Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Damfine pie

Weekend Cooking is one of my favourite posts of the week. One thing that I love to do is look back through my posts and look at the previous posts I have done and revisit them - the memories, the recipes etc. The other thing is that when I am reading a book as soon as there is a passage about food I find myself wondering if that is potential Weekend Cooking fodder, or perhaps I should refer to it as inspiration rather than fodder! Doesn't matter what kind of book it is! In this week's case it was an epic fantasy novel that is nearly 1000 pages long, but I still found something!

This quote comes from page 333 of The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss:

"Anything left for the stragglers?" Graham asked as he sank onto his stool.

Before he could reply, a bull-shouldered man clattered an empty plate onto the bar and set a fork down gently beside it. "That," he said in a booming voice," was a damn fine pie."

A thin woman with a pinched face stood next to him. "Don't you cuss, Elias," she said sharply. "There's no call for that."

"Oh honey," the big man said. "Don't get yourself in a twit. Damfine is a kind of apple, innit?" He grinned around at the folks sitting at the bar. "Sort of foreign apple from off in Atur? They named it after Baron Damfine if I remember correct."

Graham grinned back at him. "I think I heard that."

The woman glared at all of them.

"I got these from the Bentons," the innkeeper said meekly.

"Oh," the big farmer said with a smile. "That's my mistake then." He picked up a crumb of crust from the plate and chewed it speculatively. "I'd swear it was a Damfine pie for all that. Maybe the Bentons got them some Damfine apples and don't know it!

Last weekend when before I went to the Keith Urban concert (where my son fell asleep), we went out for dinner. For dessert I had an apple, rhubarb and berry crumble,which was delicious. It has however left me wanting to have more apple and rhubarb type dishes, especially as the nights are starting to turn cold and I am starting to think of comforting and warming winter foods.

I like this recipe because the pie is really a pastry lid, and so it should be pretty easy to use store bought pastry if I can't be bothered with actually making the pastry. I also really like the idea of a rustic open pie type thing where the pastry is folded up over the filling, but I couldn't find a recipe that sounded good for that.

Image credit
Rhubarb and Apple Pie

30g unsalted butter
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
150g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
1 bunch rhubarb, washed, sliced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs milk
Thick cream or custard, to serve

300g plain flour
150g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg


To make the pastry, place the flour and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1-2 tablespoons chilled water and process until it comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the apples and sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat. Add the rhubarb and cinnamon and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the fruits are just starting to soften. Transfer into a 3-litre (6-cup capacity) pie dish and set aside to cool.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut a 1 1/2cm-wide strip of pastry. Press it around the rim of the pie dish and brush with a little water. Cover with remaining pastry, then trim the edges. (This method helps stop the pastry lid shrinking.) Pinch the pastry together to seal, brush with milk and scatter with the extra caster sugar.

Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve hot or warm with thick cream or custard.

Now I just need to get my oven fixed so that I can actually cook this!

 Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.


  1. it feel almost un-American to say..."as American as apple pie" and all...but I am not a fan of apple pie. now with the rhubarb.. that sounds good.

  2. I *do* like apple pie -- and I love it made with tart apples like Granny Smith -- now add the cinnamon and rhubarb ... yummmm.

    Oh and I like that trick of making a rim of pastry and then putting on the top. I've never tried that before, but I can see how that would work.

  3. Beth, I have made savoury "pie" before by cooking the filling and the pastry in squares completely separately and then putting the square on top of the filling.

    Caite, the rhubarb adds a different taste completely, and is really, really good with custard.

  4. It looks so good! Only had rhubarb once, it was so tart, I imagine in a pie with apples, cinnamon and sugar it would be divine!
    Love the damfine pie passage :)

  5. Yum! This looks like a wonderful autumn pie (damfine, perhaps?) I'll have to try to remember it when the fruits come in season. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I'm wild for rhubarb, and will save your recipe for the new crop which should be in another month or so. Yum! Thank you.

  7. I loved the passage you shared from the book. I don't usually have the patience for a 1000 page book, but I like the characters in that short section. I'm in agreement with you on Saturday's cooking posts. It seems like a special treat on the weekend that can be shared with people all over the world.

  8. LUUUUUV Rhunbarb. And that Rothfuss joke reminds me of an old joke best left untold ie Damn ham.

  9. Oh wow, a beautiful pie combining two ingredients that I love: Granny Smith apples and rhubarb. Am definitely going to make this soon!

    And lol, Damfine ;)

  10. What a fun passage! And the rhubarb desert sounds wonderful!