Friday, 30 September 2011

Apple and Elderberry Pie with Elderflower Custard.

Hiiiii, thanks for stopping by. So eeeerm, it's summer again. Uh I love to be warm...I even love to be hot, eeeven the sticky, sweaty kind.

But despite all the sunshine, dry washing and sandals going on outside but I've been kitchen-based all day; whizzing and chopping and rolling and stirring and bringing together this beast of an autumn feast.

You see I can't get too attached to this weather. I was obsessively stalking it throughout June, July and August and really all it did was get my feet wet (yep, I have holes in my shoes). I have just about accepted the sun's passing for another year and got over the heartache, so I am not about to let it back in for it only to dash my tan hopes again. So I will ignore it and bake with the fruits of my autumn foraging- all be it in shorts, while getting ready to spend the night in a tent.

So here it is; harvest season in a pud, a pie and a crumble rolled into one. Heck, it seems I'm on a roll of rolling things into one doesn't it. I think it's basically because the crumble part of crumble is brill but the fruit it sits on top of tends to leave me wanting, as if I'm eating something unfinished. And when has pastry ever made anything never. So by all means make a crumble, but if you have a few extra moments, make some pastry, and if you have a few more, make some custard, elderflower custard if you're feeling extra fancy, and take what this autumn has to offer while summer pretends that it's still generous too. With Love and Cake.

Apple and Elderberry Pie with Elderflower Custard

A few notes:
  • This pastry is beautifully buttery and melt-in-the-mouthey thanks to the addition of ground almonds and a light hand. What that also means though is that it’s a bit of a bum to roll out because it is so short  and crumbly. What I tend to end up doing is rolling it out to the thickness I want, attempting to line the tin, and then patching up and patting in the leftovers into gaps and tears. So don’t be disheartened it will turn good in the end.
  • Don’t have elderberries hanging about in your kitchen (why?)? How about using blackberries instead or maybe a mixture of apples and pears, or just plain old apples...really whatever you fancy, though I wouldn’t suggest tuna.
  • You don’t have to go to the bother of making your own custard if you don’t fancy it, though it is rather impressive if that’s your agenda, the pie would be scrumptious with cream, or clotted ooo or ice cream.

Makes an 18cm pie and enough custard to go with it

You will need

An 18cm round cake tin or pie dish, greased

For the pastry
210g plain flour
50g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
125g butter
1 egg

For the topping
60g oats
40g nuts- used hazelnuts and brazil nuts, chopped
30g pumpkin seeds
70g plain flour
75g soft brown sugar
125g butter, melted

For the filling
2 small or 1 medium cooking apples, peeled cored and roughly chopped
175g elderberries
2tsp corn flour
50g soft brown sugar

For the custard
350ml elderflower cordial
4tbsp double cream
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp corn flour

  • So let’s get going. First things first make the pastry by popping all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse together. Then whiz in the butter followed by the egg and leave trundling around until it comes together to form a dough (you could also do this by rubbing in the butter with your finger tips then mixing in the egg by hand).
  • Turn out the dough, pat into a disc and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  • When it’s ready roll it out as best you can and line the tin (see note). Pop the tin in the fridge while you get on with the rest of the pie. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • Now it’s time to make the topping, by mixing the dry ingredients together in a bowl then stirring through the butter until you get a crumbly paste.
  • For the filling mix the fruit together and tumble into the pastry lined tin set on a baking tray. Sprinkle over the corn flour and sugar and top with the oat-ey topping.
  • Pop into the oven for 25 minutes until the topping is bronze and crisp and the pastry is golden.
  • Meanwhile you can get on with the custard if you’d like. Heat the cordial and cream gently while you get the rest of the ingredients ready in a bowl and whisk together.
  • When the cordial has just reached simmering point, trickle it over the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Pour everything back into the pan and heat gently, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until the custard has thickened. It will take long enough for you to get bored so make sure the radio is on and persevere until it coats the back of a spoon or has reached 85°c.
  • Turn the pie out the tin, and serve a good slice with an healthy splosh of custard, and think that you won't be so sad summer when summer is officially over after all.

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