The apple cider vinegar plays a dual role, it adds some acidity which acts as a foil against the sweetness of the fruit and brown sugar, and assists in softening the apples. Granny Smiths can be notoriously firm even with cooking.
Is there a benefit in macerating the apple pie filling overnight?
Macerating the fruit overnight develops the flavours, with the apple cider vinegar and salt drawing out the juices which are then thickened on the stove, ensuring you don’t end up with such a wet mixture later. A soggy mixture could lead to a soggy crust.
This recipe is from our Test Kitchen Baking cookbook, on sale now, $39.99. Baking is close to our hearts at The Weekly Test Kitchen – after much tasting, we developed best-ever versions of the classics. Available where all good books are sold and awwcookbooks.com.au.
1.Make pastry: Process flour and butter until crumbly. Gradually add 1/3 cup (80ml) ice-cold water, and an extra 1½ tablespoon water if needed, or until ingredients just come together. Transfer to a work surface and press dough together. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours.
2.Meanwhile, make the filling: Peel and core apples; cut each apple into eight wedges. Place wedges in a large bowl with remaining ingredients; toss well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
3.Roll one disc of pastry between sheets of baking paper into a 28cm round or until large enough to line a 22cm pie tin (1-litre/4-cup capacity). Lift pastry into tin, pressing into the base and side, leaving edges overhanging. Roll the second disc of pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to cover the top of the pie; transfer to an oven tray to keep flat. Refrigerate pastry-lined tin and pastry top for 30 minutes.
4.Drain apple mixture in a sieve placed over a large saucepan. Spoon drained apples into pastry case (the mixture will look like a lot but will shrink during cooking). Cook drained juices in pan over medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute or until thickened. Cool juices slightly. Pour reduced juices over apples. Brush rim of pastry with water; cover with pastry top and press to seal. Using scissors or a knife, trim excess pastry leaving a 1cm overhang. Crimp pastry edge; brush with egg. Freeze
for 30 minutes.
5.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
6.Bake pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 180°C/160°C fan; bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle top of pie with raw sugar; bake for a further 10 minutes or until deep golden brown. Stand pie for 1 hour before serving with scoops of ice-cream.
The pastry and filling can be made a day ahead; store, covered, in the fridge. Uncooked pie can be frozen for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen, adding an extra 15 minutes to baking time.
You'll understand the origins of the saying "easy as apple pie" after you make this delicious version of the old favourite. The satisfaction of knowing you made it from scratch will be surpassed only by the taste.