Yes please: we’ll take an old fashioned apple pie every time
This week is British Pie Week (britishpieweek.co.uk) and we can’t let it pass without an honorary recipe to celebrate. Many of you probably feel you don’t need a recipe for a simple apple pie, as it’s probably the first thing you learned to cook, either at school, or at home with your mum. Everyone has a slightly different approach but this recipe is my new go-to and works a dream every time. You can’t beat the contrast between hot sweet-but-tart apple pie and cold double cream.
100g granulated sugar
1kg Bramley apples
1 tsp cornflour
plain flour, for dusting
650g batch of shortcrust pastry
a little beaten egg or a mixture of milk and vegetable oil, to glaze
a little granulated or caster sugar, for sprinkling
1 Measure 200ml cold water into a large saucepan and add the granulated sugar. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to as low as possible. Peel and core the apples, then chop into 2–3cm dice, dropping them into the hot sweetened water. Simmer gently, uncovered, for around 10 minutes or until the apples are soft but not collapsing.
2 Mix the cornflour to a paste with 1 teaspoon cold water and stir it through the apples, then simmer for another minute or so, until slightly thickened, stirring. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely – spreading the cooked apples out into a shallow dish will speed this up .
3 Once the apples are cold, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6, and place a heavy baking sheet in the oven to heat up. On a lightly floured work surface, cut the pastry into 2 pieces, making one piece slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece to a thickness of about 3mm and use it to line a deep pie plate (about 25cm in diameter) or a 23cm springform cake tin.
4 Transfer the cooked apples to the pastry case, levelling with a spoon. Brush the rim of the pastry with a little cold water. Roll out the other piece of pastry so it is slightly bigger than the top of the pie plate or tin and lay it over the filling, pressing down firmly onto the bottom piece of pastry to seal the edges. Trim the edges with a small sharp knife and then cut a couple of slits in the top of the pie to let the steam out. Brush all over with a little beaten egg and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.
5 Slide the pie onto the hot baking sheet and bake for 40–50 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot or cold.
* Recipe taken from Pie! by Genevieve Taylor (Absolute Press, £12.99)
Read more →