When I was experimenting with various apple cake recipes for the autumnal book of A Taste of Slovakia series, I made this simple pie filled with apples from my friend’s garden. They didn’t look as impeccable and glossy as those polished apples you buy in supermarkets, but their scent and taste was so pleasant that the resulting pie was full of natural goodness.
Criss-crossed Apple Pie
- 350 g pastry flour
- 150 g cold shortening or margarine
- 75 g cold butter
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- a pinch of salt
- 1 kg apples
- castor sugar to drizzle
- Put the flour and the salt in a medium bowl. Add the shortening/margarine and butter cut into cubes. Work together until crumbly.
- Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and knead gently until the mixture comes together.
- Cover with a dishtowel and put in the fridge for an hour.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and quarter the apples. Wash them under running water and let drain in a sieve or a colander.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and transfer onto a floured surface. Dust your hands and the dough with flour and flatten it into a disc. Roll the dough out into a circle about 2 cm larger than your pie dish.
- To transfer the dough into the dish, dust it lightly and fold in quarters. Gently place the dough into the pie dish, unfold and straighten, as seen in the photos below. Don’t worry if the dough cracks or tears, just press it gently back together with your fingers.
- Slice the apple quarters, if preferred, and lay them evenly all around the crust. Trim off the overhanging edges with a knife and work them together. Roll out again and cut into strips of different lengths to make a criss-cross pattern on the top.
- Put in the oven and bake at 180ºC for about 20 minutes, or until the pie crust turns golden brown. Let cool down a little, dust with some castor sugar and serve for breakfast or dessert.There’s another, more decadent apple pie included in A Taste of Slovakia 2 book, which is being introduced in Artforum Košice bookshop at 6PM on the 13th September. If you happen to be around, you are most welcome to join in the book launch and signing.