Lin­colnshire Poacher and ap­ple pie

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FOOD DRINK -

The ad­di­tion of cheese to a sweet pie might seem strange, but it is in fact a rel­a­tively tra­di­tional English pas­try. The tang of Lin­colnshire Poacher, from Neal’s Yard Dairy, works very well as it’s not so strong nor musky a flavour that the sharp Bramley ap­ples are over­whelmed. You could try us­ing an aged comte or manchego if you can’t get hold of it.

SERVES SIX TO EIGHT IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

375g plain flour

225g cold un­salted but­ter, cubed 80g cold Lin­colnshire Poacher cheese, cubed

Pinch of sea salt

3 tbsp fridge-cold wa­ter

1 tbsp cider vine­gar

3 tbsp golden caster sugar

Whole milk, for brush­ing

METHOD

You will need a 22-23cm pie dish. Note the pas­try is best made in a pro­ces­sor.

Put the flour, cold but­ter, cold cheese and salt in a food pro­ces­sor and pulse un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. Add the wa­ter and cider vine­gar and pulse again un­til the pas­try comes to­gether. Di­vide into two, one half slightly big­ger than the other, and squash each into a disc. Wrap and re­frig­er­ate for two hours. Un­wrap the larger pas­try disc and roll it be­tween two sheets of grease­proof pa­per to a thick­ness of 4mm, or un­til it is large enough to line your pie dish with a 1-2cm over­hang. (The pas­try is very short and the pa­per tech­nique helps to keep it from break­ing as you roll it.) Repeat with the sec­ond disc and chill the pas­try sheets for 30 min­utes.

To pre­pare the ap­ple fill­ing, put the le­mon juice in a mix­ing bowl. Peel, core and roughly chop the ap­ples and trans­fer to the le­mon juice. Sprin­kle the sugar over the ap­ples, toss, then trans­fer half the ap­ples and the cloves to a heavy-based saucepan. Stew over a low heat for 15-20 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the ap­ples are soft and rel­a­tively dry. Pick out the cloves if you can and taste the purée – if it’s too sharp for your lik­ing, add more sugar, then mix back into the un­cooked ap­ples.

Pre­heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

Line the pie dish with the larger piece of chilled pas­try. Fill with ap­ple mix, then brush the edges of the pas­try with milk. Lay the sec­ond piece of pas­try over the top, push­ing the edges of the pas­try firmly to­gether ei­ther by crimp­ing it, or us­ing the back of a fork. Make three to four small holes in the top with the tip of a knife (to help steam es­cape). Brush the pie with milk, then place on a bak­ing tray and bake in the cen­tre of the oven for 30 min­utes.

Re­move the pie, brush it with milk again and sprin­kle with golden caster sugar. Re­turn to the oven for a fi­nal 15 min­utes un­til the pas­try is golden brown.

Re­move, al­low to cool for five min­utes, and serve with cream.

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