Lancashire Life - - Food & Drink -

Don’t get me wrong, a good old-fash­ioned ap­ple pie needs no tin­ker­ing, but the ad­di­tion of brandy to both the crust and the fill­ing gives my au­tumn edi­tion a grownup edge. If you have any brandy snaps lan­guish­ing at the back of the cupboard, crush them up and sprin­kle over a bowl of pie and hot cus­tard.

In­gre­di­ents For the pas­try:

400g plain flour

50g ic­ing sugar

250g un­salted but­ter

85g vegetable short­en­ing 1 egg

80ml brandy, chilled

1tbsp vanilla ex­tract

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground nut­meg

For the fill­ing:

8 ap­ples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

100g dark brown sugar 150g caster sugar

50g plain flour

25ml brandy

1tbsp corn­flour

1 tsp vanilla ex­tract

1tsp cin­na­mon ½ tsp nut­meg

½ tsp ground cloves 1 egg, beaten, to glaze


Start by mak­ing the pas­try. Sift to­gether the flour, sugar, salt and nut­meg into a large bowl. Rub in the but­ter and vegetable short­en­ing us­ing the tips of your fin­gers, un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles fine bread­crumbs.

In a sep­a­rate bowl, whisk to­gether the brandy, egg, and vanilla ex­tract. Pour into the bowl of dry in­gre­di­ents, stir­ring with a knife un­til the pas­try comes to­gether. Wrap the dough in cling­film and re­frig­er­ate for one hour.

Pre­heat the oven to 200C/180C (fan)/gas mark 6.

For the fill­ing, sift to­gether the flour, sug­ars, and spices in a large bowl.

Place the sliced ap­ples in a sep­a­rate bowl. Whisk to­gether the brandy and vanilla ex­tract be­fore pour­ing over the ap­ples.

Sprin­kle the dry in­gre­di­ents over the ap­ples and give the bowl a jolly good shake. Stir un­til ev­ery­thing is well com­bined.

Re­move the pas­try from the re­frig­er­a­tor and cut in half. On a lightly floured sur­face, roll out half of the pas­try and use it to line a 25cm round pie dish. Tip in the pie fill­ing.

Use the re­main­ing pas­try to ei­ther roll out an­other disc to cover the top of the pie, or to cre­ate a dec­o­ra­tive pie crust us­ing sug­ar­craft cut­ters and lat­tice­work.

Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, cover loosely with foil, and bake in the oven for one hour.

Re­duce to 170C/150C (fan)/ gas mark 4 and bake for a fur­ther 40 min­utes, re­mov­ing the foil dur­ing the last ten min­utes so the crust can turn crisp and golden.

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or a driz­zle of thick cus­tard.

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