Once upon a time, before super-charged blenders blasted food into nutriment, home cooks nourished their families with lovingly-prepared, affordable, real food.
My Dad started making this Currant Pie in 1976. Family legend says it was this pie he used to woo a wife and win over a Mother-in-law.
- 1 cup SR flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- pinch salt
- 150g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 tbs cold water
- squeeze lemon juice
- 1½ cups currants
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbs cornflour
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Sift flours and salt. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Put egg yolk in a cup, break up with a fork and add most of the yolk to water and lemon juice leaving a little yolk in the cup for glazing pastry. Add egg yolk, water and lemon juice mixture to flour mixture, sprinkling it over as evenly as possible. Press the mixture against the side of the basin with a fork or your hand until it holds together as a mass.
If it is too dry and crumbly, it will be necessary to sprinkle over a very little more cold water (iced water in summer to counteract warmer hands and atmosphere).
Pale streaks of dampness through the pastry indicate excess moisture. It is better to have the pastry tending to crack than too moist. You can always press it together if it cracks when you roll it out and done worry if it cracks a little during cooking, showing some filling.
Now that you have the pastry to a perfect consistency, chill until filing is prepared then diving into two, one section a little larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece so that it will fir the bottom of a 23cm pie plate.
Rolling the pastry over a rolling pin to get it over the greased pie plate is accepted practice but if I’ve made mine extra short and it’s a mass of pressed-together cracks, Is lide a semi rigid plastic pastry sheet under it, lift it up flat and carefully slide it off over the plate.
Press carefully into the base of the plate, easing in extra pastry rather than stretching it. Trim edges with a sharp knife. Roll out the other piece to fit top of pie.
Fill the shell with the hot filling, moisten edges of pastry with a little water or milk and pit on lid, pressing the edges together with the fingers to make a decorative edging.
Make a few holes in the top of the pastry with a fork to allow steam to escape and brush top of pie with the raining egg yolk mixed with a little water and a pinch of salt – this will give an attractive glaze to the finished pie.
Bake in moderately hot oven about 20 – 30 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned and sounds crisp when tapped with the fingers.
Put currants and water in saucepan and simmer 10 minutes. Add sugar and simmer a further 5 minutes. (Remember, don’t add the sugar at commencement of cooking for dried fruits – they won’t plump up so well.) blend cornflour with little water, add to currants and cook, stirring until thickened. Add lemon juice and zest. Allow mixture to cool only slightly, pouring into pie shell while still hot.
Serve hot with cream, ice-cream or custard or serve cold.
has a meal ever changed the course of your life?