IOU an apple pie (in the apple!)
Astound your arch-nemesis when they next visit for tea! Serve them these tasty apple pies adorned with a message of your choice. A great seasonal treat for all Sherlockians.
I was inspired by this amazing apple pie (in the apple) recipe (x), but I changed it around quite a bit (mostly because I am lazy and pastry making is tedious). Here is my take on the recipe:
-4 cooking apples (I used Lemonade, but Granny Smith would work too - they need to be quite tart though)
-1/3 cup demerara/brown sugar
-1 tbsp ground cinnamon; 1/4 tbsp ground cloves; 1/4 tbsp ground cardamom; pinch ground star annise (you can add ginger or nutmeg too for a spicier version, or just stick to the cinnamon if you’re a traditionalist)
-4 tsp butter (unsalted, at room temperature)
-Lemon juice (one lemon should be enough)
-1 sheet frozen flaky puff pastry (pref made with real butter)
-Milk (to brush the pastry)
1.Preheat oven to 190 C. Thaw out the puff pastry as per instructions.
2.Slice off the tops off the apples (if you’re not sure how, check out the original recipe which has a more comprehensive photo tutorial). Carve the apples with a sharp small knife and scoop out the pulp to form shells. Sprinkle the shells with some lemon juice to prevent browning.
3.Chop the pulp and the (peeled) tops of the apples together. In a small bowl, mix the chopped apple pulp, some lemon juice, the sugar and the spices.
4.Fill up the apple shells with the mixture (You will probably have some left over, which is fine - you can just eat it raw like I did, or make an extra tiny pie wrapped in the leftovers of the pastry. Your choice). Place a teaspoon of butter on top of each filled apple shell.
5.Cut out the pastry with a circular pastry cutter or a cup (you want to have a circle with a diameter about 1-2 cm larger than the opening of your apple shell). With a sharp knife cut out your desired decoration (aside from looking great, it’ll help the steam escape from your cooking pie).
6.Place the pastry lids on the apple shells. You can wet the edges with a bit of milk for the pastry to adhere to the apple. Brush the tops of the pastry lids with milk.
7.Bake at 190 C for about 30-35 minutes (depending on the size of the apple). Check that the pastry does not brown too much! The apple needs to be quite soft and yielding to the touch. Inside there should be evidence of spicy caramel.
Remove from the oven; wait 10-15 minutes to cool before serving to your arch-enemy. But you can have one as well, as long as nobody’s watching…