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Delia's English apple pie
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For the pastry:
175g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
40g lard, removed from the fridge for 20 minutes
40g butter, removed from the fridge for 20 minutes
A little cold water
For the filling
1 heaped tablespoon semolina
500g cox’s apples
400g Bramley apples
50g golden caster sugar
6 whole cloves
The juice half lemon
Egg white to glaze
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar
You will need a Delia Online loose-based shallow tin 20cm by 2cm (or similar) and a baking sheet
Begin by making the pastry as described in shortcrust pastry. Then leave it to rest in a polythene bag in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core the apples and then cut them into very thin slices straight into a bowl of water containing the juice of half a lemon to stop the apple browning.
Pre-heat the oven, and baking sheet, to 220°C, gas mark 7.
Next take a little less than half of the rested pastry and roll as described in shortcrust pastry to 26cm in diameter then carefully roll the pastry round the rolling pin and transfer it to the centre of the tin. Now, using your hands, gently press the pastry into the tin to line the base and sides making sure you ease the pastry into the corners and press it against the sides, don’t stretch it, leaving the edge of the pastry overhanging the sides.
Next scatter the semolina all over the base of the pastry then drain the apples and pat them dry with a clean tea towel and after that pile them into the pastry case, building up the layers closely and scattering the sugar and cloves as you go.
Now roll the remaining pastry out as before but this time 27cm in diameter. Brush the rim of the pastry base with a little cold water then carefully lift the lid, using the rolling pin again, over the top of the pie. Press the edges of the pastry base and the lid together, then turn the edges inwards and press them together again to get a good seal all round, leaving about 5mm overhang.
Then use your fingers to flute the edge of the pasty all round. To do this hold the edge of the pastry down with two fingers that are slightly apart and use a finger from your second hand to draw the pastry inwards between the two fingers to form a fluted edge.
Now make a hole in the centre, about the size of a 50p piece to allow the steam from the apples to escape.
Then brush the top with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with demerara sugar, then place the pie on the pre-heated baking sheet and bake on a high shelf for 10 minutes. After that, reduce the temperature to 190°C, gas mark 5 and place the pie on a lower shelf (just below centre) to cook for a further 35-40 minutes or until it has turned a deep golden brown.
Remove the pie and allow it to stand for at least 15 minutes before removing from the tin and serve warm with whatever you like best, chilled pouring cream, ice cream, custard or crème fraîche to name a few.
This recipe was first published in December 2013.