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Nanna’s Apple Pie Recipe – Kirsty Ferguson

My nanna was one of those people that others naturally gravitated to. You know the kind, warm, caring, nurturing and always up for a chat, cuppa and a laugh. Christmas in our household meant making three-hour long road trip to nanna and poppa’s house, playing eye spy along the way with my brother and sister, looking forward to one of nanna’s soft and loving embraces.

Once at nanna and poppa’s, you could smell the scent of Christmas of the air as you exited the car. Roast lamb, pork, turkey, roast veggies, Christmas pudding and the all time favourite, nanna’s apple pie. Light, with flaky pastry, filled with juicy apples, lightly spiced and paired with thick cream, it was the ultimate comfort food and signaled the end of a wonderful Christmas day lunch.

I used to love watching my nanna work in the kitchen, it was where she was her happiest, making delicious and plentiful food for her large extended family. She would bustle round the kitchen, chopping, peeling, stirring, the smell of simmering apples in the air.

One Christmas, my nanna asked me if I’d like to help her make the apple pie. I was touched. It felt to me like something special was being handed down from grandmother to granddaughter. She taught me a love of cooking for my family that still exists to this day. She not only taught me how to make her amazing apple pie, but the tradition that surrounded it.

My mum tells me that I’m a wonderful cook, just like my nanna and I love hearing that. My nanna has since passed away so hearing that makes me feel close to her again, as does making her apple pie.

This is a photo of my nanna and I on the day that she first shared her apple pie recipe with me. It was one of the happiest Christmases I’ve ever had, one full of tradition and love.

Nanna’s Apple Pie

Ingredients

1 ½ kgs cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cardamon

3 tbs flour, for rolling pastry

25g brown sugar, 2 tbs extra for sprinkling

500g pack short crust pastry

2 tbs milk, for glazing

Method

Heat oven 200c fan forced, peel, core and slice the apples to about 1cm thick. Pat dry with kitchen paper to remove excess liquid. Add flour and spices to the apples and stir over a low heat, and simmer until just cooked, set aside to cool.

Take out a 22cm glass cooking dish, spray with cooking spray. Take one sheet of pastry and dust with flour then gently roll out the pastry to make it big enough to lay over the pie dish, gently pushing down to the bottom and sides of the dish.

Trim around the edges with a sharp paring knife. Fill pastry gently with cooled apples the roll another sheet of pastry, lay over the top of the dish, cut excess with paring knife. Use a fork to gently crimp the edges closed so both pieces of pastry are melded together.

Use paring knife to cut two 2cms slits in top of the pie to let out steam. Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle with tbs of sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes in 200 degrees oven and cook for approximately 50 minutes or until pastry golden and centre is cooked through.

Serve warm out of the oven with cream or custard. Enjoy.

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