Original recipe of the week: The year of the apple pie
Apple pie is possibly the most British dessert you can find so it is very apt to consider it to be the year of the apple pie. With all things British blooming as we speak, such as the Olympics and the Queen’s jubilee, you should practice your apple pie to make sure you’re on top form…or just use my fail-safe recipe. A traditional apple pie dates back as far as Chaucer, using Bramley apples and even the double-crust method to keep things nice and juicy. I’ve used a puff pastry and sugar to sweeten; traditional recipes didn’t use sugar but sometimes your apples really need a little pick-me-up. Either invest in some ready rolled pastry for ease, or use my pastry recipe if you are feeling daring. An apple pie is a fruit pie, so if you’re not a fan of apple just substitute for any kind of fruit you fancy…cherry and almond can also be pretty tasty.
You will need:
300g unsalted butter, cold but not solid
1tsp salt flakes
100g caster sugar
A little water to bring together, if needed
Juice of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 185c. Place the flour and 50g of butter in a bowl and bring together between your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the water and bring together into a dough and turn out on to a floured surface.
- Cross the top of the dough and roll it out to resemble a slightly cross-shaped rectangle.
- Place the rest of the butter in a food bag and hit it with a rolling pin until it becomes pliable, but not turned to mush and then shape into a square.
- Remove from the food bag and place in the centre of your rolled-out dough.
- Fold the dough over the butter and roll lightly to seal the edges.
- Turn the dough over and fold into thirds (like a letter), then roll to seal.
- Turn the dough to the side, fold again and roll. Repeat this one more time.
- Place the dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes and then repeat this folding and rolling action 3 more times.
- Now you have repeated the rolling, you can roll to fill your pie dish.
- Grease a pie dish (spring form is easier) and roll your dough to about ½ an inch and place inside then trim roughly.
- Now it’s time for the apples…
You will need:
5-6 Bramley apples; peeled, cored and sliced thinly
100g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp Calvados
Juice and rind of one lemon
1 egg yolk
1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and make sure the apples are fully covered.
2. Place the apple filling inside the pastry and roll out a circular piece to top the pie with.
3. Place the lid of pastry on and seal the sides with a fork.
4. Place the pie in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes. When ready, remove and pierce a hole in the centre of your pie to allow the steam to release while cooking, then glaze with an egg yolk.
5. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Simply serve a nice big slice with a dollop of ice cream or double cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle with cinnamon or add cinnamon ice cream for an extra wow factor.