Mar 25

Apple & Blueberry Lattice Pie




Apple & Blueberry Lattice Pie copy




Apple lattice pie … that classic, all-American favourite that makes me think of diners, 1950’s style, with a jukebox in the corner and red leather seating booths. And for some reason the Archie’s comic characters come to mind too. I guess they were the quintessential kids of that bygone era … always hanging round their local malt shop, Betty and Veronica fighting over who gets to share their milkshake with Archie. All very homey scenes. I’d like to have lived in 1950’s America ~ the year America never had it so good. The war was over, the automobile industry was booming, people had the perfect house with two children and a dog in the yard surrounded by a white picket fence. Husbands went to work while the wives got their hair done and baked apple pie in the kitchen all day, still managing to look like a million dollars to greet at the door when he came home again for dinner. In many ways I feel that apple pie is more than just dessert on a plate … it is a symbol … a symbol of great American tradition, of a perfect existence, and of the Great American Dream that many have come to aspire to.



Here in Holland apple pies are as common and as abundantly available as there are bicycles. The famous Dutch-style deep dish apple pie comes with a thicker crust and heavy on the cinnamon sugar. Everything about the Dutch apple pie (appeltaart) is delicious, down to the very last crumb. I will miss it when the day comes for me to leave this country.



Today I am going to be somewhat of an over-achiever and spice up this apple pie with some ridiculously sweet blueberries (they are so awesome I ate a handful while they were still frozen) and a splash of pomegranate syrup and lime juice. The usual apple pie spices get added to the mix later.




Pie Crust

230 g cold butter

2½ cups flour

pinch of salt

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vinegar

4 tbsp ice cold water


3 Granny Smith apples, cored and cubed

200 g punnet of frozen blueberries

¾ cup sugar

juice of one lime

1 tbsp pomegranate syrup

dash of nutmeg

dash of all-spice

dash of cinnamon

3 tbsp cornstarch



Making pie crust from scratch has been one of my biggest phobias. Coz when I say ‘from scratch’ I mean using my bare hands … none of the modern day conveniences of chucking all ingredients into a food processor and flick the switch to magically produce pie dough. I don’t own a food processor. What I do have are my hands and roughly a years worth in video hours watching how pie dough is made. I understand the concept but I have never put it to the test before until today.



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So,weigh out all your ingredients and have them handy next to you before you go diving into the mixture and cover yourself in flour. Butter should be weighed, cut into small cubes then frozen for thirty minutes. The flour, salt and sugar all get mixed in well together then dumped out in a heap on to your work surface. The vinegar and iced water get mixed together as well. We are now ready to make pie dough.


Start by making a well in the centre of your flour, then add all the butter in the middle. I am using unsalted butter … BUTTER, not margarine which has far too much water.



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Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, cut the butter into the flour until you get little nuggets. I try to avoid touching the butter with my hands as much as possible to avoid melting the butter too quickly. Once you’ve achieved a crumbly mixture with uneven pieces of butter, start adding your water, two tablespoons at a time. Mix and press the flour together until it forms a dough that isn’t sticky or too wet. Cut the dough in 2/3 and 1/3 portions, wrap them in plastic individually and chill them in the fridge for an hour. Or chuck ’em in the freezer for thirty minutes.



For the filling, simply dice up the apples and place them in a large mixing bowl and toss with the lime juice. Then cook them in a saucepan just until they are tender but not entirely soft all the way through. If you’s like to skip this step then simply cut your apples thinner so they they soften quicker in the oven. I personally like the apples in chunks and when I baked this the first time they came out still crunchie. To bake the pie any longer would mean a really dark crust, which I also don’t like … so the best way to do this, I figured, was the pre-cook the apples before adding them to the pie shell.



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Once the apples are cool, go ahead and toss in the blueberries, all the spices and the pomegranate syrup. I happened to have one lying about which is what prompted me to use it in the first place. I think it went beautifully with the nutmeg and cinnamon … really gave this pie a boost in the flavour department. This syrup can be found at your local bottle shop in the cocktail section.



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Roll out the pie dough nice and thin, then line the pie dish with it. Push the dough into the corners without tearing holes in it. If you do simply patch them up by smooshing pieces of dough over the holes.



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Pre-bake the base for about ten minutes, just to get the cooking process going a little. I tried this once without pre-baking and the bottom came out slightly under cooked. I have since learned my lesson and now I tend to pre-bake pie crusts (unless they are the super thin kinds that I buy in a box from the supermarket).



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Now pile in the fruit, making sure they stay nice and mounded in the middle. After they are baked the filling will tend to shrink a little. To make the lattice top, roll out some more pastry and cut out strips long enough to go right across the pie dish. Weave the strips to create the lattice … five going vertically, and five going horizontally should suffice … but of course, it all depends on how wide you cut your strips. Crimp the edges by hand or use a fork. Brush the top with eggwash, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 30 – 40 mins.



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Once baked the pie needs to rest and cool down for up to an hour before you can cut into it without filling running everywhere in one purple mess. I like to eat my pie at room temperature but R. had his warm … either works. Serve with thick cream or ice cream.



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This pie only lasted three days in our house. Yes, we ate all of it … the one and only fruit pie I have ever made in my life. Seems to have boosted my confidence now in the pie-making department. Now I am having fantasies of other fruit pies … black cherries, strawberry + rhubarb, pears. Perhaps the next pie I make will be a strussel topped one … mmmm, LOVE a good crumble topping.



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Awesome pastry which tasted so good with cinnamon sugar baked on top. Good to the last mouthful. I usually don’t like a lot of pastry but when you have good homemade ones it makes all the difference in the world. That’s when I like to ensure I have plenty of overhang with thick crusts edging the pie. Dig in folks! I know I sure did.



~ Enjoy! ~





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