- List Of Ingredients
- 350g (12oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 175g (6oz) hard block margarine, plus extra for greasing
- about 6 tbsp cold water
- 1kg (21⁄4lb) dessert or cooking apples
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 85g (3oz) sugar, plus 1 tbsp to glaze
- 11⁄2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp milk, to glaze
- Special equipment
- A 23cm (9in) pie tin and a baking sheet
- per serving
- Calories: 546
- Saturated fat: 11g
- Unsaturated fat: 13g
- Sodium: 241mg
- Serves 6
- Prep 45 mins, plus 30 mins chilling
- Cook 40–50 mins
Sweetness: Use only the amount of sugar specified and serve extra at the table if necessary, particularly if you’ve used cooking apples, which are less sweet than dessert apples. Sugar draws out the juice from fruit, and if there is too much, it may overflow during baking and stick to the bottom of your oven.
Prepare ahead: You can keep the pastry, wrapped in cling film, for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Make and roll out the shortcrust pastry: Prep 15 mins, plus 30 mins chilling
1. Place 350g (12oz) plain flour in a bowl. Cut 175g (6oz) hard block margarine into cubes; add to the flour.
2. Using your fingertips, rub the fat and flour together until you have incorporated all the flour.
3. Continue rubbing in, occasionally shaking the bowl to bring any large pieces of fat to the surface.
4. When all the fat has been rubbed in fully, the mixture will look like fine breadcrumbs.
5. Add about 6 tablespoons cold water, a spoonful at a time. Mix with a knife between each spoonful.
6. Enough water has been added when the mixture just begins to hold together in a soft mass.
7. Gently gather the pastry together against the side of the bowl and turn it out onto the work surface.
8. Gently shape the pastry and pat it into a rough ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
9. Remove half the pastry from the cling film. Re-wrap the pastry that you’re not using immediately in cling film so it doesn’t dry out.
10. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Flatten the pastry. Working from the centre out, roll out the pastry into a circle, about 35cm (14in) across. Between each rolling, turn the pastry a quarter turn and dust the rolling pin with flour if sticky. Don’t stretch the pastry or turn it over.
Line the pie tin: Prep 5 mins
1. With floured hands, fold the pastry in half, then in half again, to resemble a fan shape. Place it in the tin with the point in the centre. This will help minimize stretching. Do not grease the tin before putting in the pastry; it is unnecessary and can cause the pastry to stick.
2. Unfold the pastry and ease it into the tin without stretching or pulling. Do not worry about the pastry hanging over the edge, because this will be trimmed later.
Make the filling: Prep 10 mins
1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 220°C (fan 200°C/425°F/Gas 7). Peel, core, and slice the apples (see p210). Toss in lemon juice, then sugar and cornflour. Sprinkling the apple slices with lemon juice helps prevent them browning and adds flavour to the pie.
2. Turn the apples into the lined tin, then use a fork to distribute the slices, heaping them up towards the centre. Brush the rim of the pastry with a little milk.
Finish the pie: Prep 15 mins, cook 40–50 mins
1. Unwrap the remaining piece of pastry, and as before roll it out, fold it into a fan shape and cover the pie.
2. Press down the edges. Trim the excess. Holding a knife horizontally, tap all around the cut edge of the pie. Making shallow cuts around the edge helps to form a good seal.
3. Crimp the edge. Brush the top with milk. Cut a 1cm (1⁄2in) steam hole in the centre. A steam hole allows steam to escape, keeping the pastry crispy.
4. Re-roll the trimmings, cut out decorative shapes, and arrange on top of the pie, leaving the steam hole clear. Brush the shapes with milk and sift sugar over the pie.
5. Put the pie on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/Gas 4) and bake for 30–35 minutes. The pastry should be pale golden and the filling soft when pierced with a knife.