I’ve been on a personal mission for probably years (as I come to think about it now) to create the ultimate apple pie.  It began with a ‘Dutch Apple Pie’ I had in South Africa some years ago but then particularly  following a more recent visit there where I had a fantastic ‘apple crumble pie’ at The Marmalade Cat café in Darling, South Africa (http://www.darlingtourism.co.za/craftdetail.php#marmaladecat).

So what better place to start the blog I’ve been urging myself to do than right here.  Because just this week I went to some good friends of mine for dinner and apple pie was on the menu for desert; and what a cracker it was.  I quizzed my friend to the enth degree on how he had done the pastry and the filling.  I have struggled with liquid pouring out of fresh apples as soon as the cinnamon and sugar are added to it.  He uses only bramleys and in this recipe had added a bit of lemon zest and a few tablespoons of caster sugar to the ‘raw’ apples with no problems with excessive liquid.  His pastry was a sweet crust with egg yolks which was lovely and light and crispy.  He has kindly given me the recipe for the pastry and I won’t rest until I’ve given it a go myself!

The crust was beautifully shaped against the chunks of apple underneath giving it a wonderful, textured finish.  No sugar was sprinkled over the case top and it didn’t need it either.  Served with crème fraiche – absolutely delicious!

Oh and the main course … equally delicious … pan fried haddock with prawns in olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds and coriander.  With oven roasted onions and new potatoes in olive oil, steamed broccoli and mixed green salad with a light dressing.  As an added extra, a baked red pepper stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and green pesto.  All so delicious … especially as I didn’t have to cook it or plan it!