I just spent a week on the Isle of Wight off the coast of England, where I saw a lot of cool old stuff: old buildings (the village church is at least a thousand years old), cool old people, and Extra-Old (and therefore extra-good) Marmite.
And while England may not be renowned for its cuisine, I was blown away with the local produce. Every village has a local farm shop that sells fresh eggs in piles. (Like, you can choose your own eggs, sometimes with a bit of feather still on and usually laid that morning.) In the village I was in, the post office sells just-laid eggs if you know whom to ask! You can also buy local organic honey, butter (this is some real-deal butter, let me tell you), homemade sausages, cheeses, and seasonal produce in every village at prices comparable to what you’d pay in a regular store for regular stuff, and it all tastes amazing. Holy moly!
And then there is the incredible free produce all around you. On my second morning in Shalfleet, I got a bug up my bottom to pick some the end-of-season blackberries growing along almost every lane. (Fallen Fruit, eat your heart out!) Thinking the local graveyard might yield some juicy berries, my berry-picking team stopped by the really, really old church. There, we found a basket filled with apples for the taking, left over from harvest services. As soon as I tasted one, all I could think was: PIE! I left with nine or ten of them.
The clothes may not make the man, but the apples surely do make the pie, because this pie tasted insane.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
Classic Apple Pie With a Pear-Raisin Twist
- 4 large apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into ¼” slices
- 2 ripe pears, prepared the same way
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 pinch each of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Combine ingredients, stir, and let sit for a few minutes while making the crust. If the apples aren’t flavorful enough, add a little extra lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
For pastry (gluten-free):
- 2 cups gluten-free flour mix
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. xantham gum
- 9 tbsp. sugar
- ¾ cup salted butter
- 2 tbsp. ice water plus more if needed
- milk (for brushing onto the crust)
- additional sugar (for dusting onto the crust)
Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using two knives, a pastry knife, or a food processor. When mixture resembles coarse meal or has pea-sized lumps, add ice water and continue to mix just until dough sticks together. (I used 3-4 tbsp. of water.) Flour your hands and form dough firmly into two equal discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1h and up to 1 day. (Can be made ahead.)
Place each round of dough on floured surface, and roll out with a floured rolling pin. There should be enough dough for both a top and bottom crust. Lay one of the rounds out on the bottom of a 9″ pie pan. Pour in filling, including juices, and cover with the second round. Pinch edges together, or crimp with a fork, and cut several slices or air holes into the top of the crust. Brush crust with milk and dust with sugar. (Note: this crust does not need to be pre-baked.)
Bake pie at 375F for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown, covering crust lightly with foil after 10-15 minutes so it does not burn.