A few weeks ago, my good friend Diana asked me if I would teach her to bake an apple pie because her hubby loves it. I do not know if I am qualified to teach her but I would love to bake together with her. We set a date and I was so looking forward to the baking session.
She has never attempted to make a pie crust from scratch before. This is the “first time” for both of us. The first time she made a pie crust from scratch and the first time I ever taught someone to bake an apple pie. That was a moment to treasure in our friendship.
Baking is just a hobby for me now but this is something I know I can embrace when I get older and improve on it. It has brought me joy and I can see that it has brought joy to Diana too. The excitement and smile on her face made me feel estatic. The pies she baked came out perfect and taste very delicious. I am very proud of her!
Happy Baker at work:
Mrs. Davis's Apple Pie
Makes 2 four inch and 1 eight inch pies
Apple pie is the first western dessert that my Quay Lo taught me to bake. The recipe on the apple pie filling was passed down to him by his mum, whom I have not met before. He told me she was a great cook and baked fabulously. He missed her and all her food very much. How I wish she is still here so that I can get to know her better and learn all her recipes from her and document them. Here is a picture of my mother-in-law with all her grand-kids when they were little.
The oldest grand child is my step daughter, Erin.
4 green apples (sliced)
1 tb fresh lemon juice (if apple is very sour, use less)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tb all-purpose flour
1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/4 ts ground nutmeg
1 ts vanilla extract
2 tb butter (for dotting on top of the filling)
Method to make the filling:
In a bowl, mix sliced apple with lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Put over medium heat and cook apple till sugar all melted. Add flour and set aside.
Sweet Pastry Dough
largely adapted from The Academy of Pastry Arts, Malaysia
Ingredients for the pie crust:
500 g all purpose flour
300 g unsalted butter
5 g salt
125 g icing sugar
6 tbs ice water
Method of making the pie crust:
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add butter and mixed well with flour. Use fingers to break up the butter and till mixture have sandy tetxure. Gently shape into 6 discs, one bigger than the other, size depend on the pie plate or rings you use. Knead the dough just enough to form the discs, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin in between two piece of cling wrap to a circle according to the size of the pie plate you used and about 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully place loosely into pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a rolling pin or scrapper to trim off overhanging dough. Add filling to the pie and dot with butter. Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Cut out strips of about 1/4 inch to lay each strip of dough on the pie. Use the rolling pin or scrapper to trim off the over hanging strips and and seal both ends by using your finger.
Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes depending on the temperature of your oven. If the top gets to brown, cover with the aluminium foil with the shiny side up to bake till the dough is cooked an apple is soft but not mushy.