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I had a little manic episode of pie making last weekend…

All up, I made eight pies – I took three to Kevin and Carol’s place on Friday night; three were stashed in the freezer, ready to bake; one was for Nic’s birthday; and the last one was for Small Man, who needs to eat apple pie for two days in a row, or his chi gets out of kilter.

For a change, I made the dough with duck eggs, which I’d bought on a whim from Flemington markets.  Here’s the recipe for a one and a half batch of June’s pastry, which was enough for all five pies in the photo below, with a little bit leftover for the freezer.  It freezes beautifully, so you can always keep a stash on hand.

  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 300g plain flour
  • 300g bakers/bread/continental flour
  • 225g icing sugar mixture (not pure icing sugar)
  • 2 duck eggs or 3 large (59g) chicken eggs

1.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flours and icing sugar mixture.  Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour mixture.

2. Crack in the eggs and mix everything together.  It will be sticky at first, but keep scraping off your fingers and kneading it together until it forms a smooth dough.  Add more flour, a little at a time, if needed.

3.  Shape the dough into a ball and rest it, wrapped in cling film, in the fridge until required.  Note that this is quite a sticky dough, so you’ll need to dust everything well with flour before you roll it out (I roll out onto a sheet of parchment paper).  If the pastry breaks as you’re putting it into the pie dish, don’t panic – just squish it back together again. It’s really a very flexible dough and the duck eggs give it a lovely silkiness.

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4.  If you’re making apple pie, follow the filling instructions here.  For Nic’s pie, I tossed a handful of frozen berries in a little cornflour and added them to the apple mixture.  I brushed the tops with a  little beaten egg and sprinkled them with Demerara (turbinado) sugar, which gave the finished pie crusts a wonderful crunch.

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Every fortnight or so, we’ll buy a box of apples at Flemington Markets.  Whenever possible, we’ll get Pink Ladies, but the Fujis have also been very nice this season.  Because we buy in bulk, there are always some bruised ones in the box – these become apple pies, apple pectin, apple jelly and sometimes apple butter.  It makes me deliriously happy that we’ve found ways to use every last bit of the apple – not a single part is ever wasted!

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