After being stuck in the house for the best part of a week thanks to the recent snow falls, we were feeling rather sorry for ourselves yesterday. So while himself and the two kids put up the Christmas decorations, I hid in the kitchen and set about doing a bit of baking.
We wanted some plain, old fashioned comfort food and this apple pie* was just what we needed and it definitely hit the spot!
What you need:
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
60g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter (chilled)
3 tbsp ice-cold water
For the filling:
4 large bramley or other cooking apples (about 900g)
3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp water
Deep pie dish, about 1 litre (the dish I used was 1.6litre)
In a food processor, put the flour, salt and sugar and pulse until combined. Add the diced butter and process for about a minute or just until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. With the machine running, pour in the ice-cold water, the dough should come together within a minute. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes while preparing the fruit.
Heat the oven to 200ºc.
Peel, core and thickly slice the apples and put them into a mixing bowl. Toss gently with the cinnamon and sugar then pile into the pie dish (mound it well in the centre so that it will support the pastry) and spoon over the water.
Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a circle (assuming your pie dish is circluar!) about 7cm larger all round than the dish. Cut off a strip of pastry about 1cm wide and long enough to fit around the rim of the dish. Dampen the rim of the dish and press the pastry strip on to it. Dampen the pastry rim. Roll the pastry around your rolling pin and lift it over the dish, then gently lay the pastry over the dish so it completely covers the pie.
Press the dough onto the pastry rim to seal the lid to the dish. Trim off the excess dough (you can make decorations with the left over pastry – like my lovely leaves!) stick any decorations to the top of the pastry with water and cut a couple of steam holes. Brush a little egg wash over the pastry.
Bake in the heated oven for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp – you may want to place the dish on a baking tray as my pie did “leak” a little onto the bottom of my oven..
* The recipe is adapted from the Apple & Bramble pie recipe in The Great British Book of Baking.