Here is a great family favourite and an excellent last-minute dessert from Grandma. Grandma would often bake a batch of apple pies ready for the week ahead, and I think we should all try this easy Gran's apple pie recipe.
Gran would use a mix of apples, from granny smiths to cooking apples, whatever is available. Plus using two types of apples give different textures to the pie, though I do sometimes just use Bramley apples for a more velvety-textured, a bit like an apple turnover. This pie is excellent hot or cold, served with cream or custard, or even on its own.
For the pastry:
- 125g cold butter cubed
- 250g plain flour
- 3 tbsp cold water
- zest of 1 lemon
- caster sugar and milk for the finish
For the apple filling:
- 1kg apples peeled, cored and sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350ºF or gas 4.
- I make the pastry by hand, but you can use a food processor.
- Start by sieving the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add a pinch of salt, and the finely grated lemon zest.
- Add the butter to the bowl.
- With cold, clean hands and using your fingertips work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the cold water a little at a time to the bowl and with a cold knife gently bring the mix together until it forms a soft dough.
- Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest.
- For the filling peel and core the apples, then cut them into slices.
- Add the apples to a pan with the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
- On a medium to low heat, cook the apples for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the plain flour, then allow to cool.
- When ready to make the pie dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour
- Take the pastry from the fridge, remove the clingfilm and divide into two.
- Roll out one half evenly to approximately ½cm thick, making sure it fits the pie plate.
- Carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll it carefully over a 20cm pie plate.
- Cover the plate with the pastry and top with apple mixture, brush milk on the edges.
- Roll out the second pastry ball for the lid, the same way as the first, and use the rolling pin to transport the pastry over the apples.
- Cut off the excess pastry using a knife.
- Then using your finger and thumb pinch and crimp the edges together.
- Brush the top of the pie with milk and dust with caster sugar.
- Bake in a hot oven for around 40 minutes, the top should be golden and firm to the touch.
- Serve a slice with double cream for tea.