Monday 16 December 2013

Reci-pie Review: Gingerbread Apple Pie

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what could be more jolly than a festive pie? I’ve been baking gingerbread every Christmas since I was a teeny tiny Ship’s Cook, so a gingerbread pie seemed like the obvious choice for some December baking.

The Recipe:

The recipe for this pie comes from Family Feedbag. It has lots of pictures and some detailed instructions, which always makes for a good recipe:

Unfortunately, things got a bit complicated as soon as I started baking…
Firstly, I don’t know what vegetable shortening is so I just used butter.
Secondly, I had NO idea how much a cup of butter weighed. It’s supposedly 227g. I used 227g and the dough was really runny. I ended up doubling all the other ingredients to make the dough roll-able.
Thirdly, I didn’t have molasses. Luckily, black treacle seemed to work just as well.

I also had to work out the temperature in degrees Celsius. It’s 204 for the first ten minutes and 190 for the remainder of the time. However, I just cooked the pie at 190 degrees for half an hour and that seemed to work pretty well.

This wasn’t the easiest recipe I’ve ever made, but I think that might be down to my measurement conversion skills (or lack thereof). If you’re familiar with American or Canadian recipes you’ll probably do a bit better. Either way, treacle is really fun to cook with, your kitchen will smell delicious and if you do end up doubling the recipe to make it work, you can just make lots of gingerbread men. 

The Seven Cs:

There’s no risk of a pale piecrust here as the treacle in the pastry means this pie comes out a very dark shade of brown. Unfortunately, I think it might even look a bit burnt, which puts your pie at risk of looking less appetising than it could.

The addition of sugar and flour to the apple filling makes a lovely thick apple sauce as well – a bit like apple gravy, which is a nice touch.

There’s lots of filling in this pie, and you can adjust the top to fit around it, although the gingerbread men don’t fully encase the filling so pie purists might want to make a full sized lid – there’ll be enough spare pastry to do this.  

You’re not likely to ever have a problem with apples being chewy, but you’ll be glad to know that the apples in this recipe are baked for just long enough to go a bit soft, but they don’t go too mushy.

If you have a well-stocked baking cupboard full of flour, sugar and spices, you’ll probably only have to buy the vinegar, apples and treacle, making this a very cheap pie indeed. If you have to go out and buy everything, it’s going to be more expensive.

The apple and cinnamon combination isn’t very original but the novelty value for this pie comes from the gingerbread pastry, and apple and gingerbread is an absolutely delicious combination so the content scores pretty highly for me.

As Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry would say, this has a bit of a soggy bottom. The apple filling combined with the lack of a blind bake means the sauce soaks into the pastry and it all turns into a gingerbread mush. You probably want to eat it straight out of the dish with a spoon rather than taking it anyway or trying to put it on a plate. It tastes lovely though. 

The Ship's Cook

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