Hungarian Apple Pie

A beautifully flavoured apple, almond and apricot pie, Hungarian Apple Pie makes a superb dessert for a Sunday lunch or dinner. Serve with plenty of whipped cream or Creme a la Vanille.

6 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 oz. cup butter

3 to

4 tablespoons iced water

2 oz. lard or vegetable fat, cut into small pieces

4 fl. oz. water

4 oz. castor sugar finely grated rind of

1 orange

4 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped

3 oz. ground almonds

2 oz. slivered almonds

4 tablespoons apricot jam

First make the filling. Place the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Set the pan over moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil and boil for about 5 minutes or until a syrup has formed.

Stir in the orange rind and the apples. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the apples are beginning to pulp.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the mixture into a nylon strainer held over a medium-sized mixing bowl. With the back of a wooden spoon, rub the apples through the strainer, until only a dry pulp is left in the strainer. Discard the pulp.

Stir the ground and slivered almonds into the apple mixture.

Turn the apple mixture into an 8-inch pie dish and spread it out evenly.

Put the apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring it to just below boiling point, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the jam- over the apple mixture in the pie dish. Gently spread it out and set the dish aside.

To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Divide the butter in half and add one half to the flour mixture. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With a knife, mix in 3 tablespoons of the water to form a firm dough. If the dough looks too dry, add another tablespoon of the water.

Place the dough on a floured board or flat surface, and with your hands shape it into a square. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into an oblong. Dot two-thirds of it with half of the Jard or vegetable fat. Fold the dough into three to make a rectangular parcel. Press the edges down with a rolling pin to seal them.

Turn the dough so that the sealed ends face you, and roll it out again into an oblong. Dot with pieces of the remaining lard or vegetable fat. Fold in three and seal the edges. Turn the dough around so that the sealed edges face you and roll out into an oblong. Repeat the process, using the remaining butter, cut into small pieces. Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Remove the dough from the refrig-erator. Roll it out into an oblong and fold it in three. Return it to the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrig-erator and roll it out to a circle approx-imately 9-inches in diameter. Lift -the dough on the rolling pin and lay it over the pie dish. With a sharp knife, trim off any dough hanging over the edge. TTsing your thumb and forefinger, crimp the edges of the pastry to seal them and make a decorative pattern.

Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown on top.

Remove the pie from the oven and serve immediately, straight from the dish.

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