An apple pie is one of the most comforting, homely puddings you can ever make, and this is my all-time favourite recipe, adapted from my Hungry Student Baking book.
If you’re not confident making pastry from scratch, this is a great recipe to start with. It’s pretty much foolproof and produces a delicious, rich, buttery pastry. It’s slightly sweet and enriched with egg yolks, which is exactly how I like sweet shortcrust pastry. I hope this recipe will also convert you to making pastry at home, rather than using shop-bought. The difference is astonishing.
This pie is easy and quick to make, as homemade pies go, and it also uses readily-available ingredients – all of which I will generally keep in the kitchen – so this is a lovely last-minute dessert to make to follow a Sunday roast. It’ll really impress your family or guests.
Feel free to add more spice or dried fruit to the mix. Cloves and sultanas all work very well here. You could also use half Bramley apples and half eating apples, such as Cox, Braeburn or Jazz, which would produce a softer texture and taste a little sharper.
Copyright Charlotte Pike
Tip: I use eating apples in my pies, but feel free to use baking apples, such as Bramley apples. Just add an extra 25g/ ¼ cup sugar
For the pastry
- 300g/2 ½ cups plain flour
- 150g/2/3 cup butter, cubed and chilled
- 4 tsp caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 8 tsp ice cold water
For the apple filing
- 650g eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
- 70g/generous 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp caster sugar for sprinkling
- Place the apple slices into a saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon and water and cook for 10 minutes. The apples should have softened a little during this time.Set aside to cool.
- If you are making pastry, start with this first. If not, skip to stage 9
- Place the flour and butter into a bowl. Rub together lightly using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Add the sugar and egg yolk and stir into the butter and flour
- Finally, add the cold water, a little at a time. Take a table knife and use this to stir the mixture to mix the water in.
- Once the water has been added, bring the pastry together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chilli in the fridge for 20 minutes
- Whilst the pastry is chilling, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Grease a 24cm pie dish, or a 20cm/ 8” round spring form tin well and set aside
- When the pastry is chilled, take two large sheets of clingfilm, place half the ball of pastry between the two sheets and roll out to be thin enough to fit the tin – ¼-½ cm thickness is generally about right.
- Fit the pastry to the tin and press into the edges and round the sides. If you are using the springform tin, build the pastry up to 5 cm up the sides of the tin and cut around the edges neatly. If you have any thin patches, just press any excess pastry over them to cover them up. If you are using the pie dish, leave 1-2cm excess pastry around the rim.
- Fill the pastry case with the apple mixture.
- Roll out the second half of the pastry as you did the first half. Place the pastry on top of the pie and cut around the edge of the dish using a knife.
- Dampen down the edges of both pieces of pastry with water. To do this, take a little cold water in a glass. Dip your finger in the water and then dab it onto the edges of the pastry to moisten. Then, take a fork, and press down around the rim of the pie to seal the pastry.
- Brush the pie with the beaten egg to glaze, and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Make a couple of cuts in the centre of the pie using a sharp knife
- Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with cream, custard or ice cream