Monday, July 18, 2005
TRYING HARD TO CELL
Every friday, like obedient sheep in a flock, we observe the meeting together of what we call our "cell" group, or home group. The latter sounds warmer, I suppose, whereas the former these days has a distinctive negative connotation. Cell? A certain organisation with initials A - Q spring to mind, and those cells certainly aren't meeting to plan picnics.
Shallow as it may sound, one of my little "joys" of this friday gathering is being able to experiment with different types of grub to serve my fellow home groupers, (sounds like a kind of coral fish now). Last friday, we had apple pie. If I may say so myself, it was rather good. Okay, the original recipe is actually from a cookbook by local pastry chef, Alex Goh. I kinda modified it a bit; well, in keeping with the url of the blog, here's the recipe:
Sift and chuck 2 cups of flour, ½ cup of icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Chop into blocks 150gm cold butter, straight from the fridge. Let the processor whirrrrr away until the mixture looks well mixed, and you can no longer see chunks of butter. It should look like breadcrumbs. (or at least that's how every recipe book describes it). Then, with the motor running, pour in one beaten egg, and about 3 tablespoons of ice water, until the dough becomes cohesive. Scrape out of bowl, and knead lightly with flour, wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for about 30 mins.
Apples: now, its quite subjective, if you like tart apples, then use only the green ones, but I chose to use a mixture. 5 greens, 3 reds. Its laborious work, peeling, and coring apples. Get a maid, if you dont have one. they're handy.
Cut the apples into 1/16th segments. Ie, Quarter, then half the quarter. or 1/12th also can.
Chuck them into a pot, with 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook until the apples are soft, (again, this is subjective. If you like crunchy apples in your pie, then cook for shorter time). Roughly 8 minutes should suffice. Strain away any excess fluids, and toss in some raisins, as much as you want. Toss in about 50gm of butter, if you feel like sinning more.
Roll out about 6/10th of the pastry onto the base of a pie tin. Spread some apricot jam on the base of the pie. Or any other jam. Arrange the apples, neatly or otherwise. Use the remaining pastry to cover the pie. Use either a beaten egg, or some milk, to brush the pie for a golden finish. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes.
Optional : Can sprinkle some castor sugar over the pie when cooked.
Serve with ice cream or cream.
Photographing food is not as easy as it looks. Food pornography, as it's called, is obviously an art. Well, for starters, I forgot to change my camera settings to the FLOWER mode, as opposed to MOUNTAIN mode. So all my pie pics are a blur. Anyway, the picture is the closest decent thing i got.
Oh, oh, so back to my original topic. So, if you want free desserts on friday night, do come and join our home group. Afterall, man does not live by bread alone.