Apples and Pears

When life gives you tart apples and pears -
Make pie.
We have two pear trees in our garden and the big branches of an apple tree growing over our fence. Fruits of each are beginning to drop even though they aren't quite ripe yet. Rather them let them rot in the ground or get completely devoured by worms (many already had markers of said worms) I decided to wash, peel and slice them up for pie.

We've had apple pie two days in a row now... and my husband (and bebe) cry for more. Its delicious because its not too sweet - it tastes more like rhubarb. Here's how to do it:

:: Make a simple short crust pastry: 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour, 30g cold butter cut into little pea-sized cubes, 1/2 tsp of salt, cup of cold water. Using clean hands combine flour and butter + salt together with your fingertips until a meal is made. Slowly add about 2 tablespoons of water and mix to combine. Put more water in until a firm dough is made - if its too sticky - add a sprinkle of flour. Wrap dough and refrigerate until ready to use.
:: Make the filling: wash and peel apples and pears, cut away any brown or worm eaten parts, slice thinly. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1teaspoon of vanilla essence in a fry pan - add apples and gentle sauté for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Add as much sugar as you desire (if using ripe apples you mightn't need to add any - since my apples are completely tart I add about 1/4 cup sugar). You can also experiment with adding other fruits like frozen raspberries or like I did with this one a tablespoon of Ikea linden-berry (cloudberry) jam.
:: Assemble pie (I like the free-form look): Taking 3/4 of your dough roll out to a thin round disk (about 25cm diameter) on a sheet of baking paper, move disk and paper to an oven tray, now arrange apples in a nice pile in the centre of the dough, leaving about 5 cm around of dough to fold up over the apples. Using the 1/4 of dough left - split into 4-6 balls and roll with your hands into strands for making a lattice effect over the pie. Brush with milk. Sprinkle cinnamon and/or granulated sugar on top.

:: Bake: in pre-heated oven at 190'c for 45 mins - 1 hr. It'll be ready when its golden.
:: Eat: warm, cool, cold, by itself (my favourite), with creme fraiche (alex's favourite), with ice-cream, yoghurt, cheddar cheese, whatever you wish. A cup of steaming russian caravan tea is a very fine accompaniment.
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Happy week friends,
thank you for all your heart-felt words on the news of the babe,
it means so much to us