Rustle up a homemade fruit pie with a perfect crust

The key to a tasty pie is its crust. Cold ingredients and limited handling are important in preparing a good crust. Variations of the standard pie crust can be invented by playing with the basic ingredients of flour, fat, water and salt.

Ingredients :

For pie crust:

Flour - 350 grams

Unsalted butter- chilled & cut into pieces- 230 grams

Cold water-120 ml

Salt- 1 tsp

Granulated white sugar- 2 tbsp

For fruit filling

Apple (peeled, cored and sliced) - 1

Pineapple (peeled, cored and sliced) - 1

Banana chopped - 1

Dates, Raisins and cashew nuts chopped - 1 cup

Nutmeg powder- half tsp

Sugar- 1 cup

Pineapple juice- 2 tbsp

Corn flour- 1 tbsp

Water- 2 tbsp

Other:

Egg- 1

Method :

Mix flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until they are combined well. Add the butter and process for about 15 seconds, or until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Pour 60 ml of the water in a slow, steady stream until the dough just holds together when pinched. Add the remaining water if necessary. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto the work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour before use.

After the dough has been chilled remove one portion of the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Always roll the pastry from the centre of the pastry outwards. Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a nine-inch pie pan.

Brush off the excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit in the pan. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Next, place the pie pan on a baking tray. Line the pastry case with baking paper. Fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 12 minutes in a pre-heated oven (180 C). Remove paper and weights. Bake for 5 minutes or until light golden, and then cool.

Place the chopped nuts, fruits and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Cook, and stir for four to five minutes. Add corn flour mixed with water, stir until the mixture has thickened. Set aside.

Take out the second half of the pastry from the refrigerator and roll between 2 sheets of butter paper to form a 24 cm x 15 cm rectangle. Cut the pastry length-wise with a knife into twelve, 1.5 cm- wide strips.

Fill the pastry case with fruit mixture. Brush the edges with beaten egg. Arrange pastry strips in a lattice pattern over the pie filling. Press edges to seal. Trim excess. Brush lattice with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden in colour. Cool and serve.

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