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Apple Pie Recipe - Step by Step

Apple Pie cooked
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This delicious apple pie recipe is very easy to follow and we help you with detailed pictures, instructions and those valuable cook's tips to make a top quality apple pie.

The variety of apples you use is key to a top quality apple pie. We suggest some excellent apple varieties which are readily available in most supermarkets and your local grocer .

We hope our instructions and video describing how to make shortcrust pastry convince you that even amateur cooks are quite capable of making excellent shortcrust pastry. However, perfectly adequate ready made pastry is available in almost all supermarkets.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE PASTRY

85 grams / 3oz cooking margarine (e.g. Stork). Use from a solid block of Stork, not spreadable (see the picture of ingredients below)

85 grams / 3oz lard

340 grams / 12 oz plain flour plus a very small amount more for use in rolling out the pastry

Four and a half tablespoons of water

FOR THE PIE FILLING

700g cooking apples (3 to 4 large apples). See the section "Advice for Apple Pie" below for the best varieties to choose

85 grams / 3 oz sugar

Three quarters a teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Ingredients for Apple Pie
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Ingredients for apple pie
 

Nutrition information per portion

PREPARATION TIME: About an hour if you make the pastry, 25 minutes if you use ready rolled shortcrust pastry
 
COOKING TIME: 50 minutes
 
DIFFICULTY: Medium

FREEZE: Yes, freezes well, cooked or uncooked. See section below "Advice for Apple Pie"
 
SERVINGS: Four to six servings
 
EQUIPMENT: Oven proof pie dish (ours is 23cm wide by 5cm deep), a large mixing bowl, a rolling pin

ADVICE FOR APPLE PIE

When apples are peeled and especially when sliced, their attractive white colour can very quickly turn a 'not-so-attractive' brownish colour. This makes no difference to the taste, but 'looks' are important. The method described below therefore leaves the peeling and cutting of the apples to the last minute.

Apple pie can be frozen cooked or uncooked. With cooked apple pie, ensure it has cooled completely. To freeze both cooked and uncooked apple pie, wrap it in two layers of kitchen foil, label it and place in the freezer. Both cooked and uncooked apple pie will keep in the freezer for six months.

Step by step pictures on making the shortcrust pastry are shown in the following recipe but you can also view our video immediately below for a practical demonstration.

As far as which variety of apples make good apple pies, I will simplify it. If you are using just one variety of apple, Bramleys would be our choice. They provide a good apple flavour whilst retaining good texture.

Our absolute favourite however would be a combination of one third Golden Delicious and two third Bramleys. The Bramleys contribute considerably to the texture of the ideal apple pie. The Golden Delicious have reasonable texture and also provide that all important deep apple flavour.

VIDEO - HOW TO MAKE SHORTCRUST PASTRY

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1
First, you need to make the pastry which will form the base and the top of the apple pie.

Cut the lard and cooking margarine into smallish blocks, this will speed up the mixing process. Put the blocks of cooking margarine (Stork or similar) and lard (Cookeen can be used if you are vegetarian) in a mixing bowl and pour in the flour. The yellow 'bricks' in the picture are margarine, the white bricks are the lard.

Lard and margarine for shortcrust pastry
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STEP 2
Mix it all together with the tips of your fingers until you have a crumbly texture. Click the picture to enlarge it - all the pictures can be enlarged.

This stage should only take a minute or so but it's one of the joys of making apple pie. It is well worth watching the video on making shortcrust pastry above for advice on how best to mix the ingredients.

Shortcrust pastry mixed
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STEP 3
Add 3 tablespoons of water to the pastry and mix it in with a knife, this takes a couple of minutes. Then use your hands to mould the pastry mix into a ball (see picture below). You can tell if the mix is correct because the pastry ball will collect all the bits of pastry from the edge of the bowl leaving it almost clean.

If the mixture refuses to form a ball, add a teaspoon or two (not a tablespoon or two) of water and mix that in.

Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and put it in the fridge to 'rest' for half an hour. It can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge for a couple of days.

Raw shortcrust pastry
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STEP 4

VIDEO - MAKING APPLE PIE

After half an hour, take the pastry from the fridge, and separate roughly two thirds of it. Lightly sprinkle flour on the rolling pin and the surface to be used for rolling out the pastry. Roll the two thirds of the pastry out with a rolling pin so that it is large enough to line the base and sides of the pie dish.

Put the pie dish over the rolled pastry to make sure it is about the correct size also allowing for the pastry to cover th side of the dish. The pastry at this stage should be approximately 3mm to 5mm thick.

Sizing pastry for base of apple pie
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STEP 5
See the next two pictures for a visual explanation of this step and the next one. Both pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

The idea is to pick up the rolled out pastry and put it in the dish to form the base and sides of the apple pie. Note that the method used to pick up the pastry can also be seen in the video earlier on in this page.

Transferring pastry on a rolling pin 1
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STEP 6
First, lightly roll a third or so of the flattened pastry over the rolling pin. Then support the rest with your hand and transfer it to top of the pie dish.

Gently ease the pastry into the base of the dish and gently firm it round the sides.

Transferring pastry on a rolling pin 2
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STEP 7
If the pastry does break at all, it's not a disaster, just do your best to cover the base and sides with pastry off-cuts.

