ye olde english apple pie (#4)
the ultimate in comfort food: a good olde english apple pie...
for the shortcrust pastry
- 350g flour
- 125g butter
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- half teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 60-120ml ice-cold water
for the filling
- a small knob of butter
- 3 large cooking apples
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (the richest, darkest you can buy)
- zest of half a lemon
- half teaspoon of whatever spices you feel like: cinammon, ginger, allspice, mace, or a mixture of the lot.
- preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- to make the pastry, rub butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. add sugar, salt and lemon rind, then using a knife gently stir in the water drop by drop to bind the dough together. don't knead it or you'll end up with boot leather instead of light crispy pastry!
- butter a deep pie dish of 20 cm diameter (for you continentals who don't own a proper pie dish: you can make a larger flat variation on this theme, but the deeper the better).
- divide your pastry in two and roll half of it out until it's about 6 mm thick. line the pie dish with the rolled out pastry. if it tears or breaks, just patch it up. put the pie dish and the remaining half of your pastry into the fridge while you peel your apples.
- cut the apples into segments. and fry them in the knob of butter with the sugar, lemon zest, spices and a tablespoon of water. simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender. remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- remove the pie dish and pastry from the fridge and fill into the pie dish. egg-wash the top edge (using the yolk mixed with milk), then roll out the other half of the dough just about as big as the top of your pie. drape the pastry over the pie and press on well around the edge. trim away any overhanging pastry with a sharp knife. egg-wash the top and make a couple of small incisions in the top crust. if you like you can add some decoration with the leftover pastry, that you should egg-wash to give it a nice glaze.
- bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.
- serve warm either just as it is or accompanied by proper custard, crème fraiche or some really good vanilla ice-cream.
alternatives: use up some of your frozen berries from last summer either on their own or 50-50 apples and berries.
source: an english girl just knows about apple pies...