Ultimate apple pie

Ultimate apple pie

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(118 ratings)

Ready in 2½ hours

Moderately easy

Serves 8
A traditional, comforting dish where simplicity is the key to success - one for all the family

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal695
  • fat33g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs95g
  • sugars32g
  • fibre4g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.79g
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For the filling

  • 1kg Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

    A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…

  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 3 tbsp flour



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

For the pastry

  • 225g butter, room temperature



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra
  • 2 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 350g plain flour, preferably organic
  • softly whipped cream, to serve



    Fresh unpasteurised milk quickly separates and the fat rises to the top. This fat layer is then…

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  1. Put a layer of paper towels on a large baking sheet. Quarter, core, peel and slice the apples about 5mm thick and lay evenly on the baking sheet. Put paper towels on top and set aside while you make and chill the pastry.

  2. For the pastry, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until just mixed. Break in a whole egg and a yolk (keep the white for glazing later). Beat together for just under 1 min – it will look a bit like scrambled egg. Now work in the flour with a wooden spoon, a third at a time, until it’s beginning to clump up, then finish gathering it together with your hands. Gently work the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film, and chill for 45 mins. Now mix the 140g/5oz sugar, the cinnamon and flour for the filling in a bowl that is large enough to take the apples later.

  3. After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Cut off a third of the pastry and keep it wrapped while you roll out the rest, and use this to line a pie tin – 20-22cm round and 4cm deep – leaving a slight overhang. Roll the remaining third to a circle about 28cm in diameter. Pat the apples dry with kitchen paper, and tip them into the bowl with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Give a quick mix with your hands and immediately pile high into the pastry-lined tin.

  4. Brush a little water around the pastry rim and lay the pastry lid over the apples pressing the edges together to seal. Trim the edge with a sharp knife and make 5 little slashes on top of the lid for the steam to escape. (Can be frozen at this stage.) Brush it all with the egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 40-45 mins, until golden, then remove and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Sprinkle with more sugar and serve while still warm from the oven with softly whipped cream.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (185)

wendykr's picture

Similar issues, dried apples carefully, added flour, didn't add any residual liquid but still ended up with a pool of apple juice when it came out of the oven. Also found the pastry quite difficult to handle even after 45 mins in fridge. Would cook half the apples next time and possibly use my own pastry recipe.

shitfaced's picture

Simple, easy, very tasty. I wish the filling had been 'tarter' to counteract the raspberry icecream I ate it with, but it was still a success.

ARankin's picture

Replace 3 tbsp of plain flour with 3 tbsp of cornflour and you'll get a much better result. It also takes away the need to pat dry the apple slices with kitchen towels. The first time I made this I followed the steps exactly and I had a messy pool of apple juice and soggy pastry. The 2nd time was a complete success when I used cornflour. I guess it may also have something to do with the apples- not all apples are created equally!

stepfordste's picture

"Preferably organic"? Seriously? lol. Save your money, readers. Organic isn't healthier, tastier, more nutritious or in any way better. That's scientific fact and you can read the studies yourself. Don't get conned into paying extra.

Crips-1's picture

Of course organic is healthier, the alternative is full f pesticides or genetically modified. Call me old fashioned but I prefer my food without chemicals or engineering. Give me natural every time.

rebeletta's picture

Made this yesterday. I followed the recipe to a tee. Beautiful pie. Had no problems with pooling juices as in other comments. Will definitely make again.

foodles's picture

I make this quite often, but I omit the sugar and use eating apples instead as they are sweet! The result is no soggy bottom or liquid pooling! And it's healthier for my diabetic other half!

william18's picture

Its worth reading comments! Took on board esp what was said about pastry. Did ignore about the 3 tablespoons of cinnamon, think typo! I always use a vegetable fat, Trex, for pastry, so to keep this simple and to use a known outcome, 8oz fat to 16oz plain flour, make as stated then divide in two, one portion for the top, one for the base. If you want a sweeter pastry substitute 1oz icing sugar for flour.You may find you have a little excess pastry, use this to decorate with shaping leaves. Put dough in sandwich bags, flatten to about an inch, put in fridge. 1Kg of Bramleys is about four large apples, cut in quarters then core, peel then slice thinly. Do one apple at a time. Put a sheet of paper towel on a plate, then slices of one apple, then another sheet of towel, another sliced apple, another sheet of towel etc etc.Yes the apple turn slightly brown but doesn't show once the spices are added. I used half teaspoon of cinnamon & half teaspoon mixed spice. Keep the flour to a level tablespoon for the apple mix. I found the amount of sugar just right, not too sweet.
I didn't have a soggy bottom!
Making leaves...cut strips approx. 3cm wide, cut at an angle to make diamonds. Make dent in length, then dents either side to resemble leaf veins. Apologies to the veterans of pie makers!
You can brush with (the wash) milk, or beaten egg. Will definitely do this pie again, slightly tweaked but still a winner.

mungo57's picture

Whenever I make Apple Pie I find the base (pastry) goes a bit soggy when the apples break down in the oven. I always add white breadcrumbs BEFORE putting in the apple and cinnamon sugar mix, I find this stops the base from going soggy and keeps it lovely and crispy :)

DublinHarpist's picture

Loved this recipe. I did use 3 tablespoons of cinnamon, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. I think it's key to slice the apples as thin as the recipe states, use a metal pie dish, and definitely give the pie time to cool.

anncardus's picture

First time I've ever followed a recipe for apple pie. I was sceptical because I thought pastry had to have cold everything but I did exactly what the recipe said and produced the most awesome apple pie I think I've ever eaten (all modesty aside).

fruzsinam's picture

It was the second time I've made this recipe, and will make it a lot probably in the future as well. The dough is very nice (need to work it out well and respect its temperature to be able to have the results we wish for), the apples were just juicy enough, I love it! Served it warm with a tbs of cream, perfect! Try it, you'll see!

jim d's picture

Was a little concerned about the preceding poor reviews on this recipe but I had a go and was very happy with the result. Great shortbread like pastry,crisp and dry. Apple's nice and tasty,though would have liked them a little more cooked after 40minutes in the oven,but I put that down to the particular variety growing on my own Apple trees. Will be happy to try this recipe again.

