Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb is around and Miss Eagle decided to indulge in a memory from childhood of my mother's friend, Delia Brazil, and her rhubarb and apple pie. Miss E used Flaky Pastry for the pie case, made from scratch. Miss E is fussy. She doesn't object to store-bought Filo or Puff Pastry. These really are time consuming, take practice to get right easily, and - in these days of small kitchens - space could be an issue. For Miss E, you need a good excuse to purchase frozen Shortcrust Pastry. In these days of dough hooks for the mixer and the wonders of food processors, there really is little excuse for not making your own. Now Miss Eagle wishes to advise that between shortcrust and puff pastry there is another category: that of Flaky Pastry, sometimes known as Rough Puff Pastry. Now you would not dash home from work and rustle up this pastry for the evening meal as you could with shortcrust. However, you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the frig for later use. And certainly, it is a pastry worth making for special occasions and special guests. The recipe and instructions here are from our beloved Miss Schauer - she of The Schauer Australian Cookery Book. First, we will look at Miss S's instructions.
  • PUFF, FLAKY OR ROUGH PASTES are folded and rolled repeatedly to increase the amount of cold air held between the layers. Puff paste must be rolled in short forward rolls, never backwards and forwards. The rolling pin must be lifted between rolls. Puff pastry must never be rolled over the edge as this may force out some of the cold air. The ends and edges must be secured by being turned over a little and pressed heavily with a rolling pin.
  • Puff pastry is allowed to stand between rollings, in an ice-chest, refrigerator, or cold place, covered with a buttered paper to prevent crust forming. [Miss E doesn't use buttered paper. She puts it in the frig in a plastic bag.] This is done in order that the butter may harden and thus keep layers of paste and butter separate.
  • In warm weather, puff pastry, when rolling should be placed on a marble or cold slab cooled by ice or very cold water, i.e. wash over and dry before using.

Then to Miss Schauer's recipe:

Sift 1/2lb plain flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in centre, pour in a full teaspoon of lemon juice, add 1/2 cup of very cold water. Mix with a cold knife. Turn on to a floured board, knead lightly into an elastic dough. Divide 6oz of firm butter or lard into 3 equal portions. Roll pastry into a large oblong piece. Put one third of firm fat all over surface in small pieces. Fold into 3 by bringing top of pastry into centre, the bottom end of pastry right up to the top. Turn so that open ends are top and bottom. Run floured hands up each side of pastry to keep quite even. Secure edges by pressing heavily with a rolling pin to shut cold air in. Press fat in a straightforward light roll from within edge to within edge, never over. Fold into 3. Make one finger mark to show rolled once. Put away to get cold 30 minutes. Fold and roll twice more in exactly same way with 30 minutes to cool between. Fold and roll the fourth time without fat to size required ready to use.
by Miss Eagle
  • Divide the pastry into two parts: one piece 1/3 in size (top); the second piece 2/3 in size (bottom) and line pie dish. [Please note: Miss E's pie dish measures 25.5cm in diameter and 5cm deep. To ensure sufficient pastry, Ms E used 10z flour with other ingredients modified accordingly.]
  • Peel, quarter and slice 3 Granny Smith apples and spread one of these apples neatly on the pastry around the base of the pie dish. Top and tail rhubarb and chop stems into pieces about an inch long. Place these on top of the apples. Then spread remaining two applies sliced on top of the rhubarb.
  • Sprinkle the fruit thoroughly with brown sugar.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice - use sufficient to flavour fruit not to soak the pastry base.
  • Place 6 cloves evenly around the pie.
  • Cover with pastry lid.
  • Trim pastry and use left overs for pastry decoration
  • Glaze. Miss E uses milk.
  • Bake in a very moderate oven - approximately 175 degrees Celsius. The pie should take 30 to 40mins to bake to ensure the fruit is cooked through.
  • Cool and served with custard. Miss E's was made with No Egg according to the recipe on the packet.
  • Miss Eagle used PureHarvest Organic Nature's Soy as an alternative to milk. Miss E buys this by the slab at Friends of the Earth in Fitzroy; Woolworths Naytura Soya Margarine Spread; and Orgran Gluten Free No Egg Natural Egg Replacer from Maxi.


Scrumptious and satisfying served warm on a cold, rainy evening.

1 comment:

Gina E. said...

Did you see LeeAnn's rhubarb dessert over at A PearTree Cottage? Freshly picked rhubarb from their garden - yum. My Mum used to include apple with rhubarb when she cooked it, and I still do when I remember to buy the apples at the same time! Makes such a difference to the taste and texture.