| apple pie

August 31, 2010

The town of Cygnet is the closest town to where my uncle lives in very southern Tasmania. From his windows, in his house on the rocky headland that my dad designed and they built slowly over ten years, there is nothing but ocean between me and Antarctica. When Sarah and I went to Tasmania a month or so back, we went simply to look at the ocean, to comb the beaches for interesting shells and driftwood and take walks through the sketchy coastal forest. We wanted a break from the city, you know, the simple life. But in Tasmania nothing is simple, beside the shells on the beach there is so much rope, colourful as streamers discarded after a kid’s party, washed up from the salmon farms. The rope is cut and cast into the sea. Apparently in the old days in Deep Bay, the bay that Cygnet hugs, a tall ship could be moored right up to the pub in town. Now silt clogs the bay and it’s so shallow Cranes can walk across it. There’s a pub in town that has trucks parked out the front with bumper stickers that say, ‘Green’s Lie’, ‘Earth First Log the Other Planet’s Later’, ‘Keep Warm This Winter Burn a Greenie’.

Most tourists who travel to Tasmania don’t see the logged coupes, tracts of trees are kept at the edges of the roads. Tourists are directed from National Park to National Park so that they never know about the battle for the forests of Tasmania, that is happening between these small sections of protected land. Our friend Anna Krien has written a book about this battle: Into The Woods. It’s out this week, and we’re so gosh darn proud.

When Sarah and I were there, we cooked this rustic apple pie, (with organic apples,) and tried to pull as much rope as we could from the sand.

Apple Pie

Apple Filling
1kg organic apples, washed, peeled, cored and sliced into large hunks
raw caster sugar – to taste
1/4 cup of water

185g chilled butter
185g flour
a pinch of salt
30g icing sugar
1 free-range egg
1 free-range egg whisked lightly with 2 tbsp milk for the pastry

Sift flour, salt and icing sugar together. In a food processor, or with your hands combine flour and butter until it begins to look like bread crumbs. Add egg and knead/process into a dough. Add a tspn cold water here if it doesn’t come together in a ball. Rest pastry in the fridge for one hour in two balls, one a little bigger (for the bottom) than the other in cling wrap.

While the pastry is resting, place the apples in a saucepan with a 1/4 cup of water and cook on a low heat. You can add sugar if your apples aren’t sweet enough or if you like a very sweet pie. When the apples are ready you will be able to just poke them with a knife, they will be tender enough for the knife to pass through, but they should keep their shape and not fall apart.

Roll out the top and bottom of the pie to about 5mm thick. Put the bigger into the pie dish and blind bake for ten minutes or so. When the blind baking is done, trim the edges of the pie if any pastry is falling over the edge and place the filling into the base. It should come to the top. Try not to scoop up too many juices, otherwise your pie will go soggy. Just the firm apples.

Place the other rolled piece of pie pastry on top of the filling and base and tuck in the edges, so there is no apple at the corners.

Brush the top and edges of the pie with the egg mixture, just lightly, there should be a light film over the top, not a soggy mess. Bake the pie in a 180C oven until the pastry is golden brown and the smell of apples fills the kitchen.

Serve with pure cream.

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Category: baking
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apple pie: 10 comments

  1. Brenda Says:

    This pie looks amazing – I’ll definitely give it a try.

    Very sad story about Tasmania, though. I’ll keep an eye out for the book.

  2. irene Says:

    this cake looks delicious and the recipe sounds easy. thanks for sharing!

  3. Desma Says:

    Yum. Can’t wait to cook it. Pastry is interesting and I bet delicious!

  4. Oooooh Apple Pie | Says:

    […] From one of my favourite Melbourne food blogs – Trotski & Ash. […]

  5. Lauren Says:

    Ooh! This is a controversial post! I cannot wait to read Anna’s book, I only just learned of them keeping tracts of trees by the roadside, so it appears that no logging is happening.
    BUT I urge anyone and everyone to get down to Tasmania. It is a beautiful state, with amazing landscapes and countryside. And there are many many many nature lovers down there – and people are real nice!

    PS. PIE!

  6. ursula Says:

    well, I don’t think Cygnet is the best spot in Tassie to go to. I live in Hobart, and even then, we don’t always here about the logging. The newspaper (The Mercury) doesn’t have huge articles about it, or anything like that.
    On the other hand, This pie looks lovely! And also, your table cloth is very cute…

  7. romy Says:

    I love Cygnet, I love that the bay is actually full of black swans, and that there’s a shop manned by an old lady full of strange underwear and wool that’s so packed to the ceiling last time I went in there it was like wool was falling from the sky, and the new bakery that makes amazing pies (even wallaby) and the bakers sit in the sun out the front smoking and laughing their big Bavarian laughs. But these are thoughts for another post!

    PS. My mum found that tablecloth in an op-shop in far north QLD – score.

  8. Ula Says:

    Yummo! I wish you were in Tassie right now Ms Ash so we could eat apple pie and rave about Ms Krien’s book.

  9. Geneva Ace Says:

    Just checking…is it only 1/4C that you use to cook the apples in?? For me it seemed like that wasn’t enough for 1kg of apples…do you have an estimated time it would take for them to get to the right consistency. Thanks! Geneva

  10. romy Says:

    Geneva! Just remembered we didn’t reply to your queries! A quarter cup isn’t much, but liquid should escape from the apples as they cook – but if you’re worried, or if it looks a little dry add some extra water – I think the apples should take about 15 minutes to cook.

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