Looking for comfort? Why apple pie is the queen of desserts

19 June, 2020

Why a traditional apple pie is the best winter dessert

Is there anything better than the smell of pastry, sweet apple and cinnamon wafting through the house as the weather takes a colder turn? Apple pies are one of the best winter desserts; they’re easy to make, ‘kind of’ healthy and give the comfort of your grandmother’s kitchen. The recipes haven’t changed much over the years and for good reason. If it’s not broken, you don’t need to fix it.

Buy the fresh ingredients at Woolworths and create an apple pie dessert that will have your family and friends lining up for a slice. All you need is a basketful of apples, cinnamon, sugar and pastry and you can be a masterchef in your own kitchen.

Pastry top and bottom?

It is universally accepted that a true apple pie has a sweet shortcrust pastry on top, whether it’s lengths of pastry threaded for a latticed look or an elaborate design is made from cookie cutouts. But do we all use pastry for the base of our pie? And if we do, do we blind bake it before we add the pie filling?

Blind baking is the best way to ensure that the pie crust is crispy when the final product is removed from the oven. The pastry needs to be rolled out, covered with baking paper, weighted with ceramic baking beads (to stop the pastry forming air bubbles) and baked until it is 70% cooked. Then add your filling and pastry top.

The other argument in the domain of apple pies is whether flaky puff pastry is better than shortcrust. It really is a matter of trial and error to find what you and your family love.

Do you dare to add other fruits or spices to your apple pie?

Some chefs would deplore it, but a handful of blueberries can add colour to your apple pie without ruining the sweet apple flavour. Some people add vanilla bean with their cinnamon, some add cloves, and others sprinkle nutmeg over their fruit. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to add whatever you fancy. Every family has a different palate. The main thing is you enjoy it. Donna Hay adds sultanas to hers, whereas Nigella Lawson is a purist. If you want to really add a zing, try Jamie Oliver’s blackberry apple pie with ginger stems!

Want a quick fix for your apple pie craving?

Your grandma might not approve but when the idea takes hold and you need to satisfy your apple pie cravings, McDonalds Chatswood has these delicious desserts on the menu. Either complete a contact-free order and pick up in store, or order with UberEats, Deliveroo or Door Dash and have it dropped at your door. If you want something a little more fancy, at Pafu, you can try a twist on the old favourite. They combine exquisite French pastry techniques with Japanese design using fresh apples.