Apple Pie

26/09/2012 14:18

An old favourite made with Bramley apples. Bramley apples are a traditional English cooking apple. Can't find bramleys, then you can use apples of your choice for the pie.

Serves 6-8  

350g / 12oz plain flour
pinch salt
85g / 3oz margarine
85g / 3oz lard
1-3 tbsp cold water
milk for glazing

750g / 1lb 10 oz cooking apples- Bramley, peeled, cored and sliced
125g /4 1/2oz soft light brown sugar
caster sugar for sprinkling
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon
25g / 1oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp plain flour
  1 tsp Apple pie Spice

Makes about 4-5 Tsp
1 tsp whole or ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

This spice blend is a perfect flavour combination for those fabulous apple pies!  Some cooks may prefer to leave the cloves whole. Mix all the spices together and store in a airtight container. Use in stewed fruits and fruit pies filled with - plums, pears or rhubarb.

To make the Pastry
Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt. Make sure the fats are at room temperature. Cut them into the bowl in small pieces, then rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips. As you do this, keep lifting your hands high above the bowl to aerate the flour. Continue until the fat and flour are combined and look like fine breadcrumbs. Now mix to a stiff dough with just enough cold water, stir in with a round-bladed knife until the mixture begins to stick together. Then gather the dough together with your fingertips until you have a ball which leaves a clean bowl. Knead the dough very lightly on a lightly floured board until it is firm and smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.

Thinly roll out almost two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Use to line a deep 23cm / 9-inch pie plate.  

For the Filling
Sprinkle the tablespoon of flour over the apples in a bowl and toss, then mix in the sugar and spice mix, lemon zest and the juice. Tip the apples into the pastry case and dot with butter.

Roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid. As the pastry is quite short and delicate, its best to wrap it around the rolling pin to lift it up. Dampen the edges of the pie rim with water and pop on the lid, pressing the edges firmly together. Trim and crimp the edges. Use the pastry trimming to cut out leaves or other shapes to decorate the top of the pie, dampen to  attach them to the pie top. Make 2–3 slashes into the top of the pastry lid, to allow the steam to escape. Brush the top of pie with a little milk to glaze and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Place the pie onto a baking tray and pop into the oven. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and continue to bake for further 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown.

Serve the pie hot or cold. Delicious served with custard or a scoop of vanill ice cream

D. Moss