Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Pie

I made this pie for two people. The first was A, who turned to me while I was stewing rhubarb for my rhubarb and vanilla crème brûlées and said, "You know what I really like with rhubarb? Apple. In a crumble." I could only answer this comment with a wide-eyed stare, since it's so incredibly rare for him to request a dessert. It had to be made!
The second person I made this for is my Mum. Crumbles always make me think of my Mum, like her Apple Crumble Cake, or when I made a Quince & Craisin Crumble for her. And it seemed like a perfect time to make something with her in mind, since it is Mother's Day this Sunday. Happy Mother's Day! I personally think this pie is the perfect thing to bake for Mother's Day, especially after I fancied it up with Bourke Street Bakery sweet shortcrust pastry and golden syrup & vanilla bean custard.

As I mentioned not long ago, I've been eager to try out the Bourke Street Bakery sweet shortcrust pastry recipe for a while. It did not disappoint, it baked into a beautiful dark, golden brown and was perfectly crisp, flaky and buttery. A loved it so much, he said it was the best shortcrust pastry I'd ever made. In fact, he said it was the best he'd ever had. And he loved the whole thing so much he didn't want me to share it with anyone else, saying "NO! It's too good, keep it for me!". The filling was just a little bit tart from the stewed rhubarb and apples, but just enough to go with the smooth, sweet golden syrup custard and the cinnamon-y, oat-y, thin layer of crumble on top.
I was worried at first there would be too much going on to have a tart base AND a layer of crumble on top, but it wasn't at all. The pastry was just thick enough and the light layer of crumble on top was less heavy than a traditional pie top, and extra tasty thanks to all the cinnamon, brown sugar and oats. But oh my, the golden syrup custard. It was so delicious, particular because I was lucky enough to have a can of my favourite Lyle's golden syrup in the pantry. I think the vanilla bean made the flavour of the custard particularly rich in flavour, but it would taste just as nice without a whole vanilla bean in it. I made sure not to cook it down too much so it wouldn't be super thick and claggy. There's something about the combination of rhubarb and custard that makes me feel very happy. Though rhubarb seems to go well with so many things; apples, strawberries, lemon...Ugh I'm obsessed with rhubarb!
So back to my original point. This is a great dessert to make for your Mum. Or your boyfriend. And if you are going to use any shortcrust pastry recipe, you should definitely give the Bourke St Bakery recipe a try. And if you are going to make this pie, please make the custard! It is such a perfect match for the filling. I had made extra filling and crumble so that we could eat them without the pastry, in little ramekins and they were really nice straight out of the oven with a dollop of custard on top. So if you don't have the time to make the pastry, I'm sure your Mum would like the crumble on it's own anyway ;)
Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Pie with Golden Syrup Custard
(shortcrust pastry adapted from Bourke St Bakery, makes one 22cm pie or approximately 5 x 8cm tarts)
For the pastry:
100 grams unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
5 ml white vinegar, chilled
25 grams caster sugar
43 ml cold water
165 grams plain flour, chilled
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
300g peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith apples, or other cooking apple (about 4 medium apples)
200g rhubarb, sliced 4cm long, about 1cm thick
1 cup (250ml) caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the crumble:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1.5 tbsp cooking oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

Remove butter from the fridge 20 minutes before you start mixing. Place vinegar and sugar in a small bowl, add the water and stir well, set aside. Place flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse in 2 second bursts three or four times to partly combine (use fingertips to rub but in if you don't have a processor). Turn mixture out onto a clean surface, it should be floury with bits of squashed butter.

Sprinkle over the sugar mixture and use the palm of your hand to smear the mixture away from you across the work surface. Gather together and repeat smearing process a few times, until it starts to come together. You should still be able to see streaks of butter marbling the mixture, giving it a flaky texture when baked. Shape into a ball and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Prepare the filling, place sliced apples and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat until apples are tender and liquid as cooked down. Add rhubarb and cinnamon and cook until tender but not completely disintegrating. If there is still a lot of liquid, drain this off and cook it down until it is nice, thick and pink. Set filling aside to cool down.
Grease a 22cm loose bottomed tart tin and preheat an oven to 200 degrees C. Remove pastry from fridge 20 minutes before rolling. Sprinkle a little flour over the bench top and rolling pin. Working from the centre, gently roll dough away from you, rotate by 30 degrees and roll out again. Repeat until you have a flat, round disc, 3mm thick. Carefully line tart tin with pastry and freeze for 20 minutes. Prepare the crumble in the meantime: place all the crumble ingredients in a bowl and use your finger tips to rub the butter into the other ingredients and it clumps together as a nice crumble. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Blind bake pastry for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. My pastry was still a little light on the base after this so I removed the weights and baked it for another 5 minutes, but it depends on your oven. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack in the tray until cool. When cooled, fill with rhubarb apple filling and top with a very thin layer of crumble, just enough to cover the filling. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crumble on top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, then remove carefully from tin. Pie can be eaten cold or warm, served with LOTS of golden syrup custard. See below for custard recipe.
For the custard:
3 large egg yolks
75g golden syrup (if unavailable replace with 75g caster sugar)
300ml pouring cream
150ml milk
1 vanilla bean pod or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place milk and cream in a small saucepan. Split vanilla bean pod with a knife and scrape insides into saucepan. Add the scraped pod to the pan and bring the mixture just to the boil. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl with golden syrup and whisp until the syrup dissolve and the mixture becomes light and pale. Continue to whisk while gradually pouring the hot cream mixture into the mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Return to a saucepan on low heat and stir continuously (and I mean, continuously) with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and place saucepan in an ice bath, to stop cooking process, it with thicken slightly further. Cover surface with a circle of baking paper to prevent a skin from forming. Mixture can be stored for a few days in the fridge, with the surface covered with cling film.
Hope everyone has a lovely Mother's Day with their Mums, I wish I could be serving this pie up for my Mum who is so far away at the moment :( Happy Mother's Day for Sunday, Mum!
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  1. Rhubarb is a real weakness of mine too - this is a great new idea! (oh dear...).

