Spicy apple pie

Richard Corrigan uses a special spice blend to add an extra dimension to his nans recipe for apple pie
By Richard Corrigan
Spicy apple pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 20 mins chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 250 g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 100 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 4 eggs, beaten, plus 1 beaten egg to glaze

For the filling

  • 8 bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g demerara sugar
  • 4 cox's apples
  • 1 tsp spice mix, see Cook's Tip, or other mixed spice
  • custard or double cream, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

Richards spice mix is made with star anise, rose petals, nutmeg, cinnamon, four-spice, mango powder, mace, white pepper, ground ginger and vanilla. You can make your own version, using a pinch or so of each spice to taste; it doesn't matter if you don't have all the spices listed, so feel free to experiment.

You can wrap the excess pastry up well and keep in the freezer for another time.

Method

1. For the pastry: put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Stir in the sugar, then mix in the eggs, a little at a time, bringing the mixture together with your fingers until you have a dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for about 20 minutes to make it easier to roll.

3. For the pie: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease am ovenproof plate or pie dish with butter.

4. Put half the diced bramleys in a saucepan with the butter and demerara sugar and simmer until the apples are broken down to a compote consistency. Add the remaining diced bramleys to the pan.

5. Peel, core and slice the coxs apples and set aside.

6. Roll out the pastry and cut out a circle the same size as the pie plate. Spread a layer of the cox apples over the plate, sprinkle over some of the spice mix and then top with some of the cooked apples. Continue layering the apples and spice mix and top with the pastry circle.

7. Press the edge of the pastry with your fingers to seal. Brush the top with beaten egg. Mix together a little caster sugar and cinnamon, to taste, in a small bowl and sprinkle over the pie. Prick with a fork and bake for 45 minutes.

8. Leave the pie until cool before serving, to allow all the juices to soak into the pastry. Serve in slices with custard or cream.

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