Baking is an art that is intricate and elaborate yet extremely heartwarming and gratifying. Few things stir the senses more than the aroma of freshly baked goodies. However, to achieve perfection of texture, taste and form is not for the faint of heart. Enter Nashwa Ansari consummate chef, and expert Patissier based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu the prestigious French Culinary school, Nashwa applies her finely honed skills to her craft. Here, she shares the recipe of her coveted easy-to-bake Apple Pie. The pie provides an ideal option for people working with demanding schedules and can be presented as a grand finale to any sumptuous meal. Infused with the sweet- smelling flavor of apples along with the delicate texture of the pastry, it is a perfect complement to an afternoon tea-time spread. A simple yet delicate option, it is sure to garner compliments when served at home during searing Pakistani summers, be it with a light tea sipped on the verandah with friends or as part of an elaborate five- course affair. Check Nashwa’s Instagram page to delight your senses.
- 320 grams all-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 240 g unsalted butter (1 cup) cubed and chilled
- 125 ml cold water (1/2 cup)
Combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter cubes and coat them with the flour, then use your pastry cutter to cut the flour into the butter until you have pea size crumbs. Then, add cold water little by little, incorporating it into the dough by using the same cutting technique until clumps form. Dump it out onto your work space and using your hand and scraper, bring it together until it is a cohesive dough. There should be visible specks of butter dispersed throughout the dough. Divide the dough into half and shape into disks. Lastly, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Make sure the butter and water are cold, this is what gives the pie its flaky crust.
- Measure out and place your cold water and butter in the freezer before you start measuring the rest of the ingredients, this ensures they stay cold It is important to not over-mix the crust as the dispersed specks of butter in the crust also make for a flaky crust.
- Work quickly and make sure the butter doesn’t melt, otherwise the crust won’t be flaky.
- 4 large apples, peeled and sliced (royal gala or similar)
- 150g granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Peel, core and slice apples to 1/4 cm thickness. Mix all ingredients and toss until completely coated.
- Make pie crust and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Roll out one of the disks to 1 cm thickness and line a Pyrex dish or tart tin with the dough and refrigerate until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 210 C/410 F.
- Use second disk and remaining dough to cut out 30 strips (plus a few extra just in case).
- Make three stranded braids, you should have ten braids in total.
- Cut leaves and roses out from the remaining dough and refrigerate all decorations until needed.
- Make pie filling.
- Pour filling into the prepared Pyrex dish with crust.
- Decorate by laying braids in a lattice formation.
- Use leaves and roses to the circumference of the pie.
- Egg wash the crust, try to avoid the apples peaking out from underneath.
- Bake for 1 hour, if crust starts browning too quickly cover it with tin foil.
And Voila! — Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
For the full video of the recipe head on over to our IG TV
- Work quickly when lining the dish and making the decorations in order to keep the butter cold.
- Make sure the apple filling is made just before it goes into the oven, otherwise the apples will lose water and make your crust soggy.
- The bottom of your pie, after baked should be golden brown.
- Store at room temperature, it is best eaten the day it is made.
- The crust can be made ahead and frozen in zip-lock bags for 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before use.