Thank you for the delicious mix of heritage apples Dominion Cider Co! Last month, we had a fall harvest dinner party, and our friends at Summerland's newest cidery (making craft cider from the oldest heritage orchards) brought us a box of their prized fruit.
(left to right: The Dominion Cider partners, Mike Harris, Robin Cairns, Luke Cyca)
Apples really are the heirlooms of the Okanagan- our first agriculture in the valley, and certainly the largest of our agriculture crops for many years was, the apple orchard. We wanted to honour these apples in a special way and we came across an inspiring image of an apple pie made by the inimitable pastry chef Dominique Ansel.
I've made my own rustic version, and created this recipe for you. Here is what I did with these beauties -
Make a pie crust ( choose your own recipe), peel 20-24 apples, half them and core them keeping the halves intact. Squeeze half a lemon over them for flavour and to stop them from browning.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees f.
Take around 6 apples and chop them up in 1/2 inch cubes. Sautée the cubed apples with 3 Tbsp butter and a 2 or 3 inch sprig of fresh rosemary chopped fine, sautée until apples are soft, add 3 heaping Tbsp sugar, and a touch of water and 1/4 lemon squeezed in, keep it cooking until it's the consistency of a chunky apple sauce. Turn off the heat.
Now, use your mandolin or a sharp knife and slice the remaining apple halves in 2-3 mm crescent moon shapes. Make a simple syrup- half a cup of sugar and water - adding a touch of cinnamon. Once sugar is dissolved pour the liquid over the apples in a bowl.
Put your apple sauce (once it's a bit cooler) at the pie base. Then begin to arrange your slices concentrically taking care to keep the naturally curved side of the apple slice up - also make sure the slices maintain a good angle- basically just short of 90 degrees.
Place the pie in the oven on a well centered shelf for 40 mins. I melted some butter and lightly brushed it over the top at that mark then put it back in for another 10 mins. (Total time 50 mins). Test it by carefully poking it to see that the apples are soft. Let it sit for at least 1.5 hours. Optionally you can give it a dusting of confectioner's sugar.
Serve it with vanilla ice cream and of course a nice glass of Dominion Cider or your own favourite local craft cider. It's great for breakfast too (we won't judge if you have the cider at breakfast)!