Homemade Apple Pie
For sweet pastry:
2 cups flour
10 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
For the filling:
A small knob of butter
Flour, for dusting
1 large Bramley or Rome (or any cooking apple)
2 eating apples (try Granny and Braeburn, one tart, one sweet)
3 tablespoons Demerara or Muscovado sugar (you can substitute with raw or brown sugar)
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
A handful of sultanas or raisins (you can substitute with any dried fruit)
1 egg yolk mixed with a splash of milk
Preheat the oven to 300F. To make the pastry, in a food processor, whiz up the flour, butter, sugar and lemon rind, then add the egg yolks and a tiny drop of water to bind the mix together. Butter an 8-inch metal pie dish (metal conducts heat better than glass, so the bottom of the pie will cook at the same time as the top).
Divide your pastry dough into two and roll half of it out on a flour-dusted surface until 1/4 inch thick. Lay the pastry in the pie dish and gently push it down into the sides. Don't worry if it tears or breaks, just patch it up as it will look nice and rustic!
Pop the pie dish and the remaining half of your pastry into the fridge while you peel your apples. Quarter the Bramley apple and cut the eating apples into eighths. Toss the apples in a small pan with the sugar, lemon zest, ginger, sultanas or raisins, and a tablespoon of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Remove the pie dish and pastry from the fridge and pack the apple mix tightly into the pie dish. Egg-wash the pastry rim (using the yolk mixed with milk), then roll out the other half of the dough. Drape this over the top of the pie and roughly pinch the edges together using your finger and thumb, then trim any excess pastry. Egg-wash the top, make a couple of small incisions in the top crust, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Spoon out the portions of apple pie and serve with some custard or French Vanilla ice cream! Serves 6.