A simple apple pie is such a joy! This recipe, which I have been using for many years, is adapted from Mary Berry’s Step-by-Step Desserts & Confections. This is a fantastic cookbook and I can highly recommend it. I haven’t watched her latest tv series, but i’m sure that’s fabulous too.
Mary Berry’s Old English Apple Pie recipe includes the option of adding cheese slices to the top of the pie once it is cooked. I am yet to try this. Apparently serving apple pie with cheese isn’t just an English quirk; it is also a regional specialty in parts of the USA (see this article).
If you add cheese to your apple pie I would like to know more – please comment below!!
300g (10oz) plain flour
1 tsp salt
200g salted butter
3-4 tbsp cold water (or cream)
6 medium sized Granny Smith apples
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cornflour (or almond meal)
100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar
Extra butter and almond meal for the pie dish
Extra melted butter and caster sugar for the top
Preheat the oven to 200C.
To prepare the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Remove the butter from the fridge and grate it, in batches, using a box grater (or similar). Place the grated butter in the bowl with the flour and quickly rub in using fingertips only so that the butter doesn’t melt.
Add just enough water (or cream if you have it) to make a dough; mix it through with a knife so that the butter doesn’t melt. Form the dough into a plate-sized disc, wrap in cling film, and place it in the fridge.
Peel, core, and slice the apples. Toss with the lemon juice, cornflour (or almond meal), and sugar in a bowl. Generously grease the base of a pie dish with butter. Sprinkle over some almond meal; set aside.
Remove the pastry from the fridge. Divide into two portions and place one portion back in the fridge while you roll the other. I find it easiest to roll the pastry between two pieces of baking paper and I don’t add any extra flour. Line the base of the pie dish with the pastry. Don’t trim the pastry at this stage. Place the pie dish in the fridge while you roll the other piece of pastry.
When the top is rolled out, remove the lined pie dish from the fridge and fill with the apples.
Place the pastry on top and then trim the edges to the same shape as a dish but with a little overhang. Crimp the edges and make a few steam vents in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife. Any leftover pastry can be used to make decorative pieces for the top.
Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in the oven for approx 40 minutes at 200C.
Serve with crème anglaise/custard, cream, or ice cream.
NOTE: The pastry may be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge.