Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust


 
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie

I’ve never really been one to do things by halves - Mum instilled a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality in us from a very young age, which rears its wee head quite often! I have had a couple of pie ideas lurking in my brain for a while now, so figured that the week of pie day would be the best time to just dump them here all at once! I used to find making pie really really stressful, but as I have made more and more throughout the years, it’s come to be something that I find super relaxing - there’s just something about rolling out pie dough and cutting lattice strips that I find so chill.

I’ve done a few flavoured crusts before - this fresh sage one, and an earl grey one a forever ago, but haven’t played round too much with spicing the dough before. I added cardamom and vanilla bean to this dough, then filled the pie with a super simple but delicious sliced apple filling, thickened with a bit of flour and spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. I traded the regular raw sugar for dark brown - the result is a super warming, spiced apple pie. The great thing about adding powdered spices to pie dough is that it doesn’t take any extra work or fancy techniques, but adds a huge dimension to the pie flavour wise. I’m definitely going to be spicing up my pie doughs from now on!

I went a wee bit fancy with the lattice on this guy, but not in a complicated weaving way - I just went with single vertical strips, then added two strips per ‘weave’ horizontally. This worked out super super well - I love how it came out, and looks different to a regular lattice, but really takes the same amount of effort as a lattice that has one strip vertically and one horizontally. It’s always good to remember that when you do a tight lattice like this, you are essentially covering the surface of the pie twice, so you need to make sure you account for this when making your dough. I’ve included the amount of dough I used in the recipe below, along with some changes if you need to scale it back. I love using a pasta cutter to cut my lattice strips because they come out super, super even, so are great for a really tidy lattice. I then finished the pie with a wee braided border, which held up beautifully in the oven - the key to this, I have found, is a long chill in the fridge before you bake the pie off, giving it a good amount of time to set up nicely.

A few wee tips:

  • The recipe for the pie dough I have listed here makes quite a lot - I needed almost all of it for this lattice. If you are making a less complicated top for your pie and just want a standard double crust recipe, reduce the quantities by 1/3 - so you will use 2 1/2 cups flour, and 225g butter, 1 tsp cardamom etc.

  • I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a disc. I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.

  • When I am making a lattice pie I know I will need more dough for the top crust than the bottom, so I usually make one portion of dough bigger than the other when I initially divide it after mixing to account for this. For this dough I split it 1/3 to 2/3. I usually shape the dough for the bottom crust into a disc, and the dough for the top crust into a rectangle which makes for an easy roll-out for cutting strips for lattice.

  • The cardamom in this is subtle enough to provide some warmth, but still definitely there, so feel free to dial it back a little in the filling if you want. I thought it was the perfect balance! It’s epic with vanilla bean ice cream.

  • I popped this pie out of the tin on my IG stories and had loads of questions about how to avoid a soggy bottom - I have found the key to this is a good, solid bottom crust, and baking the pie at a higher temp for the first 20 minutes near the bottom of the oven, which starts to cook the bottom of the pie and also sets the pastry - a tip I borrowed from the four and twenty blackbirds pie book.

 

 

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust

- Makes one 9 inch pie-

Pie dough
3 3/4 cups (540g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp (13g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tsp vanilla bean paste
3 sticks (345g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
1.5kg (3.3lbs) apples, peeled and finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
45g flour
3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste


Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, salt, sugar, and ground cardamom into a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and rub through with your fingers. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Divide the dough into two - I like to do a 1/3 to 2/3 split. Shape the smaller portion into a disc and the larger into a rectangle. If desired, roll out and perform letter folds (see notes) Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

On a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.

Roll out the second piece of dough (the rectangle) into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. If you would like to make a braid, roll a piece of pie dough into a long thin rectangle, cut thin strips, and braid. Place your strips and braids onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll - these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border.

In a large bowl, toss together the apple and lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then drain any excess liquid. Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the apples along with the vanilla bean and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Remember that it will bake down a little, so it is ok for the pie to seem a bit full.

Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. If you are adding stamps, trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish, then glue on the stamps with a little egg wash. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.

Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling. 

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie

Cherry Pie


 
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie

Hi Hi! I am currently sitting on my butt on a plane somewhere over the middle of America, on my way back to NYC after an amazing few days in Yakima Valley, Washington. I was super stoked to be asked to attend this year’s cherry harvest with Domex Superfresh Growers - they hosted myself and a bunch of bloggers in Yakima, where we visited their orchard and factories (I popped some photos at the end of the post!), and got to learn all about their company and how they process their fruit. We toured the orchards, picked some cherries for ourselves, and then were given an amazing tour of their production facility. Each year they produce 60 million pounds of cherries - their factory is able to handle 45,000 cherries per MINUTE. The process is so amazingly streamlined, from the picking of the fruit to the shipping out from the factory, and I learnt so many interesting things and met so many amazing people! Yakima Valley is insanely beautiful and actually reminded me a whole lot of home - the town I am from in New Zealand has similar geology (I was nerding out), the same horticultural focus and produces the same things - hops, tree fruit and wine, so it was so nice to be surrounded by all these things so far away from home. 

To celebrate the trip and the cherry harvest, I have teamed up with Superfresh Growers to bring you this cherry pie recipe! I originally had something fancy and intricate planned with the fruit, but the second a giant box of the two-bite cherries showed up on my doorstep, I took one bite and knew that they were destined for pie. You really can’t beat a pie made with beautiful fresh fruit - all you need is a touch of sugar and starch, and the fruit really does shine through. The two-bite cherries really are that - big and juicy and perfect for pie. 

I kept things super simple with this pie, which I like to do when I have amazing produce, and fancied things up a little with the pie lattice instead of an intricate recipe. I have a few vintage pie tins I have been dying to use for the longest time, so instead of making one big pie I opted for four smaller pies. This recipe makes enough for four smaller 7” pies, or you can use it to make two regular 9” pies instead, whatever you feel like. I got the pie tins on Ebay - from what I saw the 7” size is a fairly standard size for vintage pie tins, so they shouldn’t be too hard to get hold of if you wanted some of your own (Looks like Amazon has them too). Cherry pie is definitely one of my new favorite things - it really is the taste of summer. Whether you go all out with fancy pie lattice or just keep it simple - it’s going to taste bomb either way. 

A few wee tips:

  • I used vintage pie tins to make these which I got on ebay - they were 7 inches across. This recipe makes four 7" pies. I measured the volume, and if you wanted, this recipe would also make 2 x regular sized 9 inch pies.

  • I love using tapioca starch in pies as it makes a super smooth filling that isn't gluey or goopy. If you don't have any, I would suggest you get some rather than substituting with corn starch - they behave differently.

  • I actually divided all the filling ingredients into four and mixed them up just before I put the lattices on each pie, because I didn't want the sugar to pull the moisture out of the fruit as it sat, meaning that the last pie would be much juicier than the first, and the starch may not distribute evenly, leading to a difference in texture of the cooked pie.

  • I made the pies the day before I baked them and stored them in the fridge overnight before baking. The only reason I did this was because a giant rain storm came in as I was shooting and I lost my light. 30 mins in the fridge (which is what I have included in the recipe) is fine!

  • The two-bite cherries from Superfresh were exactly that - they take two bites, so I chopped them in half before making them into the filling, as large cherries can mean that they don't pack in well, and spaces between filling can lead to all sorts of pie flop problems. If your cherries are smaller and pack well, then you may not need to chop - before you mix them with the other ingredients, pour them into your pie dish and check!

  • I used cutters for the cut-outs - These are the flowers, and I have a couple of leaf sets, including these and these

  • Make the pie dough in two batches. If you make it as one large batch you run the risk of your butter getting too hot, and overworking the dough. Making it in two batches reduces this risk.

  • I like to cut all the strips for lattices at the start, and then use the last pie to use up all the extra strips in an uneven lattice (the one with the cut-outs), but if you like then you can definitely cut them as you go. I store them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until I am ready to use them.

 

 

Cherry Pie

- Makes four 7 inch pies, or 2 9 inch pies -

Pie Dough
5 cups (750g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
4 tsp (16g) sugar
4 sticks (450g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
1800g two-bite cherries, pitted and cut in half (1800g is the pitted weight)
120g tapioca starch
500g raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Raw / turbinado sugar to finish (optional)

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Note: I find it easiest to make the pie dough in two batches, to help keep the ingredients cold. You can make up the ice/water/apple cider vinegar mixture and use it for both the batches, but divide the other ingredients in two and make it one batch at a time. (2 1/2 cups flour, pinch of salt, 2 tsp sugar, 2 sticks (125g) butter)

Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Remember that the dough will hydrate more as you rest it, so you don't want it to be wet and sticky at this stage. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Pat the dough into a rectangle, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with the second half of the ingredients. Place your dough rectangles in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

Remove one rectangle of dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into four equal pieces (if you are making two large pies, divide into two). Working with one piece at a time, roll out until slightly larger than your pie pan, and approximately 1/8 (3mm) in thickness. Line your pie pan, leaving some overhang. Place in the fridge until ready to fill. Repeat with the remaining three pie pans.

Roll out the second rectangle of dough to a large rectangle, 1/8" (3mm) in thickness. Cut your desired tops for the pies - I did a range of thicknesses of lattice strips for one pie, equally sized strips cut with a fluted cutter for another, equal sized thin strips for a double strip lattice, and some thin strips which I made into a braid to line the rim of one of the pies. I then pressed the scraps back together, rolled out, froze the dough briefly and used that to make the cut-outs. I prefer to make all the lattice strips and decorations for the top at the beginning and then go from there, but if you like you can cut off pieces of dough as you work on each lattice. 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Note: If I am making individual pies with intricate lattices, I prefer to mix up the filling for each pie separately so that the cherries don't sit in the sugar and starch for too long while I am latticing each pie. I have found that if this happens the starch can be unevenly distributed, leading to fillings with different textures. For four pies, each pie would have 450g fruit, 30g tapioca starch, 125g sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt. 

Remove one lined pie pan from the fridge. In a small bowl, combine a quarter of the filling ingredients (see above for quantities), mix until well combined, then transfer to the lined pan. Top with desired lattice, leaving the lattice overhanging - it trims up best if it is chilled. Transfer to the fridge while you repeat the process to assemble the other three pies. 

Once you have finished decorating the pies, Remove them from the fridge one at a time, and, using a sharp knife or sharp pair of kitchen scissors, trim the bottom crust and top crust so that they are flush with the edge of the pie pan. Press down lightly to ensure the top and bottom crusts are secured. Return the pies to the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes. 

While the pies are chilling, preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Brush each pie lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle with additional raw sugar. Transfer to a baking sheet (you may need to bake these in two batches depending on the size of your oven - they may leak so make sure there is a sheet underneath them. See how many you can fit before egg washing). 

Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Check after 15 minutes and cover with foil if necessary, I found 20 minutes at 425˚f and then 15 minutes uncovered at 375˚f, then 15 minutes covered with foil at 375˚f worked for me, but whether you need to cover it or not depends on your preference for pastry, and your oven. Check on it and cover if needed! 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream. 

When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie
When you have beautiful, in season cherries, it really is a shame to do anything with it other than make Cherry Pie! These cherry pies are perfectly juicy, with the right balance of sweetness, and have a tender, flaky crust. They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and make the perfect summer dessert. #pie #cherrypie #recipe #darkcherrypie #fruitpie

Thank you so much to Superfresh Growers for sponsoring this post and for having me for the most amazing trip to Yakima Valley! All opinions are my own. 

Blood Orange chess pie


 

Far out. I am SO ready for spring. So, so done with this winter business. AND I'm totally being an ungrateful bastard, because we bailed back to NZ for the month of February, so we don't really have anything to complain about seeing as we weren't even here for a month of winter. But STILL. I can't wait for our CSA to start, and for there to be more fruit than just last year's apples, (Rhubarb!?!), and the start of fresh berry season, and just for my eyeballs to stop feeling like they are going to freeze. 

