I’ve been meaning to bake this pie ever since I got the Great British Bake Off Everyday recipe book and last weekend I made it for Mother’s Day lunch. There are a lot of steps to this recipe but it is worth the effort.
What you need:
For the pastry
300g plain flour
Pinch of salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
Grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 medium free range egg yolk
4 tbsp milk
For the filling
50g unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp caster sugar, + extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
850g dessert apples (about 8)
1 x 26cm pie plate or deep ovenproof plate
What you do:
> Make the pastry first by putting the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix.
> Add the pieces of butter and then run the machine to make bread crumbs.
> Add the lemon zest.
> Mix the egg yolk with the milk and then gradually add to the pastry mix. Mix till it forms a dough.
> Turn out the dough, flatten, wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
I used the dough hook on my freestanding mixer to make the pastry and it turned out brilliantly. Was the first time I’ve ever made pastry like that….so much easier and quicker!
> Now to make the apple filling; put the soft butter, sugar and lemon zest and juice in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy (quite hard work this!) It’s fine if it looks a little curdled, mine did. Set aside. Then, peel, core and thinly slice the apples.
> Heat the oven to 190°c and put a baking sheet in the oven to warm.
> Lightly dust your work surface with flour. The recipe says cut off 1/3 of the pastry to use for the base of the pie but I had a good chunk left over at the end so I would suggest to use half.
> Roll out your pastry and then use the rolling pin to place in the pie dish. Leave the overhanging pastry for now.
> Arrange your apples in layers in the pastry case and dabs of the lemony butter between layers. Brush the rim with water.
> Roll out the remaining pastry to make the pie lid and place on top of the apples. Press down the edges to seal. Trim off any extra pastry with a sharp knife. Then scallop the edges (this was the hardest bit of the process, trying to interpret the recipe’s instruction without any photos, basically I made small cuts around the edges and then pinched them. I’ve no idea if that was right but it looked ok!).
Cut a small slit / steam hole in the pie top.
> Use any remaining pastry offcuts to make pastry decorations: apples, leaves or whatever takes your fancy. Lightly brush with water to stick them on. Brush the pie with water and sprinkle with sugar.
> Put the pie plate on the warmed baking tray, place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry starts to turn brown. After the 20 mins turn the oven down to 180°c and bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
Best served warm with custard, in my opinion, but I suppose you could have ice cream or cream 😉
This does have a very lemony flavour so if that’s not your thing you could easily leave it out.
Until next time…Happy Baking!