Then trim off the excess pastry from the top. Do this with the 'blunt' side of a knife - the blunt side is far less likely to tear the pastry.

Turn your oven on now so that it's pre-heated ready to cook later on. Heat settings are 220°C / fan 200°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7. Place a baking tray in the oven to pre-heat, this will help the base of the pie to crisp up when it is initially placed in the pre-heated oven.

Apple pie shortcrust pastry base
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STEP 8
Peel the apples. Cut them into quarters, remove the cores and then slice them. The slices should be roughly half a centimetre (5mm) / 1/4 of inch thick.

Absolute accuracy is not so important. The thicker the slices, the more firm the apple mixture will be when it has been cooked.

sliced apples for apple pie
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STEP 9
Place the apples, sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag and shake well to mix up all three ingredients. This can also be done in a bowl using your hands.

Place the apple slices into the pie bowl on top of the base pastry. Ensure the surface of the apple layer is relatively even.

Using water and a pastry brush (or your wet fingers) dampen the top edge of the pastry. This will help the top pastry lid to attach firmly to it better.

STEP 10
Take the remaining third of the pastry and roll it out with the rolling pin into a circle that is a little bit bigger than the top of the dish.

Transfer the rolled out pastry to the top of the pie using the rolling pin in the same way described in step 5 above for the base pastry.

Tuck the pastry down at the edge and remove the excess pastry using the blunt edge of a knife.

Apple Pie ready for cooking
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STEP 11
Using both hands, 'crimp' the pastry round the edge of the pie to obtain an attractive finish - see the picture below.

Crimped edges of uncooked apple pie
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STEP 12
Make 2 holes in the top of the pastry with a knife to allow the steam to come out during cooking and prevent the top going soggy.

Lightly brush the top with a little milk to give the top of the pie a light brown colour when cooked.

STEP 13
Put the apple pie on the baking tray in the pre-heated oven (220°C / fan 200°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7) and leave it cooking at that temperature for ten minutes. Then turn down the heat to 200°C / fan 180°C / 390°F / Gas Mark 6 and cook for a further 40 minutes.

Ovens vary so the above timings are approximate. The pie is cooked when the pastry is light brown.

Apple Pie
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STEP 14
When it is cooked, leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Beware, apple pie can stay very hot for an hour or so.

Serve hot or cold with ice cream, cream or custard.

Apple pie slice with cream
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20 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE 4.5 star rating
5 star rating
26 March 2013
From: Gavin
Recipe great, step by step instructions, eating mine now nom nom nom lol
5 star rating
1 September 2011
From: Mrs Donna Poynton
Very easy to follow recipe with clear instructions and good pictures. Very happy with the results, thanks.
5 star rating
27 September 2011
From: Imogen Furner
It is cool and great for homework! I heard about this web from my friends and they said it is good so i looked and it proves they were telling the truth (from imogen furner age 10!)
5 star rating
27 September 2011
From: Arshia Bhakri
So yummmmm and really its very very easy mmmmmmmmmmmmmm tastyyyyyyyyy
5 star rating
27 September 2011
From: Kim
Beautifully and simply described! Thank you.
5 star rating
27 September 2011
From: Claire
The recipe was very easy to follow, never tried baking any sort of pie before so i hope it tastes good, thanks :-)
4 star rating
27 September 2011
From: Immy
This was easy to follow, just hope mine turns out as nice as urs looked!
5 star rating
10 October 2011
From: Hollie Miles
Lovely
4 star rating
20 October 2011
From: Not Given
Yeah good recipe just needs cinnamon to bring out flavour of the apples.
4 star rating
27 November 2011
From: Clare K
Great recipe I made this yesterday and it was a great success everyone loved it :) I had a slight problem with the pastry breaking but with a bit of practise I'm sure it will be fine next time :) thank you :)
4 star rating
13 March 2012
From: Jim Mathews
Having a go at his today, I'm using muscavado sugar and cinnamon between the layers of apple.
4 star rating
18 March 2012
From: Paula
Having a go at his today, I'm using muscavado sugar and cinnamon between the layers of apple.
5 star rating
18 March 2012
From: C
Very tasty!
5 star rating
20 May 2012
From: Not Given
I just put my pie in the oven. Hope it turns out well! :)
5 star rating
17 July 2012
From: Steve
Great easy to follow (Fool proof) Recipe. Tastes great tooooooooooooo. Family love it, im making more as im typing this text!!!! Thank you
4 star rating
6 October 2012
From: Not Given
Easy to follow but found that the pastry amount wasn't enough for the size of my dish (a normal sized pie dish) so would use double the amount of pastry next time to make sure I have enough.
5 star rating
6 October 2012
From: Suzanne
Yum no more to b said thanks.
Not Given
17 October 2012
From: Liz
Great easy to follow thank you.
5 star rating
5 November 2012
From: Katerina K
Very easy to follow thanks!.
5 star rating
15 November 2012
From: Minicoopergirl
Never had much success with pastry, until now! Came out perfect soo chuffed, can't wait to do it all again.
5 star rating
02 February 2013
From: Kirsty
Im doing it now. Its great.
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