Fruit pies are something I think most people my age associate with their mothers. Nearly every 90s baby I know, remembers being offered a sugary piece of cooking apple from their mother’s baking bowl, and to this day resisting eating a piece from my own baking bowl is a challenge for me!
A standard Shortcrust pastry never lets me down when I’m making a fruit pie. I know a lot of baking book recipes try to jazz up tart recipes by adding icing sugar or eggs to the pastry but I really don’t think there is any need and it’s certainly not something I ever saw any 90s mother doing either. A classic fruit pie allows the fruit to be the main flavour – the way it should be. As long as the pastry is short in texture and packed with Irish butter then you can’t go wrong. The only thing I personally would add to my pastry would be ground almonds for an extra short texture and even then, I wouldn’t buy it specially or anything.
A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and spotted a post from Bord Bia (definitely give them a follow guys, they often post gems of competitions or recipes!) promoting the Irish Apple Pie Challenge. Basically, they were teaming up with Irish apple farmers to give away free apples at Farmer’s Markets, encouraging people to go home bake a pie and give it a friend. If you’ve read Where Is My Teaspoon for a while now you’ll know that baking and giving the end result away as a gift is one of my all time favourite things to do so I just had to get my bake on for this. If you read my blog at all you’ll also know that I’m a firm believer in the greatness of Irish produce so am thrilled to see social media content around promoting it.
They had some interesting tips on their website to go alongside the promotion:
- In a recent study, 15% of Irish Consumers say they have a slice of apple pie after dinner (this warms my traditional little heart!!)
- 14% of bakers use recipes which have been handed down throughout generations (honestly I had hoped this would be higher – so important to protect recipes)
- Ireland grows 1/3 of the world’s supply of Bramley Apples.
- An estimated €9m Bramley Apples are sold in Ireland each year.
- There are 34 Bramley Apple growers in Ireland (find the list here)
So interesting, right?
I have popped the recipe I always use for a basic shortcrust pastry below just in case you want to relive those childhood memories in your own kitchen this evening and bake a pie. We are so lucky to have great Irish flour and butter so get using it!
right, you need:
250g plain flour
50g ground almonds (only if you wanna)
3-6tbsp cold water
100g unsalted butter
Weigh the flour and ground almonds into a bowl and mix together.
Cut the cold butter into small cubes and rub into the flour using your fingers. Keep going until you have a crumbly mix.
Make a well in the centre using a knife and add 3 tbsp of water.
Using the knife, mix the water in bringing the dough together. The less water you add the better so be very careful. You just need the dough to come together so only add more if absolutely necessary.
Once you are happy, gently knead the pastry into a bowl and cover with cling film.
Pop into the fridge to rest until you’re ready to bake.
TIP: If you love fruit pies it might be a good idea to do extra pastry and leave some in the freezer for another time. Never hurts to be prepared.
Enjoy guys! Check in with me on Instagram or in the comments below with any pastry tips you have or share some family pie stories 🙂