Did you know that yesterday was national apple pie day?
I did… I even made sure that I had made and photographed the apple pie ahead of time… and then I forgot…
Happy belated national apple pie day peoples!
Have you noticed that everyone has what they claim to be the perfect apple pie recipe? And that usually, that recipe comes from their grandmother or has been in their family for as long as they can remember?
Well, I don’t know if my grandmothers ever made apple pie, and I certainly don’t have a closely guarded family recipe. I do, however, have the Le Cordon Bleu’s Home Collection – Desserts cookbook. I found the whole series many, many years ago, and they guided me well when I first moved out of home and was really learning how to cook.
The flavour of an apple pie can vary due to the mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice, which is why everyone thinks they have the ultimate apple pie recipe. Use the below quantities for cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice as a starting point. Taste. Add a bit more cinnamon. Taste. Add a bit more lemon juice. You will find the perfect combination of spice and acid to create your own perfect apple pie filling.
So here is my perfect apple pie recipe.
Traditional Apple Pie
- 325g plain flour
- 180g unsalted butter (cubed)
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 30ml water
- 800g Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and quartered)
- 125g sugar (extra for sprinkling)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 ½ tablespoons plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 20ml lemon juice (halved)
- 40g unsalted butter (cubed)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- To make the pastry, work together the flour, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- With the motor running, add the water and process until the mixture just comes together.
- Remove the dough, divide in half, and form each portion into a thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 15-20 minutes.
- To make the filling, thinly slice the apple quarters and place in a large bowl with half of the lemon juice. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a good pinch of salt and sprinkle over the top of the apples. Stir to combine and then add the rest of the lemon juice and toss well. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pastry portions to 2.5mm thick, and 5cm wider than a greased, shallow pie tin, 23cm across the base.
- Carefully roll the dough onto a rolling pin, or fold into quarters, then ease into the tin. With your fingertips, press the dough into the tin to remove any air bubble. Trim the excess pastry, leaving a 2.5cm border of dough overhanging the edge of the tin.
- Add the filling, dot with the cubed butter and then brush the pastry edges with water.
- Roll the remaining dough to the same thickness as before and place the dough on top of the pie tin, covering the apple mixture. Slice four steam holes into the pastry.
- Trim the excess pastry, leaving a 1cm overhang, then press the edges together to seal them. Crimp the edges by pinching the pastry between thumb and forefinger into a zigzag design.
- Brush the top with water and sprinkle with extra sugar, then back for 55-60 minutes.
- Cool the pie on a rack and serve warm or cold, with or without ice cream.
Recipe by Le Cordon Bleu as found in Home Collections – Desserts.