Apple pie is the perfect autumnal pudding in my opinion. It’s usually during this time of year that people with apple trees realise they had too good a harvest and can’t find anything else to make with their bounty of apples and I’m always there opened arms ready to take any excess they might have.
On this occasion I used apples that I received in a vegetable box and teamed them up with some plums that had been left in the fruit bowl. The result was a satisfying pie with sweetness and spice.
It may surprise you that I don’t use a sweet pastry when making an apple pie, I feel the inside is sweet enough and if you serve it with custard I find the pastry doesn’t need any extra sugar.
To make the pastry you will need:
675g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
175g vegetable shortening / Lard cut into cubes
225g butter cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
I prefer to make my pastry in a food processor for ease but you can make it by hand if required. Sift the flour and salt into a food processor. Add the shortening/lard and butter cubes and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you’re making this by hand you need to rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a dough. If the mixture is too dry add a little water and pulse again. If you’re making this by hand use a wooden spoon and beat in the egg yolk before bringing the mixture together by hand.
Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly. Bring the pastry together in a ball, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
To make the fruit filling you will need:
6 cooking apples peeled, cored and sliced
3 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
6 plums , peeled, stones removed and sliced
2 tbsp ground almonds
115g brown sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
generous grating of nutmeg
Mix the ground almonds with the sugar, allspice, cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Place in a bowl and add the fruit, mix well and put to one side.
Preheat the oven to 180C
Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin. Remove the pastry from the fridge and set aside one-third for the pie lid. Roll out the remaining pastry until it is big enough to generously fit the pie dish. Use the rolling pin to help you lift the pastry into the pie dish and gently press it into the sides, leaving any excess pastry overhanging the sides. Return to the fridge to chill for a few minutes
When chilled, remove the pastry case from the fridge and place on a baking tray. Using a slotted spoon, place the cooled fruit into the pastry case, discarding any excess liquid. Place the pie lid on top and trim to shape.
Crimp the edges to seal and cut a small hole in the middle to let any steam escape while cooking. Glaze the top of the pie with milk and Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.