And the smell wafting out of the oven throughout the little shop was just ridiculously fantastic.
I was like a puppy, sniffing at the oven trying catch another whiff of what was baking.
So I asked the whats and hows and I raced home after work and bought Pink Lady apples. And I baked them with brown sugar. And it smelt ridiculously fantastic (Like Christmas etc).
Pie, I decided. Pie is just as suitable for Christmas, autumn (or fall), Halloween, toffee or an American family movie as the apples are.
TOFFEE APPLE PIE BARS
This recipe has three different processes. You can do them all separately throughout the day or the night before you want to eat your pie and just set them aside if you like. Then assembling them right before baking is easy!
For the toffee apples
5 pink lady apples
A few tablespoons of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a large tray with baking paper.
Leaving the skin on the apples, core them and chop them into large chunks, about 4 x 3 cm. Their size really doesn’t matter.
Spread the apples over the tray and top with sprinkled brown sugar. The brown sugar turns into toffee on the apples so use as much as you like. I probably used about 2 tablespoons.
Bake for 30 -40 minutes, until just soft.
Puree the apples, preferably with a stick blender. If you’re using a stand blender, you may need to add some water to the mixture if it doesn’t want to puree (I had issues). Set aside.
For the lattice crust
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
125g cold unsalted butter, cubed (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp)
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
Put the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a food processor or electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and cold water. Continue to mix on low until a dough forms. Gather the dough together and form it into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the crumbly base
Adapted from Joy the Baker (her blog makes me smile).
1 cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
120g cold unsalted butter, cubed (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease and line a 22 x 32 cm (9 x 13 inch) pan with baking paper.
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Pour the mixture into the lined tin and press down with your fingertips to form an even, compressed layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside while you roll out the dough for your lattice crust. Keep the oven on.
Take your lattice dough out of the fridge. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/3 cm thick. Cut into 2cm thick strips, 8 that are the length of your pan (32cm) and 10 that are the same width as your pan (22cm).
Spread the toffee apple puree over the crumble base. Arrange the pastry strips over the apple to make a lattice (follow great instructions here on how to arrange a lattice crust – she makes it really simple).
Brush water over the lattice and sprinkle it with a little extra caster sugar.
Bake for 30 -40 minutes, until lightly golden.