A lady called Una contacted me to ask how to cook an apple pie in the Aga as she could not find a recipe online. Well I do love apple pie, it definitely ranks up there as yet one more of my favourites ( well I like my food, so there are a lot of favourites). So as soon as I was given some apples by a friend I made this and have now finally got around to blogging about it so hopefully rectifying Una’s dilemma.
Apple pies, in my opinion, need a shortcrust pastry and a good cooking apple – preferably a Bramley. Now I like my apple pie to be on the tart side of things so I am more sparing with the sugar, if you prefer yours a little sweeter then add another 25g (1 oz) of sugar. You can make shortcrust with all butter, but I do like it with half butter/ half shortening or lard. Make sure both are straight from the fridge and that your hands are cool, as warm pastry is not a good thing.
50g (2oz) vegetable shortening or lard
50g (2oz) butter
225g (8oz) plain flour
203 tbsp of cold water
2-3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
50-75g (2-3oz) granulated sugar
If you are using a food processor then tip the flour into the bowl of the processor, add the diced butter and shortening/lard and pulse for a few seconds until the fat is incorporated into the flour and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp of water and pulse again (you may need a little extra water or not quite that much) until the mixture starts to come together. Try not to over process, you need to stop as soon as it starts to come together. Remove the blade and form the mixture into two flattened discs. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
If you aren’t using a food processor then make sure your hands are cool by running cold water over them. Then place the flour and the diced fat into a bowl and using the tips of your fingers rub the fat into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and then mix using a pallet knife at first and then your hands until it is a smooth dough. Try to handle it as little as possible. Divide into two flattened discs and cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
You will need a pie dish or plate. Mine is 20cm in diameter and 3cm deep.
Remove the pastry from the clingfilm and lightly flour the worktop and your rolling-pin. Roll the first disc of pastry until it is big enough to cover the bottom and the sides of the dish. Press it carefully into the dish. Place your chopped apples into the dish and sprinkle with the sugar. Roll the second disc until it is large enough to cover the dish. Brush a little milk around the edges of the pastry and place the lid of pastry on top and crimp around the edge to form a seal with two fingers. Cut off any excess pastry. You can brush the top with milk too.
Place the pie on the floor of the roasting oven of the Aga for about 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden. In a conventional cooker, place in a preheated oven at 220°c for about the same amount of time. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying warm with lashings of cold double cream or custard. My mouth is watering at the very thought.