Apple Picking and Pies

This is it! This is why I love Autumn so much! It is a season of apple picking and pie making. And yesterday we combined the two and had a blast of a time. As I have mentioned before, every year we go apple picking at the Olmenhorst. An estate only twenty minutes away from here. The Olmenhorst is famous for its produce of organic apple and pear juice, and… for the annual event of public picking.


In September, during apple and pear harvest, the estate opens to the public every weekend and people can come pick their own apples and pears. This past weekend marked the opening of the apple picking season and we are so glad that the weather was gorgeous and that we got to do our first picking this Autumn. We usually go down there several times during the season, and we have already two more trips planned!

This year on our first picking day we were joined by our friends whose children are the same age as ours. It made apple picking all the more fun. The weather was surprisingly lovely after a week of storm and rain. The sun was out and next to apple picking and tasting, there were enough mud puddles for the boys to enjoy themselves. 





We really look forward to this event every year and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and outdoor outing. This year, picking season at the Olmenhorst runs until the end of October, so there is plenty of time to go!


Of course we went home with a lot more apples than we initially had agreed on. Try telling your toddler that there is such a thing as too many apples… So, I am now looking for new recipes that call for lots of apples. So far I managed to make one apple pie. That’s one down and many more to go this Autumn.




Of course this first pie of the season is already gone…  but I would love to share my recipe with you.

For this pie I used four large Santana apples. (Good to know: Santana apples have reduced allergenic properties!)

I actually combined two recipes as Guy prefers a tart crust and I like short crust pastry for the lacing.

For the base: tart crust

  • 250 grams of plain flour
  • 175 grams of softened butter (unsalted)
  • 60 grams of sugar
  • 2 eggs (1 for the crust, 1 for the egg wash)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of cardamom
  • 1 pinch of salt

Put the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a bowl and kneed into soft dough. At this point it will feel dry and crumbly. Add one egg. Mix and kneed well. Wrap the dough in clingfilm as before and chill for 10-15 minutes before using. It is not easily rolled out, so use your hands to cover the tin.

For the lacing: short crust pastry

  • 125 grams of plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 55 grams of cold butter cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp of ice cold water

Using a food processor, put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour. Then gradually add the one tsp at a time, until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop. Wrap the dough in clingfilm as before and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.

For the filling

  • 4 large apples
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 20 grams of sugar
  • 1 shot of brandy

Cut the apples in big chunks, but don’t bother to peel them. It saves time and leaving the peel on adds to the rustic appearance of the pie. Put them in a bowl and add the cinnamon, sugar and brandy. Mix well and leave while forming the pie base.

Once you have covered the tin, pour in the filling and roll out the short crust pastry. I used a dough cutter to make long ribbons and my son Sam helped me cut out some figures to decorate the pie with.

Pop in the oven at 185°C until the pie crust look golden brown and your kitchen smells of sweet apples and cinnamon.  





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