It’s been just over ten years since the first Bourke Street Bakery opened in Surry Hills, and their Sydney empire has grown to include 11 stores sprinkled sweetly across the city. Paul and David have built their cafe kingdom from the ground up, with a focus on seriously high-quality ingredients and artisan technique that has brought them the success with which they bake today. Their hand-made philosophy translates sincerely into their newest cookbook, All Things Sweet, which pays homage to their love affair with tarts, pies, cakes, and as the title suggests, all things sweet.
For the colder days, the sheer aroma of these Apple and Rhubarb pies can consume any kitchen with culinary hope. The sweet familiarity of apple pie is not only improved by the tart, but with the oh-so-scrumptious addition of rhubarb, it’s a combination sent by the gods! Follow the recipe and you’ll find yourself picking endlessly at the perfectly buttery pie crust, as though you were 8 years old again. Sprinkle some sugar atop the pies before baking for an added crunch.
Apple rhubarb pies
We love rhubarb. As a schoolboy, Paul was a keen gardener and had a rhubarb plant that amazingly returned a crop year after year. We’ve heard that some rhubarb plants can produce for as long as 20 years!
These mini apple pies are little bite-sized bits of Americana, with a Bourke Street Bakery rhubarb twist. We use granny smith apples, as their texture holds up well during baking, but you can experiment with other naturally sweeter apples if you like.
The golden, buttery pie crust melts in your mouth when heated up and served with a scoop of ice cream.
Makes 12 pies, 8 cm (31/4 inches) in size
1 quantity Sweet shortcrust pastry (see page 134)
480 g (1 lb 1 oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces
35 g (11/4 oz) unsalted butter
25 g (1 oz) soft brown sugar
2 large granny smith apples, 300 g (101/2 oz) in total, peeled and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) dice
1 quantity Egg wash (see page 231)
Follow the instructions below to roll out the pastry and use it to line twelve 8 cm (31/4 inch) round, fluted loose-based tart tins. Cut out twelve circles with a 9 cm (31/2 inch) diameter to use as the lids. Rest the pastry cases and lids in the fridge for 20 minutes; these ones do not need to be blind-baked.
To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, butter and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 8–10 minutes, or until the rhubarb has broken down completely and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the apple and continue cooking for 5–6 minutes, or until the apple is slightly soft. Set aside to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Spoon 21/2 tablespoons of the fruit mixture into each pastry shell, piling it slightly higher than the top of the shell.
To attach the lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and the lid with a little egg wash and lay the lid over the base. With your thumb and index finger, gently squeeze the top and bottom pastry edges together to make a good seal. Brush the pie tops with egg wash and make a small hole in the middle of each to allow steam to escape.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is deeply golden.
Your baked pies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day, or you can freeze the unbaked pies for up to 1 month.