“The moment you step into food photographer, stylist and blogger Yossy Arefi's cosy home, you know you're in for a treat. Is it the welcoming waft of just-brewed coffee hitting your nose? Or the plate of orange-tinged saffron shortbread beckoning for a taste? It’s both, but there's more to it. There's an easy, unaffected quality to Yossy's style, which fans of her popular Apt. 2B Baking Co. blog will quickly recognise. And it's exactly this quiet confidence that draws you into this baker's dreamy, sweets-filled world where simplicity and beauty reign.” Hana and Christine, Pantry Confidential
- 4-5 (about 1.3 kg) large apples (see Note)
- ⅔ cup fresh cranberries
- finely grated rind and juice of 1 small lemon
- finely grated rind and juice of ½ orange
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 35 g (¼ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- coarse sugar (see Note), to scatter
- 350 g (2 1/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 225 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 125 ml (½ cup) iced water
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) water
- 125 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 125 ml (½ cup) thick (heavy) cream (35% fat)
- 1 tsp salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 1 hour
To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then pour the whole lot on a large chopping board or countertop. With a dough scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the other half until it is the size of 10-cent pieces. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water. Using your fingers, flick the water onto the flour mixture and gently fold it in with the scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart. Press the pastry together, then split it in half, form into discs and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.
Meanwhile, to make the salted caramel, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the butter and bring the mixture to a boil, then cook for 7 minutes or until deep golden brown. Carefully add the cream and salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the filling.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of pastry into a ½ cm-thick, 30 cm round and use to line a 23–25 cm pie tin. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of pastry into a ½ cm-thick, 30 cm round and place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling, peel the apples and cut into thick slices. Place the apples in a large bowl with the cranberries and lemon and orange rinds and juices, and stir gently to combine. Add the sugar, flour and vanilla bean seeds, and stir again.
Fill the prepared pie shell with the filling, top with the pastry round, trim the edges so there is about 1 cm of overhang, then crimp the edges and cut a few vents in the top. If the pastry seems soft or warm, slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes before you bake it. When you are ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of the coarse sugar.
Put the pie on a baking tray to catch any drips and bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of your oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for 40–50 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the apple juices bubble.
• Try jonathan and golden delicious apple varieties.
• Coarse sugar, such as turbinado or light demerara, is available from selected supermarkets and health food shops.