Baking is a great way to destress and take some time for yourself and with research showing baking is a great way to improve your mental health, no wonder we all turned to baking when the lockdown was first put in place!
If you found precisely weighing out your ingredients, sieving flour and waiting for the perfect rise helped restore some calm, how about trying some new recipes to keep it interesting, and you’ll also get a delicious treat at the end of it!
Pink Lady® apples are a perfect accompaniment for pies as they hold their shape and don’t disintegrate when baked, creating beautiful layers within your pie. Slightly el dente and naturally sweet when baked make them the perfect pie partner.
- 350g plain flour
- 2 tsp golden caster sugar
- 250g unsalted butter frozen and then grated
- 2 egg yolks (reserving the egg whites)
- 80ml whole milk
- 2kg Pink Lady® apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 juice of a lemon
- 2 cloves
- 70g light brown muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 tbsp cornflour with 100 ml of water
- Some extra butter and flour for greasing the dish
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of milk
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- First make the pastry:Either by hand or in a food processor add the flour and caster sugar. Grate the frozen butter. If making by hand add the butter to the flour mix and work it in until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency. If you are making it in the food processor pulse in the butter bit by bit until you achieve breadcrumb consistency. Gradually add the egg yolks mixing all the time and then the milk, until it all comes together to make a smooth pastry.Once the pastry has come together squash into a circle and cover with either grease proof paper or cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour.
- Meanwhile make the filling:In a large deep pan on a medium heat, add the butter, sliced pink lady apples, nutmeg, cinnamon,lemon juice, muscovado sugar, vanilla paste, 2 cloves and cook out for 5 minutes to soften the apples and the spices. Whisk the water into the cornflour and then add to the pan with the Pink Lady® apples. Keep cooking for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Back to the pastry. Take out of the fridge, cut it nearly in half, with one half slightly larger, as you’ll need a bit more for the bottom pastry of the pie. Roll onto two pieces of grease proof paper, one on the bottom and one on the top, not adding flour as this dries out the pastry. Roll and rotate 90 degrees every few rolls, turn upside down and unpeel from the grease proof paper every now and then so it doesn’t stick. You want to roll the pastry out to about a 5mm thickness, and roll the larger piece of pastry so that its large enough to cover the base of your pie dish and roll the top pastry so that its wide enough to cover the top.
- Grease the bottom of a 24cm pie dish with butter and sprinkle with flour. Line the bottom of the pie dish with the largest pastry, with some overhanging the lip. Brush the base and sides of the pastry with the leftover egg whites. This effectively seals the pastry so it doesn’t get a soggy base.
- Add the cooled pink lady apple mix to the pie. You want to layer them so there are no gaps and the top is as flat as possible and in line with the rim of the pie dish. Lay the top pastry over the Pink Lady® slices.
- Trim any excess pastry off. Crimp the edge of the pie with your thumb and forefingers, squeezing the pastry together to seal and create a pleasing edge.
- With any excess pastry roll out and cut a desired pattern for your pie top. Brush the whole top with your egg milk glaze and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Leave in the fridge for 20 mins to avoiding shrinking pastry.
- Pop a baking tray into the middle of the oven and preheat to 180c. You want a hot tray for the pie to go on so it cooks the base of the pastry perfectly. Make a hole in the middle of the pie and get a square piece of tin foil and fold over four times and make it into a little funnel (see photo) and but it in the middle of the pie. Strip off long bits of tin foil and wrap the pie crust with it to protect it for the first 20 mins of baking.
- Pop your pie into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 20 mins then remove the tin foil edges. Carry on baking for another 40mins but keep an eye on it in case it starts getting too brown in areas. If it does start to burn or catch cover with some tin foil or rotate.
- Once done leave on a cooling rack. Best to leave it for a couple of hours before cutting to let everything settle and hold its shape. Recommended to be served with some vanilla ice cream or some custard.
- The pastry can be made 5 days in advance. The pie can be assembled and left in the fridge for 2 days prior to baking. You can also freeze for 3 months, either from raw or cooked. Defrost at room temperature and reheat in the oven for 30 mins at 180c.
This gorgeous teatime loaf cake created by Juliet Sear is perfect with a cuppa! It’s lovely and sweet with Pink Lady® apples baked into the sponge and topped off with pretty apple blossom and icing to decorate!
- 250g self-raising flour
- 100g salted butter
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 3-4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 Pink Lady® apples
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 4 eggs
- Apple blossom
- 100g fondant icing sugar
- touch of pink food colouring (optional)
- 1-2 tsp. apple juice (to a runny consistency)
- Chopping knife
- Large bowl for mixing
- Lined 2 lb. loaf tin
- Bowl and spoon for fondant drizzle
- In a large bowl rub together the butter and flour until you have a breadcrumb consistency
- Add the cinnamon, caster sugar and mix well
- Peel and cut the apples into smallish chunks and stir into the dry mix
- Gently beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients and mix well
- Place the batter into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake at 170 degrees for 45 mins to an hour until cooked through, risen and golden on the top. Leave to cool on a rack.
- To decorate, mix the fondant icing sugar with 1-2 tsp of apple juice and a touch of pink food colouring to a runny consistency, and drizzle over the cake generously allowing the icing to drop over the sides. Adorn the iced loaf with a lovely line of apple blossom.
- The loaf cake will keep for 3 days in an airtight tin or box, but it is best eaten as fresh as possible. The apple blossom will begin to degrade after a couple of days.
These Pink Lady® oaty breakfast bars make a delicious and healthy start to your day – they’re packed with goodness from wholemeal flour, oats, nuts, flaxseed – and of course Pink Lady® apples – and will keep you going until lunch time!
Best of all, these bars taste absolutely delicious. They keep well in a sealed container for 3-4 days or if you want to store them for longer, just cut into slices and put in the freezer. Take a slice out the night before for a delicious, fuss-free breakfast.
Pink Lady® apples are the perfect apple for both the filling and the topping. They keep their fantastic crunch inside the bars, making for a lovely change in texture and adding a touch of moisture. The sliced apple topping makes these bars look just as good as they taste, with the delicate pink of the apples retained even after the bars are cooked. Be sure to dip the apple slices in lemon juice after you cut them to prevent them from going brown.
So get your mixing bowl out and give this recipe a try… it’s a sure fire way of banishing the bland for breakfast!
FOR THE BARS
- 300g vegan yoghurt
- 200g coconut sugar
- 180g wholemeal flour
- 150g oats
- 100ml almond milk
- 60g raisins
- 2 Pink Lady® apples, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
FOR THE TOPPING
- 2 Pink Lady® apples
- 50g pecan nuts, finely chopped
- 50g flour
- 30g maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 34 x 24 cm baking tin with greaseproof paper overlapping two of the sides so you can use the paper to lift the cake out of the tin.
- In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients including the raisins. Make a well in the middle and add the almond milk, yoghurt, vanilla and chopped apple. Mix well and then pour into the baking tin, smoothing the top.
- Finely slice the two apples for the topping and layer on top of the mixture. Overlap slices of the apple and lay some diagonally and some vertically so that you create a nice pattern.
- To make the crumble, mix together the chopped pecan nuts, flour and maple syrup. It should be lumpy. Scatter this over the top, leaving some slices of apple uncovered.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Then cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Cut into 12 squares.
- Tip: If you dip the slices of apple in lemon juice before you lay them on the top it will prevent them from browning in the oven.