Apple pie

There’s not much nicer than a good old-fashioned apple pie. It is just so versatile. Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee; add cream or custard and you have a wonderful sweet; or wrap it up and give it as a tasty gift to a friend – just wonderful!

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Wot u need

Pastry
300 g plain flour
150 g chilled marg/white fat/butter cubed (small)
80 g caster sugar
1 egg
10 mls chilled water (if required)

Filling
500g tinned apples
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Two tbsps sultanas (optional)

2 x 15cm (6 inch) disposable foil pie trays (shallow – I use Lakeland)

Wot u do
Rub the fat into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs – use fingertips or the K beater (around three mins low-medium) on your mixer – try and keep the pastry cold and avoid melting the fat – using a mixer helps this. Dissolve the sugar in the egg and add to the pastry. Mix for a few seconds till the pastry comes together. Add the water if required (give it a moment or two you’d be surprised how it will come together) but be very careful as dough should be fairly rough and solid. Rest in the fridge for 15-45 mins (I like over an hour – the dough is fairly stiff but is fantastic to work with.) Rested dough prevents the gluten forming and will stop your pastry shrinking when baked.

Roll your pastry into a thick sausage shape and cut into four equal parts. Roll out on  lightly floured surface to slightly bigger than the foil base size – I roll to 4mm thick. Do this twice. Place over the foil and pinch into the foil, trimming the sides. Chop the tinned apples to chunk sizes that suit you (around about 2cms square works) and split between pies. Add the sugar and optional ingredients (if using cinnamon mix through sugar first or you get a dark blob of cinnamon which tastes fine but looks awful.) Wet around the edges, and cover with the two remaining rolled dough pieces. Seal the edges with your thumb or a fork and trim the excess pastry (I keep a small amount of pastry to make an apple shape on top using a cutter – place this on top brushing with a little water first.) Chill for 10 mins in fridge.

Bake for 30-35 mins at 210 degrees c until brown. My experience says that you’ll need the full 30 mins and maybe even slightly longer. Dust with caster sugar.

Cool and slice. Keeps in the fridge for three days.

Top tip: Most folk cut air holes in the pastry – nonsense! Doing this makes the top sink. No holes gives a better looking pie.

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