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Sweet Apple Pie

Apple pie has been around in one form or another since the Middle Ages and was traditionally served in ‘coffins,’ rather than the pastry cases we are familiar with today. Coffins were stiff, empty and virtually inedible pastry cases that were made from flour, suet and boiling water. The main purpose of these cases was to protect the filling rather than to complement it, and the addition of an egg yolk glaze was generally used to appease the palates of the servants.

Today’s apple pie, however, will obviously still vary considerably, as everyone has their own special recipe or knows someone who makes the best apple pie in the world! Sometimes, though, it is nice to have a break from tradition and try something that’s just a little bit different.

Ingredients

100 grams butter (softened)

175 grams caster sugar (divided)

1 egg, medium

150 grams self-raising flour

450 grams cooking apples

For the vanilla cream, you will need:

5 fl oz (150ml) whipping cream

Vanilla sugar to sweeten

(Vanilla sugar can be made by placing two cups of caster sugar in an airtight container, and then scraping the seeds of a whole vanilla pod into the middle of it – this should be done at least two weeks before it is required.)

Oven temperature

160°C, 320°F, gas mark 3

Equipment required

  • Large bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sieve
  • Pan
  • 18 x 18cm (7 x 7 inch) shallow baking tin (greased)
  • Fork
  • Cooling tray

Method

  1. Pre-set your oven to the required temperature.
  2. Cut and peel the apples and then place them in a pan with 100 grams of the caster sugar. Cook over a moderate heat until the apples are soft. Then take the pan off the heat and allow the apples to cool – alternatively, this can be done in the microwave in a suitable microwaveable container.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, cream together the softened butter and the remaining 75 grams of caster sugar in a bowl.
  4. Add the egg and beat well. Then sieve the flour and add gradually, beating well.
  5. Divide the pastry mixture into two halves and press one half of it carefully into the base of the baking tin; cover the pastry with the apples.
  6. Place the remaining pastry mixture onto a floured work surface or board and roll it out until it will fit evenly over the top of the apples.
  7. Press the pastry mixture carefully over the apples and prick the surface with a fork.
  8. Place your pie on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for twenty-five minutes.
  9. After removing your pie from the oven, leave it to stand for a short while before turning it out onto a cooling tray and sprinkling it with a little vanilla sugar.
  10. Whip up the cream and add vanilla sugar to taste.

Your apple pie should now be ready to eat and will be delicious served either hot or cold. It can make a great dessert to follow a roast dinner, or it can be served as a tasty treat at buffets, picnics or barbecues!