"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.
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
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!
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