When I want to really put my cooking skills to the test, and to experience the full satisfaction that an hour in the kitchen can bring, then it has to be a pie. Normally I would make crumble, but my daughter wanted to bake a pie. My favourite recipes are from Delia’s Vegetarian and Nigella How to be Domestic Goddess, I also love a Sunday lunch or Boxing Day leftover pie or pasty.
Today’s apple pie was inspired by both lovely ladies, although in the end I chose Delia’s apple pie recipe, as Nigella’s recipe mushes the eating apples into a kind of sauce and leaves the cooking apples to retain their shape, I wasn’t keen on that, I Iike all the apple to retain its shape, but it might be your ideal pie. I will add the full recipe below, as Delia talks though making pie in so much helpful detail, but its always good to have some pictures I think!
The pastry is made with cheddar cheese, which sounds odd but it isn’t, both Nigella and Delia agree it adds a crispness to the pastry without adding cheesiness. It looks amazing when baked too. This apple pie uses a mix of cox’s and baking apples, we had ‘scrumptious’ apples in our garden and the empty house next door has cooking apples, so the kids and I partook in our annual scrumping adventure.
First chop all those apples into thin slivers.
Then, you make the pastry, roll out a disc for the bottom and place in a greased pie dish.
Layer the apples tightly with cloves and sugar, we had no cloves as my youngest put them in a potion a while back, so we used mixed spice. We also had no golden caster sugar in, so this is just caster sugar.
Then we put the second circle of pastry on top, trimmed the edges by running a knife around the dish and pinched the edges together with a fork. We then made up what we thought Delia’s apple pie recipe meant by ‘fluting’, pinching little waves with a knife and our fingers so the pie crust didn’t stick to the dish. It actually works, it gives enough leverage to get the crust off in one piece from the dish with a knife later.
We cut leaves out of the pastry from the top, using washed leaves from our tree as a guide.
We decorated the top and brushed it all with beaten egg. We made a hole for steam to escape which my daughter thought was hilarious. We added our leaves and hey presto, it was done! Only as I was tidying up did I realise we somehow managed to put ground coriander in, instead of mixed spice.
‘No one will notice!’ said my husband. And with an extra sprinkle of sugar, and lashings of custard, he was right. Although I will try Delia’s apple pie with cloves next time!
Here is the full recipe