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Apple Pie

Introduction & method

As American as apple pie? Well no, not really. In fact apple pie originated in England as early as 1390. Apples aren't native to North America and were brought by the first settlers. But we'll let it go - apple pie is a tasty dessert wherever it comes from. Except fast food joints.

Apple Pie Recipe

Make the Filling

Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg in a large zip-loc bag. Don't add tapioca yet. Peel and core the apples, then slice into 5mm (quarter inch) slices and halve or quarter them, depending on size. Add 1 kilo of apple to the bag and massage it with your fingers to get all the pieces coated. Leave to macerate at room temperature until the apples are reduced to two-thirds of their original volume. This might take 2-3 hours. Give the bag a squeeze every now and again to redistribute the liquid.
After macerating, pour the liquid off into a bowl, but keep it because you'll need it later. Add the tapioca starch to the fruit - if you can't get this, you can substitute cassava flour or cornflour. Shake the bag to mix it.

Make the Pastry

Make sure the butter is cold enough to cut into small chunks. Mix the chunks with the flour and rub it in with your fingertips to make a mixture like coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg and slowly add just enough water to make the dough come together as a ball. Wrap it in plastic film and leave it in a cool place to rest for 30 minutes.

Assemble the Pie

Grease the inside of a pie dish, about 23 cm (9 inch) diameter. Roll out slightly under half of the dough into a circle that's the same diameter as the dish - this will be the lid. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle that's about 3cm (an inch and a bit) more than the dish diameter and place it into the dish. An easy way to do this without breaking the pastry is to roll it over your rolling pin, position it over the dish and unroll the pastry into the dish. Press it down to the bottom. Spoon apple slices in to create a shallow dome. Pour over a few tablespoons of syrup. Moisten the rim of the pie base with water, place the lid on top and press to seal all round with your finger and thumb. Trim off excess pastry and loosely crimp the edge. Cut three slits in the middle to allow steam to escape. Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes

Bake the Pie

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 5. Beat together one egg and a splash of milk and paint the top of the pie all over. Bake the pie until the interior temperature is 90° C (195° F). For me this took 50 minutes - if the crust is browning too much, turn down the temperature a little and maybe loosely cover with foil. 

To Serve

Let the pie cool for a while, then serve with custard, ice cream or chantilly cream.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Apple Pie on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 1 kilo tart apples, Bramley or similar
 140 grams sugar (50/50 brown and white)
 1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
 half a tsp ground ginger
 quarter tsp ground nutmeg
 2 tsp tapioca starch
 350 grams plain white (all-purpose) flour
 225 grams unsalted butter
 50 grams caster (powdered) sugar
 1 egg


Beaten egg and some milk to glaze. A little water for the pastry.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Macerating/cooling time: 4 hours.
Cooking time: 75 minutes.
Total time: 5 hours 30 minutes.