Apple Pie

Posted on September 28, 2011


My Grandma’s apple pie was always my favourite.

The crust was almost like shortbread. Soft, but not soggy.

The pastry was sprinkled with sugar, yet not too sweet.

In the last 20 odd years I have tried to find something to compare, but the pastry has always been too heavy, the apples too hard or without enough tang.

The planets must have been aligned in my favour this week as this is just how I remember Grandma’s used to be. Although, if the boy had not continually prompted me to make it this might have been a ‘less impressive but twice as quick’ crumble rather than a pie.

I used big fat blushing Bramley cooking apples, donated by a friend, and my sweet pastry recipe.

Pie Pastry – this is more than enough for one pie.

  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 100g SR Flour – you can use all Plain Flour if you prefer
  • 50g Icing Sugar
  • 175g Fat – Mainly butter but with a spoonful of lard to shorten it
  • 1 egg whisked with a dash of milk (you may not need all of it)


  • Mix the flours and icing sugar then lightly rub in the butter and lard (A food processor does this brilliantly)
  • Add most of the milk/egg mixture and stir with a knife until it starts to come together.
  • Pull the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate whilst you prepare the apples.

Preparing Apples

  • Peel 4-5 large Bramley Cooking Apples, cut then into 8 segments then cut out the cores.
  • Put them in a pan with a few tablespoons of water and heat up with a lid on.
  • Check every few minutes and occasionally stir them around.
  • All of a sudden they will puff up and become soft, at this point take them off the heat and stir in a good amount of sugar. I can’t be more specific than that as it depends on your sweet tooth and how tart the apples are. I think I added a good cup of golden caster sugar.
  • You can add cinnamon too if you like.

{Claire’s Tip: Don’t worry if some of your apple slices are chunky and some more like slices. This is what gives you chunks of soft apple in the pie as well as a nice soft base. I don’t like to use a ‘corer’ as I hate that stringy bit of apple core that you bite into when you use them.}

Assembling the Pie

  • Roll out half the pastry to perhaps 4mm thick and line a non stick pie pan (I use a Mermaid)
  • Prick it with a knife, then lay in a circle of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.
  • Bake in a hot oven (200) for 10 minutes.
  • Lift out the paper and beans and cook off for 3 minutes more.
  • Spoon in the apples.
  • Roll out most of the rest of the pastry and lay on top, sealing with a little milk.
  • Cut out some shapes with the left over pastry and stick them on with milk.
  • Brush the pie all over with milk and sprinkle with plenty of sugar.
  • I think the milk and sugar is what makes the crust ‘perfect’.
  • Bake at around 180 degrees until golden (about 20 minutes)
  • Sprinkle with a little more sugar when it comes out of the oven
Eat with cream, custard or as we just did…with a slice of cheese.