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Soulful Baker
Apple pie is one of those things that most people feel nostalgic about. I have many happy memories of eating apple pies drowned in custard round at my Nana’s house. She was a great baker and made pastry often, with plate cakes, fruit pies and custard tarts amongst the highlights. Oh, and the fat squares – leftover pastry cut into thick portions that were later covered in butter! Homemade custard will always be my first choice to serve alongside apple pie, a recipe for which can be found on page 137. However, I know opinion will be divided on this one, so do go ahead and use your favourite accompaniment.

Serves 8

Use a 23cm (9 inch) round, 3cm (1¼ inch) deep tart tin

Posted by Aurum Press Published See Aurum Press's 78 projects » © 2022 Julie Jones / Quarto · Reproduced with permission. · Recipe extracted from Soulful Baker by Julie Jones, published by Jacqui Small, out now.
  • Step 1

    Make the pastry as instructed on page 15, adding some vanilla as a flavouring if you want to. Using one half of the pastry, line the tart tin (pan), blind bake, cool and trim, leaving the cooked pastry in the tin (pan) to be filled and finished later as instructed on pages 13–15. Keep the remaining half of pastry in the fridge to be used for covering and decorating the pie.

  • Step 2

    Peel, halve and core the apples, then roughly chop into large chunks. Place the apples butter, sugar, water, a squeeze of lemon juice and the allspice into a pan and gently cook for 10 minutes or until the apples are just starting to break down, the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Gently mix to combine, taste and add some more sugar if the apples are too sharp. Transfer to a bowl, leaving the juices in the pan and leave to cool.

  • Step 3

    Add the vanilla to the reserved juices, if using, and bring to a simmer. Leave to bubble and reduce for 5–10 minutes, until thickened. Stir this back through the cooled apples and fill the blind baked pastry case (shell).

  • Step 4

    Remove the remaining pastry from the fridge and roll out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to about 3mm (⅛ inch) thick. You could either cover the pie with one whole sheet of pastry, crimping the edges together and making a little hole in the middle for the steam to escape, or you could roll up your sleeves, relax and get creative! Use pastry cutters, braids, lattices, pastry flowers, balls or cut outs to decorate your pie as you wish. There are some tips on shaping and decoration on page 19. When you are happy with the decorative pie crust, transfer the pie to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas 6.

  • Step 6

    Add a few drops of boiling water to the egg yolk and gently brush over the pastry as evenly as you can – sometimes using your fingertip is easier for covering the more intricate parts. You can sprinkle over some demerara sugar if you wish (it gives a lovely crunch to the finished pie) or leave as it is. Bake for 30 minutes, remembering to keep an eye on the crust during baking as any smaller raised pieces of pastry may catch and burn easily. When golden, remove from the oven and serve either hot or cold with your favourite accompaniment.

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