Apple and green tomato pie

Apple and green tomato pie

By
From
How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Unusual as this combination of ingredients sounds, it actually works very well. After all, there is a natural synergy as the fruit are in season at the same time and it’s a good way to use up those few tomatoes that never seem to ripen in the garden. Green tomatoes are sharp and firm, as are the first apples of the season – whatever their variety. They do, however, need the right proportion of sugar to tickle out their flavour. The addition of cinnamon gives the pie a lovely cosy feel.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Pastry

Quantity Ingredient
500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
pinch sea salt
300g unsalted butter, well chilled, cut into cubes
25g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 organic free-range large egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons cool water
a little milk, to brush

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
5 cox’s apples
4 green tomatoes
120g caster sugar
1 lemon, grated zest and juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Method

  1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter lightly and evenly until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Lightly beat the egg yolk with the water, then sprinkle over the flour. Work gently with your fingertips to incorporate and form a dough, adding a little more water if needed. Form into a ball and knead lightly on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour.
  2. For the filling, halve the apples and remove the cores, but don’t bother to peel them as the skins add texture and flavour. Slice the apples finely into half-moons, slice the tomatoes into rounds and place both in a bowl. Sprinkle with the caster sugar, lemon zest and juice. Set aside while you roll out the pastry.
  3. Divide the pastry in half. Re-wrap one half and return to the fridge. Roll out the other half thinly on a floured surface to a round, 3mm thick and large enough to line the base and sides of a 20cm fluted pie tin. Lift into the tin and press the pastry well into the fluted edge, being careful not to stretch it. Using a sharp knife, cut away the excess pastry so that it is level with the top of the pie tin. Prick the base lightly all over with a fork and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Line the pastry case with a piece of baking parchment and half-fill with baking beans (or dried beans). Bake the pastry case on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes to slightly dry out the base. Set aside to cool a little.
  5. In the meantime, roll out the other piece of pastry thinly to a round, 5mm thick, for the pie lid.
  6. Stir the cinnamon and brown sugar into the filling and spoon into the part-baked pastry case. Using the rolling pin, lift the pastry lid over the top of the pie. Press the pastry edges to seal with your thumbs, fluting them as you do so. Mark a little cross in the centre with a sharp knife and brush with a little milk. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
  7. Place the pie on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then serve with chilled pouring cream… the contrast of warm pie and cold cream is irresistible.

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