This week my sister and I donned our Pink Lady jackets grabbed us each a T-Bird and headed back to school for a class on reproduction. It was very informative, we even found out what pistils are.
For one night only the Lyric theatre was home to Cool Rider, a concert of songs from Grease 2, complete with a full cast, fantastic dancing and a re-telling of the scant plot. The audience lapped up every dodgy innuendo, sang every lyric with the cast full throttle and cheered when Stephanie Zinone straddled that step ladder, her heart pouring out as she told us what she really wanted in a guy. A devil in skin tight leather, if you’re interested.
The concert sold out so quickly that they added another performance squeezed in at 11pm. I’m not surprised, how often do you get to indulge in a cheese fest of this scale. It was so successful that they might be putting on more performances. If that’s the case and you want to do it for your country that I seriously recommend you grab yourself a ticket. Your mother will definitely approve.
I heard that Michelle Pfeiffer had disassociated herself with the film but after a brief scour on the internet I only found an interview with Jonathan Ross where she is game enough to talk about it but claims she hasn’t seen it for years so doesn’t know if it’s any good or not. The true professional. I did find an interview with Maxwell Caulfield though who claimed he was about to be the next Richard Gere and then Grease 2 destroyed his career. Poor love. If Grease 2 were released now I believe it would have a completely different reception, it’s unabashedly feminist replete with those fearless song lyrics. Who these days would have such gumption to rhyme ‘cycle’ with ‘Michael’? Give that lyricist a belated Oscar, there’s still time. I for one would be giving it full marks if I was still a film critic. On reflection maybe it’s this kind of praise for films of this quality which led to me being fired.
So, did you wanna talk about Grease 2 some more or do you want to have a butchers at this apple pie you’re getting so worked up about. I nearly made you a cheeseburger with double double ketchup in honour of Grease 2 but honestly I have been wanting to give this apple pie a go for ages. It’s been sitting in my food folders for years and it’s as American as they come so fits in nicely with today’s theme.
I adapted this apple pie from a recipe by Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a pie shop in the heart of Brooklyn which is getting a lot of attention at the moment. I haven’t been, as even for me it’s a bit of a distance just for some pie, but who needs to when you’ve snagged their own recipe. I have Britished it up though by including Bramleys, my favourite apple. Using Bramleys helps cut down on the sweetness of the caramel and the salty twang on the tip of your fork is what completes this and I think has made it the best apple pie I have every had. Sorry Nan.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Adapted from a recipe by Four and Twenty Blackbirds
1 quantity of your favourite sweet shortcrust pastry
135g caster white sugar
70g unsalted butter
75ml double cream
¾ tsp sea salt flakes
2 bramley apples
2 granny smith apples
Apple Filling Seasoning:
45g caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
caster sugar for sprinkling on top
- Prepare your sweet shortcrust pastry. Roll the bottom crust to fit 18 x 3.5cm pie tin, and cut the top crust as a lattice. Chill the rolled crust and the lattice top while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling.
- To make the salted caramel cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved.
- Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown colour, almost copper. This process can take awhile depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it, if the caramel begins to smoke, you’ve burned it and you’ll have to start again.
- Once the mixture has turned a copper colour, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream – the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam – be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
- Whisk the final mixture together well and sprinkle in the sea salt. Set the caramel aside while you prepare the apple filling.
- To make the apple filling juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples, popping them into the lemon juice as you go to prevent browning. Set aside.
- To make the apple filling seasoning combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and Angostura bitters. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- To assemble the pie begin by sprinkling the breadcrumbs on the pastry base to help absorb some of the juices and avoid a soggy bottom.
- Then layer ⅓ of the apples in the bottom of the crust so that there are minimal gaps. Pour ⅓ of the caramel over the apples. Add ⅓ of the apples and caramel for a second layer, and then add a third layer of apples, and then the caramel again. Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled.
- Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust. Pour the last bit of caramel on top. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar and sea salt.
- Place the pie in the oven on the middle shelf with a baking tray positioned on the shelf underneath to catch any caramel spillages. Bake the pie for around 40 mins when the pastry is golden and the caramel is bubbling up. The apples should be just soft.
- Let the pie cool before carefully removing from the tin, then serve.