I really love that just about every house in our neighbourhood has a fruit tree or two, we have an orange tree. I often think nobody will go hungry here, kids walk home from school with a fresh feijoa in hand, picked from the school path’s trees, little gifts of goodness. My friend Tracey spoils us with her marmalade and blackboy peach jam and preserves from her trees, we all need a friend who makes killer jam. This post was inspired by a neighbour’s pear tree while on location shooting and another’s apple tree, I love the idea of growing your own and the best part is the smell of the fruit blossoms! Can someone please bottle lemon tree blossom fragrance ?
I decided to make an apple and pear pie with an all butter pie crust made by hand, very ambitious for me, but I had some time and armed with only a fork, I need a pastry cutter, I made a pie crust that almost made me cry, in a good way! Flakey, buttery and golden. I bought some extra pears and made a pear tarte tatin [I cheated the puff pastry- not ready for that challenge just yet]. I also discovered Nashi – an Asian pear which you pick ripe off the tree, I was surprised at all the juice from this pale pear – I used a mixture of pears and apples in my pie, see recipe below.
Double crust apple and pear pie
Ingredients for the pastry:
225g unsalted butter- very cold
You will need a large mixing bowl, jug with ice water, spatula, baking paper, whisk, 12 inch pie tin
Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in your mixing bowl
Dice the butter into half inch pieces and add to the flour, work all the butter into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter, but dont overwork aim for pea size pieces
Add half a cup of the ice water to the mixture, using a spatula for mixing, I added another 2 Tbsp of water to combine completely.
Remove the dough and knead gently into one mould, divide the mould into two pieces, one twice as large as the other. The large one is for the bottom and smaller one for the top crusts of the pie.
Cover in baking paper and chill for 2-3 hours in the fridge while you make the filling.
Ingredients for the filling:
960g sliced apple and pear
25g butter, cold, diced
2Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 Tbsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice
5 Tbs apple juice concentrate
milk for brushing
Use a pie dish that is deep enough [2 inch]
Oven 220 deg C
Combine the sliced pip fruit and lemon juice in a bowl. In another bowl wisk the flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices, add this to the pip fruit and mix to coat, I used my hands.
Flour your surface for rolling the dough and then flour it some more, allow the dough to warm up a bit. Place the bigger amount of dough on the floured surface and sprinkle a bit of flour on the top of the dough too.
Take a deep breath and gently roll the disc from the centre out, re-flour the surface if necessary. Your disc must be bigger than the pie tin size, but patience is key. To transfer it to the pie tin, gently fold it in half and then in quarters,
place it in the tin , unfold and gently press it in, leaving the sides, you will fold it together with the top pastry after you have added the filling. Place the tin with the pastry in the fridge while you roll the top pastry using the same method.
Remove the pie tin from the fridge.
Add apple concentrate to the apple and pear filling, stir and add the filling to the pie tin. Dot the filling with diced butter. Place top pastry on filling and press the two sides together by folding the bottom crust up and over the top crust and pinch together.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut a vent hole or cute shapes in the centre for the steam to escape. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse brown sugar.
Place in the oven on a baking sheet, bottom rack, for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 190 deg C and bake for 40 minutes, keeping an eye on it from 30 minutes, filling should bubble and pastry golden brown.
Remove and cool completely before you cut it. Rather heat a slice before serving later.
Enjoy with cream and tea- the way I have been for the past 3 days.
Your pie will keep for 2 days in your pantry and then 2 days in the fridge.