Deep Dish Spiced Apple Pie

Whether you serve it with ice cream, custard, double cream or even American cheddar - you can't deny that apple pie is a classic. It's a comforting warm dessert that conjures all sorts of romantic notions of sitting by the fireplace, rugged up in your warm woolies, indulging in a giant slice of crumbly pastry and spiced sweet apples.....

Each country has their own version of apple pie whether it be the tarte tartin (France), a latice style pie (Dutch), a crumble topping (Sweden) or a good classic top and bottom pastry pie (USA & UK).

Original recipes, found in the 1380's, of any sort of sweet pie actually contained a rather inedible bland pastry. It was merely a casing called a 'cofyn' to hold the internals of the pie. Although sugar was available during this time, it was an expensive ingredient and not commonplace until mid 16th century when the apple pie in it's entirety could be consumed.

Depending on apples types and size of your pie will depend on cooking time. Some recipes call for a blind bake approach but you can throw everything in at the one time and allow your oven to do the magic.

The Recipe

Makes a 22cm deep dish round pie which will serve 6-8 people, depending on the slice size.

The Ingredients - Pastry

500g plain unbleached flour

140g icing sugar

zest of 1 lemon

270g cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes

2 medium egg yolks

3-4 tblsp cold water

pinch of sea salt

The Method - Pastry

Put the flour, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt into a large bowl.

Rub in the cold butter until it becomes a fine bread crumb consistency

Add in egg yolks and combine through the flour mixture

Slowly add cold water and mix until dough is combined and pliable

Shape into a flat disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before using.

If you have a mixer at home you can make this pastry quite easily with a paddle attachment. I personally like to use my hands because nothing beats the feeling of flour and butter in between my fingers!

The Ingredients - Filling

1kg green apples

1 tblsp lemon juice

150g brown sugar

2g/1.5 tsp ground cloves

4g/1tsp ground cinnamon

60g plain unbleached flour

egg, lightly beaten for brushing the the pastry

The Method

Pre heat oven to 180'C

While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, brush a 22cm pie dish or cake ban with butter and lightly dust with flour. Turn out the cake pan to get rid of the excess flour and place the pan into the fridge until the pastry is ready.

Core and peel the apples, slice to about 5mm thick and place in a mixing bowl

Throw the rest of the ingredients in with the apples (except the egg!!) and mix until combined. Set aside

When the pastry is chilled, cut off about three quarters and roll out onto a floured surface. Roll pastry to about 8mm thick and large enough to line the base and sides of the tin with a little excess. Press firmly into the tin. If a bit falls off, it's ok.. do a bit of a patchwork job. Leave a little bit of excess pastry as overhang on the edges.

Fill the pastry case with the apple mix

Roll the last quarter of the pastry to top of the pie, again at about 8mm thick on a floured surface and place on top to cover the pie. Trim off the excess pastry

Tuck the top layer of pstry under the bottom layer to create a nice clean lip on the rim of the pie tin. Crimp the top edges of the pie with index finger and thumb or you can use a fork.

Poke a few holes in the top of the pie to let out excess steam from the apples when they are cooking in the oven.

Bake for about 20minutes and then brush the top of the pie with egg wash. Cook for another 10-20 minutes until the apples inside are tender and the pastry is nice and golden.

Allow the pie to cool slightly before cutting into generous wedges and topping it with double cream or a good vanilla bean ice cream.

A wonderous winter warmer... Enjoy!

And you can check out the video here