The Most Amazing Apple Pie

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I guess you can't even imagine how good this pie is unless you try it!

I guess you can’t even imagine how good this pie is unless you try it!

My boyfriend, who happened to be Italian, always wondered what do I have to do with all these apples and why on earth someone in general would like apples? When we moved to London, to this cold, humid and always windy place, where neither peaches nor figs grow, but die, I guess he understood. Apples are not just the fruits, they are the mood.
It is so amazing, you go to your garden, shake the trees, and then gather them. Or if you have no garden, all you neighbors passing by give you a box of rosy apples – because in severe St Petersburg climate apple trees are the only plant that for some mysterious reasons show fantastic productivity. You kitchen, and in a while the whole flat reminds the branch of the apple-refining factory, and when you pile the last for today apple you get a call from your mom, saying they gathered 15 boxes of apples and she is going to pass by to drop at least half of the trophies. From apple-lover you turned into an apple-maniac, you made chutneys, jams, compote, you start thinking if apples go well with the eggplants, or maybe spaghetti? And you use all your creative reserves to invent new pies. Your bf can’t consume this amount, you go around and give pies out to the neighbors, who so carelessly happen to give you apples… And then you sit next to the window, on your cozy sofa, under the warm blanket, and with tea, feeling the smell of the freshly-backed apple pie with cinnamon… And you are happy. You are the winner in this pitiless apple war.
Inspired by sweet, touching and funny post of GaH and several other bloggers, praising autumn 🙂
Dough:
Butter_______225 grams
Sugar_______1 cup
Eggs_______ 2
Backing Powder__1 table spoon
Salt________1/2 teaspoon
Juice of a lemon
Flour_____ 3 ¼ – 3 ½ cups
Feeling:
Apples___ about 10
A little bit of lemon juice
Raisins___ a cup
Sugar____ ¼ cup
Cinnamon_ 1 ¼ teaspoons
1. Whisk butter with sugar till fluffy, approximately for 2 minutes.
2. Add eggs and keep on whisking till mixture is light and airy, so for approximately 3 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mix.
3. Combine flour with baking powder and salt and gradually add into the batter. It may require slightly more or less flour, so don’t add all at a time. The dough will come out very soft and not sticky.
4. Divide the dough into two parts, form squares, wrap into food cling and put into the fridge for at least two hours.
5. Pile the apples and cut the cores, dice into small pieces. Add lemon juice, raisins, sugar and cinnamon, mix well. You may try the feeling and adjust to your taste, adding cinnamon, sugar or lemon juice.
6. Grease the baking dish. Roll out one of the squares of dough and put in the baking dish. Put the apple feeling, spread equally. Roll out the second part of the dough; cover the pie and seal edges. Grease the top with water and sprinkle sugar. Make several cuts with a sharp knife.
7. Bake on 180C (350F) for 60-80 minutes. The ready pie will become golden.
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Lemon and Basil Pasta

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There is a famous Russian journalist, who dedicated himself to studying island cultures. He claimed, that as every island population developed in insolation, its culture and social norms are so distinctive, that it is not easy for continental people to understand them. As the examples he mentions Japan and UK (he spent 10 years in both countries and claims that British people are quite difficult to go alone with). I don’t know how true it is nowadays, but I am sure that this principle is not applicable to another large island – Sicily. It was conquered so many time, that it is rather a melting pot of people, traditions and cuisines. Specially distinguishing in this sense is Palermo region, which was under strong Arabic influence, and thus features couscous as a traditional dish. And it were Arabs, who brought lemons into Sicily – they started cultivated it on the fertile soil of Etna. Many people trust that exactly due to this volcanic soil and Sicilian lemons have these inimitable sweetness, which born the saying: “Lemons are not lemons unless they are from Sicily”.
Lemons are used in many traditional dishes, like famous Granita. But in the summer a popular dish is past with lemon, as it has rich, refreshing flavor.
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Time of preparation: 20 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
Spaghetti or tagliatelle_________400 grams
Olive oil______________________12 tablespoons
Garlic________________________2 cloves
Red chili_____________________1/2
Basil________________________a handful
Tomato______________________1 big
Lemon______________________ 2
Parmesan___________________40 grams
Butter_______________________20 grams
Salt, Pepper
1. Boil spaghetti in plenty of salted water till al dente. Drain, reserving a splash of cooking water.
2. Chop the garlic and chili; put olive oil into a pan, add garlic and chili and sweat on medium fire for about a minute.
3. One lemon cut in segments, grate the zest and squeeze the juice from another one.
4. Put pasta in the frying pan, add a little bit of cooking water, lemon segments, zest and juice, basil, and cut tomato. Stir, season to taste, and adjust the density with the remaining cooking water. Add grated parmesan and butter. Serve straight away.

Berries Upside-down Cake

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The main advantage of this cake is that it can be done with any berries up to your taste. I made it with gooseberries to get a slightly acid punch, but if you prefer a milder taste, use raspberries or any berries you prefer. I think even apples will fit hear easily, for the winter version of the same cake.
Time of preparation: 70 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • Flour___________300 grams
  • Icing Sugar______220 grams
  • Eggs___________3
  • Butter__________255 grams
  • Zest and juice of a lemon
  • Berries_________550 grams
  • Baking Powder____10 grams

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Tarte au Citron (Lemon Cake)

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French lemon tart like from the bakery

French lemon tart like from the bakery

I already published a version of a lemon tart. It was much easier and faster, this recipe will require more time and patience. But it worth it! Absolutely and totally. I couldn’t even imagine the result to be so good.
Time of preparation: 100 minutes Difficulty: Middle
Ingredients:
For dough:
  • Icing Sugar___ 65 grams 
  • Flour________ 175 grams
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter________100 grams
  • Groung Almonds_20 grams
  • Egg_________1 middle
 For filling:
  • Sugar________340 grams (caster)
  • Eggs_________8
  • Zest and Juice of 6 lemons
  • Double Cream_280 ml

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Simili Apple Pie

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Sisters Simili are twins from Bologna, who are famous for their recipes, based on the ancient food traditions of Bologna.

Time of preparation: 60 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • Flour______150 grams
  • Baking Powder_1 teaspoon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Butter_____50 grams
  • Sugar_____ 120 grams
  • Eggs______3
  • Pinch of salt
  • Milk_______100 ml
  • Apples____1kg
  • Cinnamon__________1/2 teaspoon

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Linzer Torte

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This recipe was inherited from an Austrian girl - so it is a "correct" Linzer Torte

This recipe was inherited from an Austrian girl – so it is a “correct” Linzer Torte

Time of preparation:  90 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • Flour_____250 grams
  • Almonds__100 grams
  • English Wallnuts_50grams
  • Cinnamon_1 teaspoon
  • Cloves___1/2 of a teaspoon
  • Sugar____ 3 tablespoons
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Butter____200 grams
  • Egg______1
  • Red current jam_300 grams*
*I used blackberry jam

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