    Golden syrup custard sounds incredible. Wow.

  2. Oooh wow this looks amazing, my dad would adore this!

  3. Mmmm crumble + pie = crumble pie awesomeness! I love the last photo of the golden brown crumbly goodness

  4. ooh <3 custard pouring porn shot and hee i love your plate!

  5. There is so much to love about this entire dessert. I am also obsessed with rhubarb, and completely overjoyed that we have finally come into rhubarb season and it's easy to find! I really love what you've made here, every single part of it. Cannot believe I have not made golden syrup custard before - it is genius!

  6. This looks lovely Steph! I'm super impressed that A requested the whole thing too! I love apple desserts, especially crumbles... yum :D

  7. I love a good crumble and this one looks fantastic. Love the photos Steph!

  8. what a beauty. the color is so pretty!

  9. love rhubarb and crumble, what a lovely take making it in to a delightful and delicate pie.

  10. crumbles are so so so good! Guess what? I have rhubarb in the fridge, you've inspired me to make a rhubarb crumble!

  11. I think my mum would seriosuly love this pie. I'm very tempted to bake it this weekend for mother's day.

  12. Apple and rhubarb are such a great combinations. Adding them to a yummy pie.... Gorgeous!

  13. Cooking this in pie form is a great way of doing it. It seems to keep its form and is a lot more presentable than if it is just filling and crumbs. Rhubarb goes very well with apple. I like it a lot :)

  14. Wonderful pie. Thanks for the recipe. It looks delicious.

  15. Great recipe! I think you're totally right about the mom and boyfriend thing, as my mom and sweetheart both love rhubarb, crumbles, and pies/tarts. Thanks for sharing. :)

  16. Your crumble looks so delicate and purdyy. Mmmm love crumble, love pie therefore this is super win!

  17. Wow you have definitely sold this to me - gorgeous! Makes an interesting update on normal crumble, and that custard has my mouth-watering. Fabulous :)

  18. Steph, your pie crust looks like one of the most perfect I've seen! Not a fan of rhubarb but I love apple - I'm heading over now to check your Mum's recipes.

  19. Oh lord. I am obsessed with rhubarb, too! I'm afraid that I don't have enough in my garden to make all of these recipes...

    This one has made its way to the top of the list!

    Well... Right after that second rhubarb pie that I have to make tonight... :D

  20. Yum!!! I can't get enough of rhubarb...collecting recipes to try it every possible way :)

  21. Poires au Chocolat - Hehe you should try the custard, it's addictive!

    Natalie... - You should try making it for him ;) Hehe thanks!

    Jacq - :D yes, can you tell i have a thing for combining desserts together? thanks!

    chocolatesuze - Hahaha porn shot! That's the money shit ;) thanks dude, IKEA is the best!

    Conor @ HoldtheBeef - Same here! I can't resist picking up some rhubarb whenever I walk past it! :) thank you dear!

    Betty @ The Hungry Girl - Haha I know! Usually I have to force sweet things down his throat! :)

    Anita - Thanks so much!

    mr. pineapple man - Aw thanks! Gotta love that pink tinge you get from rhubarb :)

    Sara - Thank you! I think rhubarb may be my new favourite fruit to put in a crumble :)

    Maria@TheGourmetChallenge - Ooh yay! I hope it turned out well!

    linda - aww did you make it?? I wish my Mum was here so i could make it for her :(

    Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Funny I hadnt really had the combo until I made this! Thanks :)

    Mark @ Cafe Campana - Yes I'm a big fan of it if it means I get to eat more flaky, butter pastry ;)

    Levinson Axelrod - You're welcome! :)

    Patty - :) I haven't met many people who don't like rhubarb! Thanks!

    FFichiban - Heehee thanks!

    Lucy - The custard is so moreish! I'm usually too lazy and just make a plain crumble but this was so worth it!

    Trissa - Aww thanks Trissa! Aww pity you don't like rhubarb! My Mum's apple crumble cake is the best

    Chele - Hehe thanks!

    Betty said...Thanks!

    whisk-kid - Haha the rhubarb obsession seems to be catching :D Your pie was beautiful!

    M. - You can never have too many rhubarb recipes ;)


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