Makes 1, 8 to 9-inch pie
This excellent pie is a perfect way to greet the Autumn and use the bountiful autumn harvest of apples. Delightfully different, it sports a crust of Cheddar pastry and the added interest of walnuts and currants. If you are new to pies check out, Let there be Pie.
This style of pie shell is an adaptation of those made in the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods when pie shells were often called “Coffyns.” To make the Medieval/Renaissance version use Perfect Pastry or Hot Water Pastry instead of Cheddar Pastry.
About 5 cups of peeled, cored and chopped apples
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried currants
1/4 cup finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A few grindings of nutmeg
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
About 1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
Egg wash – (1 raw egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of cold water)
Raw, Turbinado or Demerrara sugar
Make the pastry and chill. Preheat the oven to 550°. Peel and core the apples and cut into small pieces. Mix with the next seven ingredients. Add brown sugar to taste.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Place the disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle with a bit of flour. Pat out to be a bit thinner, then roll out to be no more than one-quarter inch thick. Cut into a circle abut fourteen inches in diameter.
Place the filling in the center. Paint the outer edge of the pastry with egg wash. Use the leftover egg white beaten with a teaspoon of cold water for this. Gather the pastry up into pleats, giving each pleat a gentle squeeze to seal it. Dot the exposed apples with the pieces of butter.
Roll out a scrap of pastry a little bit bigger than the open space on top of the pie. Place it over the opening.* Paint the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with the raw sugar. Place in the preheated oven for five minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another forty-five minutes. Remove the piece of crust in the center and bake for ten to fifteen minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are quite tender. Allow to cool before cutting.
* You do this to keep the otherwise exposed apples in the center from being too dry. You may also use a piece of foil.