Cakes & Bakes: Spiced apple & sultana pie

Home-made spiced apple sultana pie | H is for Home

We’re coming to the end of British Pie Week so we’re getting involved again and making a pie.

Sliced ball of shortcrust pastry

At the mere mention of the word ‘pie’ we usually get involved – any excuse! Yes, the saying may go, “As American as apple pie”, but we’re famous for our apples here in Blighty – and have no doubt been using them in pies for centuries.

Peeled, cored and chopped apples

We’ve rustled up a spiced apple & sultana pie for our Cakes & Bakes post… it’s quite a comforting, wintery version of the simple classic.

Saucepan of chopped apples and Muscovado sugar

Crisp, buttery pastry with a soft, warm, cinnamon-infused fruity filling… and finished off with thick, cold cream of course.

Trimmed shortcrust pastry pie base

You might have a bit of pastry left over – if you do, don’t just bin it, use cutters to turn it into shapes or letters to adorn the top.

Home-made spiced apple sultana pie top

The perfect, celebratory Pie Week pie!

Spiced apple & sultana pie
Yields 1
For the pastry
  1. 240g/8½oz plain flour
  2. 120g/4¼oz cold butter
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 4tbs cold water
For the filling
  1. 4 Bramley apples - peeled, cored & chopped into 2cm chunks
  2. 50g/2oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz sultanas
  4. 75g/2½oz brown or Muscavado sugar
  5. ¼tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 2tbs milk
  7. 2tbs caster sugarHome-made spiced apple & sultana pie ingredients
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If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the pastry
  1. Grease a 9" diameter round pie dish
  2. Put the flour, butter and pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs
  3. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each addition until the mixture comes together into a ball
  4. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour
For the filling
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan before adding the chopped apple
  2. Add the sultanas and brown/Muscavado sugar and cook until the apple is slightly softened but still al dente
  3. Set aside to cool completely while you roll out the pie base
  4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
For the pie
  1. Divide the chilled pastry into two, one ⅓ and the other frac23;. Put the ⅓ back into the fridge
  2. Roll out the other piece into a round about ⅓cm thickness and line the dish, carefully pressing it flat cut off the excess around the rim leaving a ½cm overhang
  3. Prick the base with a fork, cover with baking beans (or dried peas like I do) and blind bake for 15 minutes
  4. Remove the pie base from the oven and set aside
  5. Remove the 2nd piece of pastry from the fridge, roll out into a round, again about ½cm
  6. Spoon the apple filling on to the cooled pastry base and cover with the pastry round. Press into the pastry base and trim any excess.
  7. Brush the top with milk, sprinkle with the caster sugar and put back into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown
  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving with cream or vanilla ice cream
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies

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Home-made cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies | H is for Home

There were a couple of culinary firsts for me this week.

burying egg with egg shell when making hot water pastry

Firstly, I made a vegetarian hot water pastry, based on one I found in my Pie cookbook.

melting butter and suet in hot water

Instead of using lard, I used a bit of vegetarian suet.

making hot water pastry in a mixer

I’ve never, ever eaten a pork pie (I’ve been vegetarian since the eighties). I had to ask Justin if my pastry was anything like it is meant to be… seeing as he eats this kind of raised pie on a regular basis. In fact he buys & eats a pork pie every Thursday without fail – sharing it with Fudge on their walks after an early flea market foray.

rolling hot water pastry in cling film before putting it in the fridge

My other first was cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies.

lining pie tray with parchment paper

We bought a pumpkin at Halloween so I was looking for a new way of using it.

slicing hot water pastry

I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Granted, I’ve only had it the once, but it didn’t leave fond memories.

frying off chopped onions an cumin seeds

I much prefer these squash type vegetables savoury rather than sweet.

pumpkin and chickpea pie filling

It certainly makes a good substantial filling for this type of pie – great flavour too with the addition of the very complimentary curry spices.

adding filling to pumpkin and chickpea pies and putting on lids

This recipe makes quite a few, small pies. If like us you’re only likely to eat a few at a time, they can be frozen both before and once cooked.

cooked pumpkin and chickpea pies cooling on a wire rack

They’re the perfect little autumn pies!

Cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies
Yields 15
For the pastry
  1. 275g/10oz plain flour
  2. 1tsp salt
  3. 1 egg
  4. 60g/2oz butter
  5. 60g/2oz vegetable suet
  6. 110ml/4 fl oz cold water
For the filling
  1. 2tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 1tbsp cumin seeds
  4. 1tbs curry powder
  5. 1tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  6. 1 tin chickpeas (180g/6oz net)
  7. 750g/1lb 10½oz pumpkin, cut into ½cm cubes
  8. 2tsp salt
  9. cracked black pepper to taste
  10. 1 bay leafcumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pie ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the pastry
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg, then use the empty shell to flick a little of the flour over the surface of the egg so it's hidden
  3. Put the water, butter and suet into a small saucepan and set over a medium heat, stirring until everything dissolves and the water is just coming to a boil
  4. Remove from the heat and pour the hot mixture over the flour and egg
  5. Mix continuously with a metal spoon (I used the dough hook and my electric mixer) until the mixture comes together into a ball
  6. Tip on to a lightly floured work surface, knead briefly for about a minute before wrapping it in cling film, forming it into a fat sausage shape as you wrap
  7. Chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes to firm up before using
For the filling
  1. In a large saucepan over a low heat, soften the chopped onion in the olive oil
  2. Add the cumin seeds and then curry powder and chilli flakes and stir
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas under the tap using a strainer before adding to the saucepan
  4. Add the pumpkin, bay leaf, salt and black pepper, combining everything well before putting a lid on the pan and allowing it to cook for about 10 minutes
  5. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool completely
  6. Cut a number of 1cm strips (2 per pie) of baking parchment to line the pie tin (I used a silicon muffin tray, see my image above). This is to help remove the pies easily once cooked
  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  8. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge, remove the cling film before slicing into 1cm rounds
  9. Roll out or flatten the rounds and put half of them into the lined pie tins so that there is an overhang
  10. Fill each pastry case with filling right to the top, before using the other pastry rounds to top the pies
  11. Fold the overhanging pastry over the pie lid, crimping the edges to seal
  12. Pierce the centre of each lid to allow steam to escape when cooking
  13. Brush a little beaten egg over each lid
  14. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes
  15. Allow to cool on a wire rack
H is for Home Harbinger