This pastry is rich, flavoursome and dead easy to make. It has a tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture, adding a beautiful richness to fruit-based pies. Avoid using with custard-based pies, as it will be too rich, and it's too fragile to use in free-form pies.
250g (1⅔ cups) plain flour 2 tablespoons caster sugar good pinch of salt 180g cold unsalted butter, cubed 125 ml (½ cup) sour cream 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sour cream and vanilla bean paste and use the pulse button to process briefly until the mixture just forms a ball.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured, cool benchtop and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest. Use as directed in this Rhubarb and Apple Pie.
This pastry will keep wrapped well in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stand at room temperature for about 1 hour (depending on the weather) until softened slightly and pliable enough to roll easily.
Prep 30min (+35min pastry making time)Bake 1hr 15minMakes 8-10 serves
Classic apple pie (served with a overly-generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream, of course) is one of the perennial delights of winter and can only be improved by the addition of rhubarb and a deliciously rich vanilla sour cream pastry. This pie just may be a little hard to beat.
1 egg, whisked, for brushing 1 quantity vanilla sour cream pastry, shaped into a disc before wrapping and chilling as directed 2 teaspoons demerara sugar, to sprinkle pouring cream, vanilla ice-cream or custard, to serve
Apple and rhubarb filling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 1 orange, rind finely grated 110g (½ cup) demerara sugar 1½ tablespoons plain flour 1kg (about 6 medium) Granny Smith apples 750g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 4 cm lengths (see Baker’s Tips) 30g unsalted butter, finely diced
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
To make the apple and rhubarb filling, use your fingertips to rub the cinnamon, vanilla bean paste and orange rind through the sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour. Peel, core and cut the apples into thin (about 3 mm) slices and place in a separate large bowl, along with the rhubarb and the sugar mixture. Use your hands to toss gently to combine evenly.
Spoon the apple and rhubarb filling into an ungreased 23cm diameter (top measurement) ceramic or metal pie dish (see Baker’s Tips) and then dot with the diced butter. Brush the edge of the pie dish with the whisked egg.
Roll out the vanilla sour cream pastry to make a pie lid about 5 mm thick. Use a 2cm round cutter to cut out a circle form the centre of the pastry. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin and place on top of the pie. Use your thumb and index finger to press the pie pastry top onto the rim of the pie dish to seal. Use a small sharp knife to trim the excess pastry from around the edge. Brush the top of the pie with some of the remaining whisked egg and then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (140°C fan-forced) and bake for a further 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through and the apples are tender (see Baker’s Tips). Remove the pie from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving warm with cream, ice cream or custard.
For this recipe you will need a ceramic pie dish measuring 23cm across the top, 17cm across the base and 7cm deep.
You will need about 1kg untrimmed rhubarb for this recipe.
To check if the apples are tender, insert a skewer into the centre of the pie.