Sometimes we need a dessert that is simple to throw together, yet is as delicious as the one we have slaved over for hours. This simple 4-Ingredient Store-Cupboard Apple & Strawberry Pie may be just the thing.
Made with store cupboard ingredients (a tin of apples, some frozen strawberries, a little sugar and a pack of ready-to-roll pastry) all ‘discovered’ and screaming out to be used during a recent clear-out, it is dense with fruit and encased in pretty, decadent pastry.
I have to admit, that tinned apples are not usually found in my larder, but I had bought them some time ago with the intention of making a quick apple puree to use in another recipe, before discovering that a jar of apple baby food was far quicker and easier. They worked perfectly in the pie as despite a good simmering, they didn’t completely pulp down and retained a nice ‘bite’.
Usually I am a chocolate person, but recently I have been craving fruity stuff…. which is no bad thing, I guess. Although this pie is made with frozen and tinned fruit, it tastes amazingly fresh…. a perfect level of tartness from the apple, sweetened by summer strawberry and a little caramelly coconut sugar. The addition of the strawberry gives it such a beautiful colour too. If you don’t want to use ‘store-cupboard’ fruit, just head to the greengrocer!
Having been through a number of bereavements quite close together, I have needed to do lots of emotional sorting and healing in recent weeks and this pie has been my perfect comfort food. I’m never too sure why we reach for pastry when we need a food-cuddle (or is that just me?), but I know I gobbled most of this down, because when Mr GF returned from two nights away at work and expectantly asked where the pie had gone….. it was well…. gone!
The top of the pie looks a lot fancier than it really is and was born out of needing to make the pastry stretch as far as possible (I didn’t want to risk running out and wasn’t sure if I had enough to cover in one piece). I needn’t have worried…. I think I would have had just enough, but I am pleased I tried something a little different in cutting decorative pastry shapes. I love how the fruit bubbles through the gaps in the surface as it bakes too…. rustic, but inviting… a sort of hint of what lies within.
You can use any shaped cutter to make your shapes, but I thought I would use something fairly simple and to hand. Just make sure you dampen the adjoining raw pastry edges so that they stick together as you go.
It is up to you, but I also chose to sprinkle a little caster sugar on the top once cooked, mainly for decoration.
Although my pie is gluten free, you can (of course) make it with a wheat-based pastry too. Mine is made with Silly Yak pastry, as I found a few packs in my freezer (which I stashed when they were reduced in Tesco a couple of months back). If you haven’t used Silly Yak pastry before, I can recommend it as a great gluten free ‘go to’ if you either don’t have time or don’t like to make your own. It is also not only gluten free, but dairy free and vegan too, so is pretty versatile from an intolerance perspective.
Gluten free AND Vegan (or thinking of heading that way?) – check out my post on Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond
I am sharing my Simple 4-Ingredient Store-Cupboard Apple & Strawberry Pie with :
4-Ingredient Store-Cupboard Apple & Strawberry Pie
- Prepare your fruit : Put your strawberries and apples in a large saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring. Simmer, stirring frequently until the fruit has softened and the liquid has reduced, so that you have a juicy, but thick, chunky compote. Set aside to cool completely.
- Prepare your pastry : Take a pie dish and your ready-to-roll pastry and carefully roll (as per manufacturers instructions) to a depth of about half a centimetre. (I dusted mine with tapioca flour and rolled on dusted clingfilm).
- Carefully line the base of the pie dish with rolled pastry and trim the edges, leaving a ‘lip’ to stick the pastry top. Set aside the off-cuts and wrap in clingfilm until ready to fill the pie.
- Fill the pie with your (completely cold) prepared fruit and spread to even the top.
- Bring the remaining pastry together and re-roll. Use a medium-sized cutter to cut pastry shapes.
- Using a pastry brush and a little water, moisten the pastry edges and carefully stick the shapes round the edge of the pie (pastry to pastry) and gradually work your way round and into the centre of the pie with each additional shape, to cover the top (there may be gaps between pastry shapes). Once complete, place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Glaze the raw pastry top with a little dairy free milk and bake for about 30 minutes. If the top starts to brown too quickly, turn down the oven a little, or cover with a piece of foil.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little extra sugar (optional) for decoration. Eat warm or cold with a drizzle of coconut cream or some dairy-free ice cream.
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