Are you ready for the best apple pie ever? The crust is crunchy and crumbly, the apple fragrant and juicy. It feels wholesome and is packed with fruit, but it isn’t exactly health food, with all that butter. I remember my best friend’s mother making this and me stealing bits of dough until she said I neeeded to leave some for the pie. (I was about 20 at the time, mind.) Make it on a rainy afternoon as it does need patience. I have used extra pictures for this post to guide you through the steps. And don’t worry if the pastry won’t roll out neatly. It never does. I call it patchwork pie. You can add a lattice top, as is traditional here in Holland. But even if you don’t, the taste will be amazing.
(makes 8 to 10 slices)
1,200 gr tart cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
270 gr plain flour
180 gr cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
90 gr plus 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 egg beaten
Put the flour, butter and 90 gr of sugar in the bowl of your food processor. Process to crumbs, then pulse until it forms a dough. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, divide the dough into three. Combine two to make a large ball of dough and form the the third part into a smaller ball. Allow to rest in a cool place (not the fridge) for half an hour.
While the dough rests, put the apples, cinnamon and 2 tbsp of sugar in a bowl. If the apples are not tart, add a good squeeze of lemon juice. You can replace the sugar with a handful of raisins if you prefer.
Now patchwork the large ball of dough into a 23 cm spring form tin, forming an edge round the outside of about 3 cm high. There are two ways to do this (see images below):
1) Roll the dough out to about 5 mm thickness as best you can (it will probably crack) and cut pieces to fit to line the tin, or
2) Slice it into very thin slices and fit those into the tin, Jamie Oliver-style.
Just make sure the dough is roughly the same thickness all over and that you patch up any holes. As long as you start with the edges, lining the pieces up to the same height, it will look great too.
Fill the pie shell with the apple slices, including any juices. Dome the apple slightly in the middle as it will collapse a bit.
To make the top, roll or slice the smaller ball of dough into 5 mm thick slices and cut into strips about 1 cm across. Now arrange these on top of the pie to form a lattice, weaving the strips over and under each other. Don’t worry if the strips break.
Brush the dough lightly with a little beaten egg.
Bake at 150 degrees C for about 60 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature. It tastes even better the next day and the day after that!