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Friday, 25 September 2015

Autumn Baking: The Perfect Apple Pie

When I say 'perfect', I mean in the taste department...because this apple pie is a little rustic in appearance due to the fact that I like to keep the apples chunky. You can of course choose to cut them up smaller but as they cook they will turn into more of a mush, whereas I prefer a little bit of bite left in them. If you ask me, homemade apple pie and custard is the perfect Autumn/ Winter dessert.

I've recently been given lots of Bramley apples from friends of my parents who have apple trees in their gardens and I have of course been making good use of them. I asked my husband what he wanted me to do with the most recent ones and he requested a pie, which I hadn't done in a long time.

For the pastry, you will need:
225g butter
50g caster sugar (plus a little extra for the top)
2 eggs plus an egg white for glazing
350g plain flour

For the filling, you will need:
Bramley apples (I used approx 1kg before peeling/ chopping)
140g caster sugar
cinnamon (optional)
3 tbsp plain flour

I started by peeling, coring and chopping my apples into reasonably chunky pieces, but chop them to your preferences. Cover them up with kitchen towel/ whatever you have handy and put them to one side.

For the pastry, I beat together the butter and sugar until just mixed (I used an electric mixer). Then I broke in 2 eggs and mixed. After that, I added my flour a bit at a time, mixing it in until mostly combined, then finished off bringing everything together with my hands (the messy part!). I wrapped the pastry in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for around an hour. This makes it much easier to roll out later.

Once it was in the fridge, I mixed together the sugar, flour and cinnamon for the filling. Cinnamon is optional but personally I love it in anything with apples in. I used around a teaspoon because I particularly like cinnamon but you could go for a half teaspoon if you just want a hint of it.

Once the pastry was well chilled, I rolled out about two thirds of it for the base. I used a cake tin (the kind you'd use for making a sandwich cake) but you could use a pie dish if you have one. I find that the cake tin, however, is a little better for a deep filled pie. I rolled it into a circular shape, placed it into the tin and pressed the edges outwards, making sure it was well moulded to the shape of the tin. I then mixed the dry ingredients for the filling with the apples and piled them into the pastry case.

I rolled out the remaining third of the pastry into another circle then dampened the edge of the pie and popped the lid on. I like to press the edges down with a fork just to make sure it is well sealed. The final step for a nice crispy top is to take a lightly whisked egg white and brush it over the top, followed by a sprinkling of caster sugar.

I then baked it for around 45 minutes on gas mark 5 and there you have it! I like to serve mine with custard because I am a custard fiend! haha.

Em x