Homely apple pie bursting with flavour with home grown apples, delicious pastry and a touch of cinnamon.
What better way to start Autumn than with a bit of apple picking and pie making? My Mother in Law has an apple tree in her garden, and so with the weather turning and Autumn approaching, it would have been rude not to take my little boy on such an Autumnal activity – he loved it! It’s perfectly fine to purchase supermarket apples to make an apple pie, although there’s nothing quite like being able to pick your own, cook and enjoy them!
Personally, I find that when picking your own apples, you get that perfect mix of sweet and sour for the ideal taste – for me anyway.
In fact, we picked a lot more apples than we actually needed, and decided to make up batches of apple pie filling and freeze them. I just popped each batch in a ziplock freezer bag, labelled them and now they’re ready to just defrost next time we want to make an apple pie or crumble. On the other hand, it can even be used as a topping for ice cream! Whatever the dessert, I’m happy to say that I now have plenty to keep us going for the foreseeable.
Having studied many other apple pie recipes before settling on my own version, I notice that a lot of people bake the base pastry first, however I have never needed to do that. By rolling a fairly thin base, place it on the middle shelf and using a slightly lower temp for longer, the base and top of my pie always come out perfectly even and as you can see from the photographs, it also keeps its shape when cut into. However, knowing that everyone’s work is different, whether dependant on Pie dishes or individual ovens etc, if you have any trouble with this, do consider partly baking the base pastry first. Of course, this recipe is how I make my best apple pie, for you, it may differ.
Here’s how I made my Apple Pie
- 10oz butter
- 20oz plain flour
- a small amount of water
- 8 medium sized apples (or equivalent amount)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- half a cup caster or granulated sugar (+ extra for sprinkling on the top at the end)
- Half a teaspoon cinnamon (Optional)
- Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
What you’ll need to make this Apple Pie
Food processor (not essential)
Leaf shaped cutter
Chopping Board & Knife
(preheat the oven to 180 degrees)
- Firstly, peel and chop all of the apples removing the core, and place the apple chunks in a mixing bowl. I chop mine to around 1 inch, but you can make them smaller if you’d prefer.
- Secondly, add lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg to the chopped apples, and mix with your hands.
- Now Add the sugar and mix with your hands.
- Place the butter in a wok/skillet and melt on a medium-high heat.
- Add the apples to the wok/skillet, stirring occasionally. Cook until the juices are released and the apples are softened to the texture you desire. I like my apple pie to have chunky apple pieces in so it only take a few minutes. If you like yours a little smoother, you can cook for longer.
- Next, add small amounts of cornflour at a time to thicken the juices, whilst ensuring that the you mix the cornflour until dissolved.
- Once the filling has reached the texture you desire, leave the wok/skillet to one side to cool to around room temperature whilst you make the pastry.
- Firstly, add the flour and butter to a food processor, and mix until combined.
- As the mixture is combining, add small amounts of water at a time to bind the mixture.
- Take the pastry out of the food processor and turn onto a work surface. You can add a small amount of flour to avoid sticking if you do not have a pastry board/greaseproof paper to work on.
- Take half of the pastry and use a rolling pin to flatten it out into a thin spread.
- Roll the flattened pastry up in the rolling pin to pick it up, and lay it over the top of the pie dish.
- Press the pastry into the base and sides of the pie dish, and roll your rolling pin over the top of the dish to break off the excess pastry, adding it to the other half of the pastry.
Putting the apple pie together
- Take your cooled apple filling and fill the dish, it should fill almost to the top.
- To create your pastry lattice top, flatten out the rest of the pastry with a rolling pin and cut into strips of around 1 inch width (or thinner if you prefer).
- Lay vertical strips across the top of the pie until the area is covered.
- Cut off the excess pastry from the sides of the dish and roll it out again with the rest of the pastry, cutting out some more strips.
- Next, peep back every other vertical pastry strip, and lay a horizontal strip across the top. Place the peeled back vertical strips back in place and do the same alternately. Repeat this until the whole pie is covered with horizontal and vertical strips, in an over-under pattern.
- Cut off the rest of the excess pastry from the sides, and roll out and flatten all of the leftover pastry.
- Take your leaf cutter and cut out leaf shapes of pastry, placing them all around the outside of the pie, and 3 in the centre as photographed.
- Brush the whole of the top of the pie with beaten egg using a pastry brush and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the pie on the middle shelf of a preheated oven and bake for around 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Finally, serve warm or cold with custard, cream or ice cream.
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If you liked this Autumn activity of apple picking pie making, you may also like to read my Autumn Bucket List 2020 for other ideas of fun things to do this Autumn.