The quintessence of Autumn - an apple pie that looks and tastes the part

If there's one thing that to me is quintessencially Autumn, it must be the humble apple. I'm a huge apple person, I actually believe my middle name should probably be Apple. I eat them all year round, mainly for their commodity - I mean, it's only grab and bite, could it be any more practical? - but also for their flavour, their bite, thei juiciness. I'm particular to certain types of apples and I don't go for all kinds, for instance, I cannot indulge in far too tart apples like Granny Smith, although being one of my favourite, but the acidity in them, alas, does not do wonders for my stomach.

Still, I eat at least an apple a day, and to be honest, most days I eat two or three, depending on what other type of fruit I have at home. I also love cooking with apples, truth be said. Unlike pears, I love cooked apples, be it in cakes and tarts and jams, be it in roasts and puddings and pies, I do love apples any old way. I think nothing beats a Sunday roast with regular and sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and apples. Toss them in good olive oil, a pinch of salt, a scatter of herbes de provence, and throw them in the oven with the meat of your choice - or no meat at all!! - and there you have it, nothing spells Sunday comfort quite like that pairing. I'm in for that, really, even though my son isn't.

And what about apple cake, huh? Is there anything more Autumnal than a good ole' slice of apple cake, redolent with cinnamon, along with a cup of fragrant warm tea? I believe I must have plenty of apple cake recipes up my sleeve, most are quite similar, all tend to have a bit of cinnamon added, because, well, apples and cinnamon, right? I first baked an apple cake to this recipe here, and have been tweaking it over time. I am a bit lazy, so beating egg whites into stiff peaks is not my thing, so I always look for cakes that are easily put together, moist and yummy like this one, or this one which is a sure winner as well. But besides apple cakes, I'm a sucker for apple pies. And I also tend to have an array of recipes for apple pies up my sleeve.

The funny thing is, I don't think I ever posted an apple pie recipe on this blog! I have been working on this project for a few years now, and not once have I posted an apple pie recipe! Sure, we don't bake as many apple pies now as we used to a few years ago - we don't bake as many pies now as we did, what with savoury and sweet pies and quiches being a staple of our Sunday cookings back in our old house! - but we still do, sometimes, when I get the craves. I don't know why I haven't yet posted a recipe, but hey! I'll try to change that one round, maybe we get more into baking pies this year. The idea for this particular one came from a rather good quiche I cooked last week, and my mind immediately translated said quiche into apple pie, so we went for it this weekend, and lemme tell ya: It is a winner!! Grab your note book and jot this one dow, you'll want to cook it!

I wanted a spelt crust, because I love the nuttiness of spelt flour, so for this crust you'll need:
  • 50 gr spelt flour
  • 130 gr flour
  • 75 gr butter
  • 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75 - 100 ml cold water
Place all the dry ingredients on a food processor and blitz to combine. Now start adding the cubed butter and blitz aain, until it resembles coarse sand. With your food processor on, add the egg yolk and combine. Pour into a bowl and star adding the water little by little, with the aid of a knife, without ever kneading this dough. Once it's come together and is silky and smooth, place it onto baking parchment and roll it into a ball, covering it with the parchment paper. Refrigerate it for at least half an hour. Now you can move on to the filling.

This filling is a bit different, think quiche, but go with it, it's worth it! You'll need:
  • 1 large, tart apple - if you can't find a really big one, two smaller ones will do
  • 5 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 plain yogurts
  • 3 eggs
  • dark muscovado sugar and cinnamon for the dusting
Peel and slice the apple, setting it aside - douse it with a little lemon juice so it doesn't oxidate, if you will. On a bowl, beat up the eggs. Add the yogurts, mixing in well. Now add the sugar and the vanilla and combine, beating slightly again. Roll your dough onto a pie dish and cut off the excess, reserving those bits. Pour the filling onto the dough and place the apple slices over it, trying to cover as much as pssible. Scatter the sugar and cinnamon over the apple. From the rest of the dough, cut tiny leaves and acorns and place these strategically over the pie. It is not necessary, this is merely an embelishment, and a way of using up the leftover dough. Now take it to the oven for 50 minutes at 180º. Once it's baked, allow to cool completely before getting the pie out of the dish, and brush some quince jelly over it, for that shiny, bejewelled look! Serve with some warm tea, curled up in your sofa with a good book or a movie, it's quintessencial Autumn for you!!


  1. Ficou linda a tarte :)
    Adoro tartes de maçã e adorei a receita da base com farinha de espelta que gosto muito!
    Um beijinho

  2. O aspecto da tarte é delicioso, adorei a receita :)
    Blog: Guloso qb


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