I haven't made a pie before, so I thought I might start with this easy recipe from Nigella's How To Be a Domestic Goddess. I love this cookbook. Some of the recipes are super easy, and some take a bit of skill, so there is something in it for everyone. I followed this recipe exactly, and it turned out quite lovely. It was really fast to make and looked beautiful, would be perfect for unexpected company.
My only complaint was there was a bit too much dough for my liking, I think next time I'll flatten it out more so there is more of a crust around the edges rather than all thick in the middle. Mike really enjoyed it though. It is definitely best right out of the oven, and I served it with some whipped cream. We tried the leftovers the next day, and it was indeed "stodgy" as Nigella puts it. I would only make this if there was at least four people there to eat it. Liam was only interested in the whipped cream so it was a lot of pie for both Mike and I.
Nigella's Apple Syrup Upside Down Pie
for the fruit:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Granny smith or other eating apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
4 ounces walnut (or pecan) halves
8 tablespoons light corn (or maple) syrup, plus extra for serving (I used maple syrup)
8 inch shallow pie plate, buttered
for the scone dough:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
scant 1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, putitng in a baking sheet.
Melt butter in a pan, gently fry the apples, curved side down, for about 10 minutes. Put the walnut halves in a pie dish flat side up. Pour over syrup, and then arrange fried apples curved side down.
Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut butter into cubes and rub into flour mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Make a well in the center, pour in milk and egg all at once. And mix to a soft dough. Using your hands press dough into a cricle roughly the size of the pie dish and then place it over the fruit, taking care to seal the edges well against the edges of the dish. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 minutes, by which time the top should be crusty and golden.
Let sit out for a minute or so, and then place large plate with outer rim or lip over the top of the pie. With once swift action turn it out onto the plate. Best to do this over the sink since the syrup will be hot and runny. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of syrup over the pie. Serve with pitcher of warm syrup and well as light cream. This sort of pastry becomes stodgy on cooling so time it to be ready no more than 10 minutes before you'll be wanting to eat it.