When it comes to crowd-pleasing desserts, the timeless treat of hot apple pie and cold ice-cream is right in the comfort zone.
- 1 kg Granny Smith apples (about 7), peeled and diced
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 20 gm butter, diced
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
- 1 sheet butter puff pastry rolled to a 3mm thick square and refrigerated until required
- Eggwash, for brushing
- Pure icing sugar, for dusting
- Vanilla ice cream or pouring cream, to serve
- 250 gm (1⅔ cups) plain flour
- 40 gm, caster sugar
- 200 gm chilled diced butter
- 2 eggwhites
- 1For shortcrust pastry, process flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add eggwhite and process just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for pastry to rest until firm (1-2 hours).
- 2Meanwhile, combine apple, sugar and 2 tbsp water in a large saucepan and stir occasionally over medium heat until apple is tender and translucent but still holding shape (15-20 minutes). Drain syrup from apples and return 50ml syrup to pan with butter and cinnamon and bring to a simmer (any flavoured syrup remaining makes a great addition to flavour various cocktails). Add cornstarch slurry to apples and stir until sauce is thick (2-3 minutes). Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).
- 3Divide shortcrust pastry in half, then working with one half at a time, break pieces over a sheet of baking paper to form a small rough rectangle. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll to a 30cm x 15cm rectangle, then refrigerate in between paper to rest and firm while you roll the other half. Trim pastry edges and cut each into four 14cm x 7cm rectangles, then place on a large baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate again to firm (15-20 minutes).
- 4Trim puff pastry edges and cut into eight 14cm x 7cm rectangles and refrigerate to firm also (15-20 minutes).
- 5Preheat oven to 200C. Spoon apple filling along the centre of each rectangle of shortcrust pastry, brush edges with eggwash, place a piece of puff pastry on top and press sides to seal, then cut edges to evenly trim and seal short ends with a fork. Poke a hole in the centre for steam to escape, brush with eggwash and bake on a large baking paper lined oven tray, turning tray once until golden and puffed and pastry is crisp on base (14-16 minutes). Serve hot, dusted with icing sugar with ice cream or cream.
We use Carême puff pastry, which comes in 375gm sheets. If it's unavailable, substitute another good butter puff pastry.