March 12, 2017

The only way to celebrate National Pie Week, is of course baking a pie! We have been wanting to make a really pretty pie for a few weeks so this is perfect timing. On our last post we gave you a few ideas of delicious pies you could bake, so head over there next if you're inspired to bake a pie today, (or click here now if you just can't wait)! Today we are going to share with you one of our favourite pie recipes, that we have made just a few times before but this time we took the decoration to the next level!

The recipe comes from Ruby Tandoh, baked on The Great British Bake Off 2013. We loved it then and we love it now. This apple, cherry and marzipan pie is absolutely divine! It's like your traditional apple pie with tart flavours from the dried sour cherries and sweet, almond flavours from the cubes of marzipan. So basically, it's your usual apple pie but ten times better!

We had been spotting a few gorgeously decorated pies around Pinterest so we had a lot of fun creating this pie masterpiece!

For the Pastry...
225g unsalted butter, cubed
430g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g caster sugar
pinch salt

For the Filling...
zest of 1 lemon
pinch ground cinnamon
60g caster sugar
4 tbsp cornflour
3 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm thick slices
3 Cox apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm thick slices
200g marzipan, cubed
150g dried sour cherries
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt 

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC Fan/Gas Mark 5.

In a large bowl, rub together the butter and flour, using your fingertips, until you have something which resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then, mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Measure 5 tbsp of water into a jug and then slowly add it to the mixture until it comes together to form a dough. You may not need all the water so make sure to add it a bit at a time, although we did actually use it all! The dough should be firm but not crumbly.

Transfer your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead very briefly just to combine. Then wrap your ball of dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes.

Time for the filling. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, caster sugar and cornflour. Then add in the apple slices and toss to coat.

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Take your pastry from the fridge and set aside at least one-third for the top. Ruby suggests setting aside one-third but we actually used a smaller tin and had more decoration than her, so we probably put more like just under half to the side. Roll out the remaining pastry until it is big enough to generously fit your pie dish. Use the rolling pin to help you lift the pastry into the pie dish and gently press it into the sides, leaving the excess to hang over the sides. Place this in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.

Arrange a layer of apple slices in the pie dish and scatter with the marzipan cubes and cherries. Repeat in layers until the dish is nearly full at the edges and heaped in the centre.

Using the pastry that you have set aside you can now create your decoration. We went with a mix of braids, flowers and lattice work. We first made the braids for the edge and lattice work by cutting out 4mm wide strips of pastry. Then taking three at a time, and pressing them together at the top, you can braid the pastry as you would anything else. Rather than making one big long one for around the edge we created several and then covered the join with a flower. You can then cut out strips of pastry of varying widths for the lattice work, and begin to create your masterpiece. Once the whole top is covered by woven pastry, crimp the edges to seal and then you can place your braids around the edge over the top.

Using the remaining pastry, you can cut out flower and leaf shapes to place on top. Glaze the top of your pie with the beaten egg. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Check after 25 minutes and, if necessary, cover with foil to prevent the pastry edges from burning.

Serve up your pie straight away, for a divine warm dessert, and serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

We are obsessed with how pretty this pie is, it's certainly a great way to celebrate national pie week, don't you think? The apple, marzipan and sour cherry flavours are an irresistible flavour combination. It really is one of the most divine tasting pies we have ever eaten, so thank you Ruby!

Please let us know what you think of the pie, and if you're are thinking of making one yourself. A perfect Sunday treat and a delicious way to honour National Pie Week 2017! 
What are your favourite pie flavours? Or are you more of a savoury pie kinda guy?

Remember to check out our previous post for divine Pie Inspiration!
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Lots of love, Antonia and Imogen x

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