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Gill Bland

Roast Dinner Week

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 28th September 2015

The 23rd September - 4th October is British Roast Dinner Week. Restaurants and pubs around the country are putting themselves forward to win the crown of Best Roast Dinner, with the regional finalists announced on the 25th and the winner on the 4th.

 

Roast Dinners are just one huge delicious dilemma to me. It’s hard enough deciding on what to have for the main part - meat or veggie, which meat? So when you add in condiments (apple sauce, horseradish, mint sauce), the sides (Yorkshires) and the vegetables it’s easy to understand why we never grow tired of our Sunday favourite. It’s so versatile. You can make it as complicated or simple as you like and almost all the prep can be done ahead of time.

 

Since everyone has their own favoured way of cooking a roast I thought it would be foolhardy to try to tell you how to make one, though for the record my Dad’s roast potatoes are the best in the world. I won’t hear otherwise.

 

When it comes to puddings after a roast I have yet another quandary: crumble or pie? In general I’d side with a good crumble as long as it comes with custard, but every now and then I waver. So, I bring you the Apple Crumble Pie recipe. It’s not just any pie though - the crust is made out of sugar cookie dough so it’s really crisp and has just a hint of cinnamon to it. I’d be tempted to mix some peanut butter in too but that’s not very British, now is it?

 

Apple Crumble Pie

 Apple Crumble 1

 

Equipment
7 inch loose bottomed or spring-release cake tin or if you want a thinner, larger pie then an 8 inch flan tin

 

For the crust

  • 140g soft unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 190g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g ground almonds

 

  1. Cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix the flour, cinnamon and ground almonds together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the flour mix to the butter and sugar. Beat until it has come together into a dough.
  4. Place on a floured surface and roll into a ball, then press flat.
  5. Wrap in a bag or clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30mins (you can leave it longer if you want to prep ahead - just make sure that unless it’s a very hot day you take it out 10mins before you want to roll it otherwise it’ll be too brittle)

 

For the Filling
A washing-up bowl full of windfall apples (or about 5 large cooking apples)

  1. Peel and chop the apples into chunks.
  2. Place in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover them.
  3. Put the lid on and simmer until tender.
  4. The time this takes will vary depending on the type of apples but is likely to be about an hour. Keep an eye on the water and top up if necessary. You don’t want a lot of liquid but they shouldn’t boil dry.
  5. Leave to cool. You can freeze any you don’t use.

 

For the Crumble Topping

  • 110g plain flour
  • 40g butter
  • 40g soft brown sugar
  • pinch cinnamon  - optional

Rub together the flour, butter and cinnamon. Stir in the sugar.

 

To Assemble

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge and wait until it’s pliable.
  2. Lay some clingfilm on the work surface and roll the dough out on it until about 3mm thick.
  3. Place the base of your pie dish or cake tin face down in the middle of the dough.
  4. Adding a 3cm border, score lightly in a circle around the base.
  5. Place the bace back in your tin, peel the dough off the clingfilm and lift into the pie dish / tin.
  6. It may break but you can patch it up with offcuts.
  7. Bake blind at 160c for 15mins or until turning golden.
  8. Take out and leave to cool.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, fill the base with apples. You want them to be quite dry so the crust doesn’t go soggy.
  10. Cover with a generous helping of crumble. If using the cake tin sprinkle half on, press down a little and then sprinkle on another load. It’ll help it stay put when you take it out of the tin.
  11. Bake at 180 for 15 mins.
  12. Leave to cool enough to get it out of the tin or serve straight from the tin.

Serve with custard or ice-cream, if you must! Can also be kept and served cold.

 

Apple Crumble 2

 

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