How to Make the Perfect Country Apple Pie

At this time of year there are apples everywhere you look. Roadside stalls groan under the weight of the fruit and the prices are simply silly. The area where I live has acres and acres of apple trees so it almost seems pointless growing them in your own garden, although I have to admit that I do have a small apple tree and there is an enormous basket of fruit waiting for cooking. There is something really pleasing about picking your own.

I bought 2 bags of apples from a stall along the road while out walking – I know, I know – I have apples, but these looked divine. One bag held the classic Bramley, the other bag had apples that were slightly pink fleshed – I think Albert Etter type – but not sure – my pie filling is a lovely colour.

Here is my recipe which in my mind is absolutely perfection. I don’t add any sugar to the pie filling – so the finished result is very homely and tart.

Country Apple Pie

The Filling 

Preparing the fruit for my apple pie means cooking it first. Bramley’s have a tendency to foam to nothing if cooked for too long, while the other apples were a mystery, but they were extraordinarily pink inside – probably really an eating apple

  • You will need no more than 1.8kg of fresh apples, although the quantity you use will vary because of the core size, water content and so on.
  • Peel, core and cut into large chunks.
  • Steam the apples gently for about 10 minutes or until a fork just goes through them – I use a double steamer and do a small amount of fruit at a time else the fruit at the bottom dissolves while the fruit on the top is still firm.
  • Set aside to cool while you make the pastry.

Biscuit Pastry 

This recipe is derived from a family recipe. It is a soft, fall apart type of pastry that is light and a little bit spongy – almost cake like.

Ingredients 
240 g Flour
100 g Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
100 g Butter, chilled and cut into chunks
2 Eggs

  • Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have small flakes.
  • Lightly beat the 2 eggs in a separate bowl and add to the mixture, mixing quickly and smoothly working the dough gently until it is smooth and even. It should be fairly soft and light. Do not over knead. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before using.

Making The Pie

  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll out gently until about 4 – 5 mm thick. Don’t worry if it breaks, you can patch it easily.
  • Grease a deep pie dish 200 mm (8″) wide and about 40 mm (1 1/2″) deep with butter. Cover the dish almost entirely with the pastry, patching any breaks and holes – the pastry will want to fall apart. .
  • Poke some holes, with a fork, in the base of the pastry and bake at 220 deg C  for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 deg C.
  • Let the base rest for a few minutes before adding the filling. Cover the top of the pie with the remaining pastry and then stab with a fork until you have a rough chunky appearance. Crimp the edges of the pie.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until browned. Cover the pie with tin foil, turn the oven down to 170 deg C and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Let it cool slightly before serving with ice-cream or cream, or both! Enjoy.

 

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