Irish farmhouse apple pie
- Serves: 6
- Cooking Time: 40 mins
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: Irish
- For the apple filling:
- 4 or 5 Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 60g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 egg yolk, to glaze
- 125ml freshly whipped cream, to serve
- For the pastry:
- 300g plain flour, sieved
- 150g chilled butter, diced small (plus extra for greasing)
- 60g caster sugar
- 1 egg or 2 tbsp cold water
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, or equivalent and place a baking sheet inside to heat up. Lightly grease a pie dish with a little butter.
2. To make the pastry by hand, place the flour into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar. Use a knife to work in the egg (or cold water), then bring together to form a dough (add a drop of water if required). Wrap the pastry up and refrigerate it for 20 minutes. (To make pastry in a food processor, blitz the flour, butter and sugar to fine breadcrumbs, then work in the egg to form a dough).
3. Divide the pastry into two balls of dough. On a lightly floured work surface roll out one piece of pastry into a circle and use it to line the buttered pie dish.
4. Fill the pie with half the sliced apples, dredge with half the sugar, then scatter with cloves. Repeat with the remaining apples and sugar.
5. Brush egg yolk over the rim of the pastry, before rolling out the second ball of dough into a circle and placing it over the apple filling. Use a sharp knife to trim off any overhanging pastry around the edge of the dish. Imprint the outer edge of the dish with your thumb (or crimp using the tines of a fork).
6. Use up any extra pastry by rolling it out and cutting out leaves or other shapes to decorate the pie. Glaze the entire surface of the pastry with egg yolk (which gives a lovely golden colour). Dredge with a little extra sugar. Use the tip of the knife to slash a pair of 2cm cuts in the pastry to enable the steam to escape; this is important to avoid the pastry rising above the apples and creating a gap beneath the lid.
7. Place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (reduce the oven temperature once the pie is golden in colour).
8. Serve hot with whipped cream.
Variation: Delicious additions to this pie include blackberries, cranberries, raspberries or sultanas