cornflour and mix well.
- Remove pastry lined tin from the fridge and layer in the apples. Pour over the collected juices then push the geranium leaf down under the first layer of apples.
- Cut the remaining one-third of pastry into 2 and again roll out a little so they will cover the top. Place on top of the apples and press pastry edge together with a fork to seal. Use the fork to seal the top join as well. Brush pastry top with beaten egg and use a sharp knife to make 2-3 slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Place pie on the prepared baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 150C on fan bake and bake a further 45 minutes until the pie is well browned.
- Cool slightly in the tin before removing. It will collapse a little. Serve with cream or yoghurt.
- Work as quickly as possible with pastry so your warm hands don’t melt the butter in the pastry.
- Any pastry trimmings can be carefully folded, well wrapped and frozen for another use.
- Don’t be afraid to cook the pastry until it is dark brown and crisp. Anything less will probably leave you with pastry that is soggy.