Sorry post yet another recipe, but I did think that this could be useful to some of my readers out there.
I don’t know about you, but cooking on a budget is always on my mind, most of us can’t afford to do anything else. If I can cook it myself for a lot cheaper than it would be to buy I will do. Also home made food is also of a much better quality and nutritional value which is equally as important.
I must state that I’m not what you could call a cook. If I manage to cook something and it tastes nice then it’s a result in my eyes and the following dish was ate very enthusiastically by my friends at a gathering yesterday.
I’m very lucky to have a neighbour that likes to give me any fruit that she doesn’t want or has been given too much of. This time it was apples that had been picked of her friends tree in her back garden and my daughter brought a carrier bag full of them home to me.
The first thing that I thought of cooking was a nice apple pie. I hadn’t made one for years and I had recently bought some pre rolled pastry for a quid and already had purchased some Apple Pie seasoning from Aldi the other week. Aldi are really good at selling seasonal spices like this and they are really cheap.
Ingredients needed; apples raisins or sultanas, sugar, spice mix or cinnnamon and nutmeg although not essential they do enhance the taste of the apples and pastry. Milk or egg to glaze.
Here are the apples. They are a bit battered looking but don’t be put off. They were good apples and once peeled you couldnt tell the difference between one of these and a perfect shop bought one.
Peel the apples. Use your own judgement about how many you will need based upon the size of the pie dish you are using. I don’t have a pie dish so I improvised.
When peeled, cut into smaller pieces and place in a bowl of water to prevent the apples from becoming brown.
Cut and peel as many as are required and put them in a pan of water along with the raisins or sultanas. Don’t worry if you don’t have these, just apples will be ok.
Place on a moderate heat and cook for around ten minutes just to allow them to soften a little and to release a little flavour, This is a trick that my friend Debbie informed me of and it really makes a difference to the flavour and softness of the apples.
Drain and leave to cool whilst you attend to the pastry.
This is the ready rolled pastry that I already had in the fridge. Making your own pastry is far more cheaper and is fun to make when you have children. But I had to use this because it was close to the use by date so I did.
Because this pastry is ready rolled, you don’t have to roll it out. This saves a lot of time.
Then get your dish of choice. This is the one that I used.
Grease and flour the dish and now it’s ready for the pastry.
Place the dish top down upon your pastry and cut round it, leaving some extra pasty to ensure that its deep enough.
Put your drained apples into the dish on top of the pastry inside it. Sprinkle the sugar and seasoning to taste. I don’t like an apple pie to be too sweet but not sour either. Use your own judgement on this.
If you can get hold of this seasoning its amazing.
I chose to make a lattice top. Mainly because I had to improvise due to not having enough pastry to put a full top on. Excuse the not straight lines. I call it rustic. I don’t believe in perfection all of the time anyway.
Place in a criss cross pattern on the top, sticking down with either an egg wash or milk. I used milk because thats what I had more of. Sprinkle with sugar also it really does look and taste better if you do this.
Place in the oven at gas mark 4, 180c, 350f.
I’m not sure about exact timing, but keep checking until it looks to your taste, the top is nice and browned and the pastry is golden.
Not perfect but it cost a quid to make, the apples were free and I already had the other ingrediants.
It was eaten by friends in minutes and the feedback was good.
Make the most of our free seasonal vegetables if available to you.
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12 thoughts on “Apple Pie. Cooking on the cheap again. ”
Charlotte my neighbour has plum and apple trees and always shares. You improvised with your lattice but think I’ll try it as a change!
As I get free leccy from British Gas, it’s not actually free you pay for it in the standing charge every day, about 80p over the wek, but I have been making the best of it since switching to it in early 2016. I bake, wash, dry and have the electric radiator and fire on.
I do buns that I have as a dessert with custard, Pasties and if I feel like it more. This week I did steak and veg pasties and chocolate buns and a curry for dinner I got 12 pasties from 400g of beef steak and some dried veg with some extra dried onion and an onion gravy. The dried veg cost about £10 but I didn’t use it all in the pasties just a few large spoonfuls and one of dried onion as the veg already had onion in the mix.
I cooked the meat, dried veg and onion flavoured gravy in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours then turned it off to go cold and thicken the gravy. while it cools I made the pastry, flour, Aldis greenvale perfect for cakes and some cold water, how much depends on how much pastry is made this basic recipe is 2 parts flour to one margarine then you mix it until it becomes like a crumble mix then start adding tablespoons of cold water, I did 750g flour, 375g marg, and cold water turned out I needed 8 tablespoons. When combined I wrapped it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge until the meat and veg are cooled.
I then make a batch (6) and cook them, after basting the pastry with either egg or milk, for 25 to 30 minutes in a 190 degrees centigrade oven then the other batch I let them cool at least 6 hours then freeze them.
I vary the meats either chicken, beef, pork, with veg, even minced turkey, beef, pork or lamb I don’t even label them as a pasty is a pasty. I get 12 or more for no more than £5 including cooking it will be more when the free leccy offer ends but not much more as I will just cook the lot together and turn the oven off for the last 5 minutes
The night before you want one take it out of the freezer and let it defrost overnight and the next morning have with either mash and veg or chips or even a jacket potato and peas or mixed veg, Another simple snack or meal is rice with veg, as I said I use dried veg so I just add that to rice with boiled water and cook adding a bit of turmeric to the water gives a golden rice with mixed veg a perfect accompanyment to burgers or sausage.
Thank you! Some very good advice and recipes here. Thank you!
Do you know the apple pudding that is your name sake Apple Charlotte? Alternate layers of sliced apples, and (stale) brown bread made into crumbs mixed with melted butter and sugar and spices, baked. More thrift.
I certainly do but I wasn’t aware of the recipe thank you!!! Xx
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Great recipe. When I have a glut of free apples, I make a big batch of part cooked as in your recipe, with a good knob of butter stirred through, and freeze in portions pie-sized portions. This time of year I also go blackberry picking with a friend and freeze those raw to use in puddings through winter, full of vitamin C.
Your recipes and blogs are great for what seems to be called food “hacks” these days but when I was a kid was survival. As a child who went hungry through poverty I can’t express what it means to see your work helping families like this.
When we had apples we would also just wash, core, pack the middles with dried fruit, sugar and butter and slow bake and eat with custard. A more substantial version would be to wrap each apple and its stuffing in suet pastry (suet, flour water) that doesn’t even need rolling out – just flatten lumps of dough into circles and press around the fruit, and again, bake.
We would also store free apples pre-freezer days individually wrapped in newspaper and kept in shallow boxes in a cold dark place (most of the house back then!). They will keep for months like that, or just a few weeks as they get used pretty quickly.
As one who was hungry as a child, I can honestly say that you never really get over it, and your work with the advice, signposting, food parcels and cheap cooking tips is just wonderful. xxx
Oh yummy! I can’t thank you enough for posting this comment. Thank you!!
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You never do get over it do you
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looks really good
Thanks apparently it tasted nice but I didn’t get a look in