Alan199's picture

No! Never again! Tough but brittle dough that shattered in splinters when cut and tough semi-raw apple in a pool of so much fluid that the base didn't stand a chance.
A disappointing thing to offer our special guests, the offer of seconds was not taken up.
Shameful, a shop-bought one would have gone down better.

Alan199's picture

No! Do not try this at home or if you want to entertain friends nicely.
The dough turned into a tough but brittle substance that shattered when attempts were made to cut it. The apples were still very tough despite cooking, and even the previously-dried apples generated so much juice that the pie base had no hope of remaining intact. I might as well have thrown the tough bits of apple, the crust and the juice in a bowl and hit it with a hammer before serving it up.
The recipe was followed with good intentions by my partner (a reasonably decent cook) to please special guests but nobody accepted a second slice and most of the first slices went in the bin.
Something shop-bought would have gone down better.

TimmyH1's picture

Made pastry many times before never had such a wet dough... Chilled for an hour and just fell apart

bigbaddan1977's picture

Just made this pastry and never had a problem. You need to work the dough together but don't over work it or it will start over-working the gluten and be tough

RebeccaBlog's picture

I loved this recipe the pastry was amazing it was melt in the mouth, the filling was amazing it did have a lot of juice in but soon went due to being taken out of the oven so tip to leave to cool before cutting. I also added a beaten egg yoke and covered the top of the pie and put sugar on so it was crispy and golden brown when it was done :) x would recommend this recipe

li_lei_xu's picture

the pastry was impossible to work with, overall a complete disaster

Imnotclearingthatup's picture

Awful! Greasy, floppy pastry. Very disappointing - avoid.


Questions (6)

angeltouch's picture

I followed recipe but my pastry came apart when rolling. Was is the butter I used or the way the pastry was handled? Does it make a difference if I beat in the egg in the pastry mix for more than one minute as the recipe states

hebel's picture

Is it possible to make this the day before and simply bake when ready for it?

JeniN's picture

I assume this recipe is plain flour?

Crips-1's picture

Yep, plain it is

rae_starlight's picture

I made this today, and although it looked lovely.... When I cut it, it was full of juice and the bottom was a little soggy. I sprinkled corn flour on the base before adding the fruit (tip from mother-in-law) but other than that I followed the recipe to the letter.... What did I do wrong? Not cook long enough/too long? It wasn't a complete loss, because it tasted lovely. I served the filling and the top. Any tips for next time would be greatly appreciated!

Erickaelrick's picture

I'm no baker but mine turned out perfect. Only thing I can think is, did you chill your pastry long enough? Did you dry your apples long enough? I must admit I chopped 75% of my apples too small (I forgot to check method) and worried mine would be swimming in pulp, but no, was fine. I did sprinkle more flour & cinnamon over my apples once I had filled my pie. I forgot to water pastry before sticking together, but it still came out perfect. Soz can't be more help.

Tips (6)

hebel's picture

Is it possible to make this the day before and simply bake when ready for it?

Prescott84's picture

I'm definitely not one for cooking but tried to give this receipe a go, it was lovely definitely recommend everyone loved it . The only thing I would recommend to do different is refrigerate the dough overnight and add extra 2/3 cinnamon . Yummy!!

capsaicin's picture

For those who have found too much runny liquid: I dried the apple slices as described and after 40 minutes the filing was very wet and underdone. I adjusted the temperature down on my oven to 160C so that the pastry didn't burn and cooked for another 20 minutes, after which the liquid became a thick syrup and the fruit soft and yielding. On cooling this was just the right applepie texture I was looking for. Picture here:

hazelmcn's picture

Made this in a hurry and didn't have time to chill the pasty. To combat the fact that the pastry was very soft I rolled it out on baking parchment then used the parchment to flip it into the pie dish. The same for the top of it. I would also use more apples the next time I do it. I used half the amount of cinnamon as I didn't want it to be too overpowering. Will definately make this again

mizzle's picture

For anyone who is having trouble with sloppy apple mixture and 'soggy bottoms', a couple of tips that I hope might help with this great recipe:

1. Make sure you really pat dry the sliced apples well before coating them in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. It should be quite dry at this stage with very little moisture. The apple might oxidize but it won't make a difference when it is baked.

2. As you're warming the oven put a flat baking sheet or tray in to warm at the same time. When putting the pie in put it onto the hot baking sheet rather than just the oven shelf. I read this tip in Mary Berry's Complete Cookery Course and it really seems to make a difference!

Good luck everyone :)

foodaholic123's picture

If your pie crumbles when you cut it, it means that the pastry hasn't been worked enough. Try kneading it for about two to three minutes before resting it in the fridge.

If your pie is soggy or has two much juice, try baking on a lower heat for longer or putting more flour into the apple mixture.

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