Since this is the last issue of the term and Thanksgiving is this week, I decided to make a seasonal dessert! I’d never made a pie before, so this started off as quite a challenge for me. If, like me, you don’t own a pie tin, I recommend buying a roast tin from Poundland (which is what I did). I also overestimated the amount of apples I needed, peeling eight when I only need 4-5. Although my recipe is lengthy this week, it’s the perfect dessert to make if you have a sweet tooth, need to escape work or want to get some extra love from your flatmates!
Ingredients: 5 apples, 140g sugar (and a little extra to sprinkle on at the end), ½ tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons flour (for filling), 320g flour (for pastry), 2 medium eggs, 220g butter, handful of walnuts
For the pastry, mix the butter and 50g sugar in a bowl (should take a few minutes, if you microwave the butter for 30 seconds from chilled). Crack a whole egg and add it to the mix. Then, with the other egg, separate the yolk from the white. Keep the white in small bowl (used for glazing at the end) and add the yolk to the mixture.
Now beat the mix well for 1 minute. Then, add ¼ of the flour to the mix and using a wooden spoon start mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients. Do this with the other ¾ of the flour, remembering not to pour all of the flour in at once. Once all the flour is in the mix and everything has been mixed well, used your hands to gather up the mix and forming a ball shape with the dough. Wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge for 40 minutes to chill.
For the filling, mix the vanilla extract, 90g sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour in a large bowl to fit all the apples in. With the apples, peel them first. Then, slice the apples down the middle and then cut them into smaller slices, removing the core and seeds as well as the apple stalk and bottom of it.
Once your pastry has been chilled, preheat the oven at 190˚C. Cut roughly 1/3 of your pastry off (which will act as the top layer of the pie) and start rolling the other 2/3 of pastry out. You may want to sprinkle a bit of flour on the surface you’re using to roll out your pastry as it might stick to the surface otherwise. Your pastry, rolled out, should have a diameter of roughly 24cm and depth 4cm, although you can try judging by eye as I did.
Line your pie tin with your pastry, making sure there is a little overhang. Then, add your apples to your vanilla, sugar and flour mix. Mix well with your hands and pour the apples into your pie tin. Now, roll the remaining third of the pastry into a circle to fit as the top layer of your pie.
Rub a little water around the pastry rim and lay the top layer over the apples. Press down on the edges of the pastry. Now using a knife, make 4 slashes on the top of the pie. Brush it all with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving, sprinkling some walnuts on at the end.
Tesco Gala Apples Six Pack – £1.50, Tesco Plain Flour 1.5kg – 45p, Lidl Eggs – 65p, Tesco Vanilla Extract – £1.29, Tesco Granulated Sugar – 79p, Tesco Everyday Value Butter – 98p, Tesco Walnut Halves – £1.10. Total cost: £6.76. Cost per serving (1 pie) – £2.59