If he were here today, my father would be coming to my home for dinner tonight, to share his special day with my family.
I’m sure that there wouldn’t be any of the fuss and fanfare of a large party of any description. Dad wouldn’t have liked that. No, Dad would have perhaps gone for a walk, or a drive, to the beach, just to watch the ocean and the waves crashing on the shore. Or he may have spent some time at home, reading a book. He loved reading.
He would have enjoyed a roast dinner, with gravy. And soft bread, with a crunchy crust. We may have been able to convince him to have a glass of champagne, just for his birthday. But after dinner, he would like his cup of tea, for sure. Dad was a true Englishman.
For sure, I know what he would have wanted for dessert. Apple Pie. Dad loved my apple pie. And I loved to make it for him, because I knew how much he loved it.
Happy 90th Birthday, Dad……
¾ cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup custard powder
1/3 cup cornflour
Pinch of salt
185 g butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
Sift flours, custard powder and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add sugar, mix well.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add egg and water and mix to a firm dough. Knead lightly. Refrigerate pastry for 1 hour.
Roll out just over half the pastry and line a pie plate. Spread 2 tablespoons of apricot jam over the base of the pastry shell. Add the cooked and drained apples. Roll out the remaining pastry, cover pie and press the edges together firmly. Trim, decorate and cut a few slits in the top. Sprinkle the top with extra sugar.
Bake at 190 deg. C for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 180 deg. C for a further 20 minutes or until pie is golden brown.
TIP: Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper. Lift the pastry carefully with the bottom sheet of baking paper and turn, pastry side down, onto the pie plate.
Apple Filling: 7 large cooking apples
Grated rind of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
Peel, quarter and core apples. Cut each quarter in half lengthways. Put all ingredients into a pan and cook, covered, until the apples are almost tender and still holding their shape, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and allow apples to cool.