Rustic date and apple pastry

By Darren McGrady
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A pastry fit for the Queen (and you). 

SERVES
6
 TO
8
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup lard or solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the filling:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6-8), peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 chopped walnuts
  • 8 large Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar

For garnish:

  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. In a large bowl rub the butter and lard/shortening into the flour, sugar and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water and vinegar and mix until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the apples and sauté until they start to soften- about ten minutes. Add the cardmom and cinnamon and 1/3 cup of the honey, stir in and cook one minute. Take it off the stove and allow to cool to lukewarm.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to about 30 centimeter round and place on a baking sheet. Spoon half of the apple mixture over crust, leaving five centimeter plain border. Sprinkle dates and nuts over the apples. Top with remaining apple mixture. Fold outer edge of crust over apples (dough is delicate; press together any tears). Whisk egg and milk in bowl. Brush edges generously with egg mixture. Sprinkle the crust with the demerara sugar.
  4. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool for about 45 minutes. Whip the cream with the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until stiff and serve with the pastry.

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