Monday, November 24, 2008
Saying good bye and moving forward
This Sunday was a special one for me. I woke up and discovered the mountains outside my window all white and snowy; winter had arrived to Freiburg. Conveniently this happened the same day as the traditional Weinachtsmarkt, christmas market was do to open.
Of course that snow is already gone and is substituted with cold rain and sleet but what stayed was my christmas feeling, from which there's no return. The only obstacle was, that I hadn't yet had the chance to close the earlier season properly.
There I was with a few Boskoop apples, a friend coming over and an urge to bake. What happened next was an apple pie so fluffy, mellow (can this word be used in this contents..?) and delicate, that I could at peace leave this one as the last autumnal pastry for this year and hereby state that christmas is exactly ONE MONTH away from this day. Welcome woolen stockings and gingerbread and everything related to it!
Apple Pie from Alsace
200 g flour
100 g butter
1 egg yolk
30 g sugar
hint of salt
2 tablespoons cold water
4 large sour apples (I used Boskoop)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
100 g sugar
the seeds of one vanilla bean (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/8 liter cream
Measure all the ingredients from the crust into a bowl and knead either by hand or with a mixer until you have one block of dough. Wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat oven to 200 °C (400 F). Press the dough on the bottom and sides of a 26 cm springform (I used two rectangular glass dishes) and poke some wholes to the bottom with a fork.
Peel the apples and cut into thin slices. Arrange the slices on the pie crust.
Bake the whole thing in the lowest part of the oven for 35 minutes. If it starts getting brown, just put a foil on top.
For the filling combine the eggs and sugar and whisk until fluffy. Add the vanilla and cream and pour on top of the apples. Bake again for 25 to 35 minutes until it gets some colour. When ready, let cool almost completely before cutting out pieces.
This was wonderful when almost completely cooled but still slightly warm. Didn't even need ice cream or whipped cream but they won't do any harm either!