Tuesday, 29 January 2013

raisin lattice pie

On a quick break from the my Austrian holiday thread, here is the raisin pie I mentioned in my New Year post. I am not a fan of dull stodgy flaming mounds of Christmas pudding and so made this crumbly pie in its place on Christmas day. It incorporates the festive spices of Christmas and I used orange juice for a refreshing zing, normally aspired by candied peel except without any trace of  bitterness (yup, not fond of candied peel either).

I used a flaky pie dough for the pie. Basically this means it has a higher butter:flour ratio with butter and water being the only binding agent, a little baking powder for the 'puff' to create flakiness, and usually no sugar or egg which would tenderize the crust. A generous substitution of ground hazelnuts was used in the  pastry, making it incredibly short (breaking up the flakiness). I also put in a little more salt than usual to bring out the flavour of the hazlenuts.

Considering how delicate this pastry was (super melty from the butter and tears easily from the lack of gluten), it was a very poor decision to make a lattice crust. Trying to manipulate the melting strips of dough caused me no end of frustration. A note to anybody who decides to make this, opt for a standard pie covering. Anyway, taste-wise, on its own or with a non juicy filling, the pastry would probably have been be too dry and crumbly. However, as a casing to the juicy plump raisins, it brought a nice crunch to the mouthful. This savory pastry also did well to offset the sweetness of the filling. Happy partnership!

I served the pie was served with vanilla custard enriched with cream. True custard this was, not like the watered rendition that is vanilla sauce. What really makes a wholesome custard is the addition of the cream. Once the custard has thickened, take it off the hob and continue whisking (you may want to use an electric whisker). When the custard has cooled slightly, tip in the cream and continue whisking. This also helps prevent the formation of skin over the hot custard. My recipe for the raisin pie can be found below.

For the flaky pie dough
210g flour100g hazlenut
230g unsalted butter
4g salt
40ml ice cold water
2g baking powder

For the raisin filling
300g raisin150g water
50g treacle
2g salt
10g cornflour
30g butter

40g dark brown sugar           30g lemon juice
100g orange juicezest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon mace1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Grind the hazlenuts in a food processor (I didn't grind mine very fine as I wanted my pastry a little coarse, but do it according to your preferences).
  • Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the food processor, along with the hazlenuts, and blend until will mixed.
  • Cut the butter into chucks, put it into the food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Sprinkle 30ml of the cold water over the mixture and pulse the mixture until it forms a dough. If it is o dry, keep adding the remaining water. This pastry is short and can stand a little working, but try to keep this to a minimum to avoid gluten formation.
  • Flatten the dough into a disc, cling film and chill. 
  • Mix 50g water with the cornflour and set aside
  • Melt the butter in a pan, add the raisins and coat them in the butter.
  • Over medium heat, add the orange and lemon juices and zests, treacle, salt, spices and brown sugar.
  • Allow the mixture to bubble, and top up with the remaining 100g water as required.
  • Once the raisin and swollen and plump, add the cornflour and water suspension and stir until the filling boils and thickens. The longer you boil it, the thicker it will get.
  • Set filling aside until cool.
  • Divide the pastry into two portions- one slightly larger than the other.
  • Roll out the larger portion and line the pie case (no need to prick the base as the weight of the filling will keep it from warping)
  • Fill the lined pie case with the cold filling.
  • Roll out remaining portion or dough and cover the pie.
  • Crimp edges of the pie together and cut slights into the top crust.
  • Brush with a beaten egg,
  • (If you have the time, another resting period in the fridge at this point would be good for the pie.)
  • Bake in an over preheated at 180C for 40min until the pie is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If you use a transparent pie dish, you should see the crust as pulled away from the dish slightly.

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Updates soon to come!

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