SERVES 10–12 This year we’ve had a bumper crop of apples and have been making good use of windfalls in pies such as this. I use a mix of cooking apples (ones that hold their shape) and dessert apples that cook down to a pulp. You need roughly one-third cooking apples and two-thirds dessert or stewing apples. The more varieties the better! Ideally, include some very small whole cooking apples. Use a deep pie dish and pile the fruit up high, as it shrinks substantially during cooking. ½ cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons caster sugar 1.5kg very ripe apples, such as a mixture of Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Royal Gala, Golden Delicious and Jazz 1–2 quinces, peeled, cored 60g unsalted butter, chopped 1 egg, lightly whisked 2–3 tablespoons demerara sugar vanilla ice-cream, to serve PASTRY 240g pastry flour or plain flour 200g cold unsalted butter, chopped pinch of finely ground sea salt 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon very cold water
Preheat oven to 150°C. Lightly grease a 7cm-deep, 2.5L (10-cup capacity) ovenproof pie dish. Place cinnamon stick in a mortar and pound with a pestle until broken into coarse pieces. Stir in caster sugar. Cut apples into halves, quarters and eighths at random. Leave skin on, and stems and pips in. If you have small apples ( just a bit bigger than a golf ball), leave whole and position on top. Slice quinces into thin wedges. (Cut into smaller pieces than apple to ensure both fruits are cooked at same time.) Arrange apple and quince snugly in pie dish, with quince wedged under and between apple, and with very few air pockets. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and dot with butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour or until apple is tender. Remove foil and bake for a further 10–15 minutes or until edges of apple turn golden. Remove from oven. Increase temperature to 185°C. Meanwhile, to make pastry, combine flour, butter and salt on a work surface. Make a well in centre. Lightly whisk egg yolk and water to combine. Pour into well in flour mixture. Using a fork, gently incorporate egg yolk mixture into flour mixture. Using heel of your hand, push down and away from you on flour mixture to squash butter into strips. Repeat, gathering mixture into a pile every so often, until most of butter has been pushed into flour mixture. (Do not overwork dough. If there are still bits of flour and butter visible, and dough looks a bit crumbly, that’s a good sign.) Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest. Remove pastry from refrigerator 5 minutes before apple mixture is ready. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick. Working quickly so pastry doesn’t melt, peel off top sheet of paper. Use bottom sheet to lift pastry and invert over apple mixture. Peel off paper. Tuck pastry down and around fruit rather than pressing into rim of pie dish. Brush pastry with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Brush any apple leaves with egg and poke into top of pie. Cut a cross into pastry on top of pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.