The only good thing about this winter sticking around situation (apart from not having a sweat moustache on the subway), is the citrus! I was kind of worried that I had missed blood orange season while we were away, but I was so stoked to come back and see that they were still here! I love the colour of them, and the amazing flavour that they lend to whatever you put them in. 

I had been eyeing up the lemon chess pie in the Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie book for a while (best book ever BTW), especially after the lovely Tessa made such a pretty version! I had some blood oranges that needed using, so I subbed the lemon juice in the custard for blood orange. It came out the most amazing pink colour! I was a little nervous baking it, as it was my first chess pie, but I made sure to watch it super carefully in the oven to make sure that it didn't overcook and cause the custard to split. The top of the pie went a nice golden brown colour, and underneath there was the pretty pink custard, which was lightly flavoured with the orange. So so good, and such a nice change from the double lattice pies I am used to falling back on. 

The crust for this pie is par-baked before the filling is added in. I followed Tessa's tip and added a braid after the par-bake, but before the filling. I went for my usual trick and ran the dough through the pasta attachment on my kitchen aid, before doing a five-strand fishtail braid. I managed to get long enough pieces that I could do the braid all in one go, but I had to enlist the help of Rich to give me a bit of a hand! We made sure to calculate the circumference of the pie tin before we began, to make sure that we had enough braid to go the whole way around. 

If you want to keep this as a lemon pie, just sub the blood orange juice for lemon! Easy as. 

 

 

Blood Orange Chess Pie
- Makes one 9 inch Pie -

Adapted from "Four and Twenty Blackbirds"

Pie Dough
1 1/4 cups (180g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp (4g) sugar
1 stick (113g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup (220ml) cold water
1 cup ice
2 Tbsp (30ml) Apple cider vinegar

Egg wash
1 egg white
1 tsp water

Filling
Zest of 2 Blood oranges
1 2/3 cups (320g) sugar
1 Tbsp finely ground cornmeal
1 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp (75g) melted unsalted butter
5 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (160ml) cream
10 Tbsp (150ml) freshly squeezed blood orange juice
 

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 4-5 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll disc into a circle a few inches larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line the pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so the dough is flush with the edge of your dish. Wrap the remaining pastry tightly in plastic wrap and place into the fridge for the braid. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes, until the crust has set firm. Prick all over the surface of the crust, and then place the pie dish in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow the crust to freeze. 

Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Prepare a wash for the dough by whisking an egg white with 1 tsp of water. 

Line the crust with tin foil, ensuring that it overlaps the sides, and is tightly folded down to ensure no gaps. Fill the lined crust with either ceramic pie weights or dried beans. These will help prevent the crust from shrinking. Place on the preheated baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it is starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven, remove the foil and pie weights, and, using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the crust with the prepared egg white mixture. Place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. 

FILLING AND BAKING

Preheat the oven to 325˚f / 160˚c.

Use the remaining pie dough to form a five-strand fishtail braid. Roll out your pie dough into a long skinny rectangle, and using a ruler or sharp pastry wheel, cut into strips of even thickness. Braid together. You may need to do two braids to reach the entire way around the pie dish. Stick the braid to the edge of the pie crust using the remaining egg white wash. Brush the surface of the braid with more of the egg white.

Sift together the flour, cornmeal, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and the eggs, and mix well to combine until thick. Add the cream, and mix well. Pour in the orange juice, and whisk well until homogenous. 

Set a sieve over another large bowl or pyrex jug. Strain the filling mixture through the sieve. 

Place the par-baked pie crust onto a baking sheet, and pour the strained filling into the pie crust. Very carefully transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it into the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes, checking frequently, and turning 180˚ once the custard is beginning to set on the outside edges (approx 30 minutes through). Once the pie is cooked, the surface will be lightly golden, the edges of the pie set, and the centre still a little wobbly, but not runny liquid. It will continue to firm up as it cools.

Remove from the oven, and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 4 hours before serving.