Apple pie from Milan

Is there anything better than a delicious home cooked apple pie? Get ready for rave reviews to roll in!

“I have such beautiful memories of my early days in Lombardy. The lessons I learned about family, food and tradition, and how intertwined they are, are at the heart of everything I do today,” says chef Alessandro Pavoni. “This dish reminds me of British apple pie. Russet apples have the perfect texture for it, plus they don’t release too much liquid. If they’re unavailable, use another similar apple that’s not too juicy, such as gala.”

Ingredients:

1 kg russet apples
1/3 cup (80 ml) dry white wine finely grated zest of 1 lemon 180 g caster sugar
1 pinch of fine salt
¼ cup (40 g) sultanas 60 g mixed peel
60 g unsalted butter 18 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1½ tablespoons dark rum Mascarpone Cream ( to serve)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  1. Peel and core the apples and cut each one into 16 thin wedges. Place in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat with the wine, lemon zest and 90 g of the caster sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat  to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover, add the salt and cook for another 15 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Remove from the heat, stir in the sultanas and mixed peel, then cover and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and remaining sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined. Use three-quarters of this mixture to butter the base and side of a 23 cm round springform cake tin. Completely line the base and side of the tin with the bread, cutting the slices to fit as necessary and reserving some for the top, pressing gently to secure them in place.
  4. Fill with the apple mixture, then top with the remaining bread and spread the remaining butter mixture over the top.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until the bread is lightly golden. Remove from the oven, immediately pour the rum over the top and set aside for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with a bowl of mascarpone cream on the side.

Recipes from the book, A Lombardian Cookbook by Alessandro Pavoni and Roberta Muir, with photography by Chris Chen, published by Lantern, RRP $59.99