Despite the saying "as American as apple pie", this famed fruit dessert is credited as an English invention, with the first recorded recipe in the 16th century. Regardless, the apple pie in its modern incarnation is now largely affiliated with the United States, where it inspires fierce debate about what makes the perfect pie.
300g (2 cups) plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water
8 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
50g (¼ cup) plain flour
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
48g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
Chilling time: 30 minutes
To make pastry, using a food processor, process flour, sugar, butter and ½ tsp salt until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 60ml ice-cold water and process until mixture forms a ball. Shape two-thirds of dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining one-third dough. Refrigerate both discs for 30 minutes, to rest.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out larger disc between two sheets of baking paper to a 30cm round. Line a greased deep 26cm pie dish with pastry. Roll out remaining pastry disc to a 26cm round, and refrigerate until needed.
To make filling, combine all ingredients except beaten egg mixture in a large bowl. Place in pastry case, brush edges of pastry with egg wash, top with remaining pastry round then seal by pressing edges together using your thumb and index finger. Using a small sharp knife, make 3 small incisions in pastry top to allow steam to escape, then brush top with beaten egg mixture. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden and juices begin to bubble through incisions in crust.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 13, pg20.
Photography by Alan Benson.