I used to work in my family's restaurant and helped run it. I love good food, and I've cooked family meals for over 60 years.
A Traditional British Pudding
Apple pie is a traditional and much-loved pudding (dessert) in Britain, where I live. It is usually accompanied by cream or custard, and it can be eaten hot or cold. I think it is much better hot—it seems to bring out the pastry flavor.
This pie can be made with puff pastry, which is quite light, or shortcrust pastry, which has a more solid feel. My personal preference is puff pastry, as shown in the photographs on this page.
Adding Poppy Seeds: A Successful Experiment
One day, I was planning to make the usual pie, when I suddenly remembered I had an open tin of Polish Bakalland poppy seed in the fridge that I had partly used for something else that needed to be used up.
I tried a little taster of the seeds mixed with the apple to see if it would be okay, and I really liked it. The texture of the seeds is very slightly lumpy, and it added an interesting feel to the soft slushiness of stewed apple, whilst also pepping up the flavour.
I knew it was going to be a winner. Not to everyone's taste, perhaps, but it certainly was to mine.
In case you've never tried Bakalland poppy seed, it is a thick paste made with poppy seeds that is slightly sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It is available in many European shops, or you can buy it online.
I've never seen a recipe for apple and poppy seed pie anywhere else, so let's take a look at how to make it.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
6 - 8 Portions
- 4 large apples (preferably cooking apples), chopped
- 1 tin Bakalland poppy seed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or any other sweetening if preferred)
- 1 packet ready-made puff pastry
- 1 teaspoon Culpeper apple pie spice Mixture or ground cinnamon and/or cloves
- 1 egg or egg yolk (optional, but gives a nice gloss to the pastry)
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- Peel the apples and simmer them in water for 3-5 minutes until they slightly soften.
- If you don't want to waste the apple peel, which is the most nutritious part of the apple, blend it to a pulp with a little water in a juicer and then add the mixture to the apples.
- Add the poppy seed, sugar and spice, and stir well.
- Roll out the pastry and, using one medium or two small oven-proof dishes, lay the dishes upside down on the pastry and cut round the pastry with a sharp knife to fit or slightly overlap the edges of the dish or dishes.
- Pour the apple and poppyseed mixture into the oven proof dish or dishes and then lay the pastry over the top, pressing down the edges in a pattern with your thumbs or a fork. Pierce the pastry several times with a knife to let out steam.
- Beat up the egg or just the egg yolk in a separate container, and paint the pastry all over. This will give it a nice glaze when cooked. If you don't want to use egg, you can use water, but egg gives a better effect.
- Place the pie or pies in a preheated oven at Gas mark 5 or 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Check if it is brown enough for your taste and leave a little longer if necessary.
- Serve hot with cream or custard.
A Choice of Pie Ingredients
You'll see in the Introductory photograph at the top of this page that only one of the dishes has the poppy seed mixture stirred in, and the other dish just has plain cooked apple.
This would give you a choice of two different pies, if you so wish, but be aware that the instructions in this recipe assume you are making two similar small poppy seed pies or one large one.
Also, remember that:
- The poppy seed filling is already slightly sweetened, and my recipe above takes this into account when stating the amount of sugar required.
- You will need only half a tin of poppy seed if you are only making one small pie.
- If you are going to have one of the pies with just apple in it, do test it to see whether it is sweet enough for you, as you will probably need to add a little sugar.
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Video: Apple Pie Demonstration
© 2018 Diana Grant