When we bought our house we were so lucky to have an apple and pear tree in the garden. We learned from our neighbours that the area used to be an orchid many years ago. This would explain why most of the houses down our street have old fruit trees in their gardens. From the size of the trees, you can see that they have been there for a very long time. I tend to make apple pies during the autumn when our apples are in season, and sometimes I will add pears as we always have a glut of fruit each year. As you can buy very nice apples all year round from the supermarket I will also make this recipe a few times during the year.
I like to make everything from scratch when cooking or baking and it includes the pastry for my apple pie. I came across a brilliant puff pastry recipe from food52 as there is much less work involved with making the pastry, and the results are amazing considering how quick it is to make. Don’t throw the offcuts away as you can make puff pastry sticks afterwards as a nice snack for the kids.
Making the filling is also a doddle as you chop up all the apples and bung them in the oven to cook and evaporate any excess juice, so you don’t have to add any extra flour to prevent a soggy bottom. Our recipe is a guide and made accordingly to the sweetness and tartness of our apples. Since you cook the apples first before adding to the pie you can sugar and lemon the apples to your liking.
At some point in the future, I will be experimenting to make a gluten-free version of this pie. In the meantime enjoy.
Easy Apple Pie
There are nothing but smiles when I make this apple pie. The pie crust if buttery and flaky, the filling is not overly sweet nor tart. As the apples are first baked in the oven there is no need to add extra flour to absorb apple juices and prevent a soggy bottom.
- 250 g Unsalted Butter
- 250 g Plain Flour
- 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 120 ml Water (Chill water before use)
Apple Pie Filling
- 12 Apples (Pink lady or gala apples work really well)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 15 g Butter
- 4 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Making the Pie
- Flour for dusting your counter
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
Making the pastry
- Measure your cold water and store in the fridge as it’s really important to ensure that the water is as cold as possible.
- Sift the flour, salt and sugar in to a bowl.
- Cut the butter into cubes that are roughly 1×1 centimetres cubed, then add to the flour.
- Using the tips of your fingers, pinch each cube of butter with the flour. Do this until you have pinched each cube flat. If the butter is becoming soft and starting to melt, place the mixing bowl into the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up the butter.
- Pour all the cold water over the squashed butter and flour and begin to squash everything together. Try to do this with the tips of your fingers as we want to keep the butter as cool as possible.
- Once the everything starts to come together, turn the bowl out to a floured surface and bring everything together till it holds. Remember not to kneed the dough like bread as this will over work the gluten.
- Flour the work surface again and use a rolling pin to make a 25×35 cm rectangle. Use enough flour to make sure that nothing sticks to the counter or rolling pin.
- With the long edge of the dough going across the counter, grab each side and fold it so the edges meet in the middle. Then fold the left edge so it meets the other edge, kind of like closing a book.
- Cut the dough in half with a knife and wrap each of the blocks with cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour. This allows the butter to firm up again, and allows the gluten to relax.
Apple Pie Filling
- Pre heat oven to 180 C (355 F)
- Peel and core all of the apples. Then slice so they are about 1 cm thick. Don’t worry if they are not exactly 1 cm thick as long as they are roughly uniform in thickness so they cook at the same rate.
- Add the apples to a roasting tray and mix in with the olive oil to help with the browning.
- Roast the apples for about 50 minutes, but check in on them every 15-20 minutes so you can turn them so they brown evenly.
- Once the apples feel that they are nicely cooked, you can take them out of the oven and add the sugar, lemon, cinnamon and butter. You can adjust the amount of sugar, lemon, and cinnamon depending on how sweet and tart the apples are.
- Allow the filling to cool completely before using in the pie.
Making the Pie
- Get a 9-inch pie dish and apply butter to the inside to prevent the dough from sticking and set to one side.
- Get one of your pre-chilled blocks of pasty from the fridge and place it on to a floured worktop and roll it out so it is about 5 cm wider than your pie dish.
- Gently transfer the rolled pie base on to the pie dish and carefully push the dough into all of the corners so the dough is in contact with all parts of the pie dish.
- Take the cooled filling and add it to the pie. Make sure that the filling is spread nice and evenly across the base, but make sure that you do not poke any holes in the base.
- Roll out the second half of the pastry block so it is big enough to cover the pie with a 2-3 cm overlap.
- Before adding the lid to the pie, make sure to brush the edges of the pie with a beaten egg as this will ensure that the lid is sealed properly.
- Gently transfer the pastry lid on to the pie and crimp the edges to form a nice seal.
- Cut a hole in the middle of the pie to allow the excess steam to escape while the pie is cooking.
- Brush the top of the pie with more of the egg wash and then sprinkle some caster sugar on top.
- You can then proceed to bake the pie straight away, but ideally, you will allow the pie to chill in the fridge for 1 hour to allow the gluten to relax and prevent any shrinkage, this also ensures the butter is really cold to allow for a flaky rise in the oven.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (190C) and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once cooked let the pie rest for 10 minutes before eating.