Rāhui Recipes- Apples and Quinces pt 1

Part of series Rāhui Recipes and Apples and quinces

As we head into Autumn we are picking the last of our summer crops still- tomatoes, tomatillos and chillies. But also already harvesting autumn fruits- figs, apples, quince and pumpkins.

Fig harvest

Graeme loves to make apple juice! It is his "thing", mainly I think because it is an excuse to use the pressure cooker- his favourite kitchen toy. I hate the thing, preferring to slow cook. But it does produce great apple juice. And after the apple juice is made you end up with a mash of apple leftovers which can also be used. I turned them into a pie with poached quince.


Here's Graeme's apple juice recipe. You can change the spices to anything that takes your fancy, but the cinnamon and ginger mix is highly addictive.The good thing about this recipe is that there is no sugar or sweetener added.

Natural apple juice

Wash the apples and remove any bad spots. Core the apples and cut them up into chunks. Remove the stem and the blossom ends of the apple cores, and throw the chunks and the cores into the pot of your pressure cooker.

Add enough water to cover about half of the apples. We used about 2½ kilos of apples and 5 cups of water. Add a cinnamon or cassia scroll. We also add some sliced up ginger and maybe a star anise. Choose whatever spice suits you. The cinnamon adds a natural sweetness to the drink.

Close the lid and set your Pressure Cook on Normal for 7 minutes. Allow the valve to naturally release after cooking. Once cooking is done, strain the juice from your apples. You can do this using either a mesh strainer or a piece of muslin or cheesecloth. Let the juice drip into a bowl for at least an hour or so. Put the juice into bottles and store in the fridge

Strain the juice

Then what to do with the leftover mash? I used it in a pie. You will need to pull out any hard core bits and any pips.The rest of the apple in the mash (skin and all) is very soft and edible.

leftover apple mash

First make your pastry.

  • 2½ cups of standard flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup chilled butter cut into cubes
  • ½ cup ice cold water

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Tip it out onto a floured bench and sprinkle over half of the water. Mix with your hands, gently folding until it becomes dough. Adding more water as you need it. Don’t overwork it. Pop it into some clingfilm and put it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. This helps the dough hydrate and turns out a perfect crust. When ready, heat your oven to 200 celcius. Divide the pastry into 2 pieces- one a little larger than the other. Roll out the larger pastry and gently put it into a greased pie tin. Trim it around the edge of the tin

It doesn't matter if it is rough

Place the apple mash on the pastry base and spread it out to cover the base. The place pieces of poached quince (recipe to follow) neatly on top of the mashed apple.

Poached quince pieces placed on top of mashed apple on side in a pie in preparation

Close-up of poached quince pieces on top of a pie in preparation

Roll out your second piece of pastry dough and gently pop it on top of the pie. Trim the edges, pressing down gently. Using a sharp knife, carve a cross into the centre of the pastry lid.

Crimp the edges

Bake it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream

Apple and quince pie with vanilla ice cream