Classic apple pie

Who could resist this classic apple pie recipe by AO Life?! Not us!

Brought to you by AO Life

As traditional as it gets... bake this classic apple pie for a comforting homemade treat.

Top tip! 

The two essentials for flaky pastry are...

  1. Minimal handling and warmth when making the dough
  2. Chilling and resting the dough for at least 30 minutes. Food processors really help mix the dough without warming it and overworking it, as long as we just pulse rather then mix
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For the dough

  • 350 g plain flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground anise seed, optional
  • 185 g chilled butter, cut into small cubes and kept cold
  • 1 medium egg, plus 1 yolk (using the egg white to glaze)

For the filling

  • 1 kg Bramley apples (usually four apples)
  • 125 g light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

To finish

  • 1 egg white, to glaze
  • 2 tbsp demerara or granulated sugar, to top
  • crème fraîche, ice cream or double cream, to serve


Dry whisk the flour, salt and optional ground anise seed and add to the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Add the cold, diced butter and pulse about 30 times. Pulsing mimics the action of cutting in the fat by hand, but with far less effort and guesswork. The result of the pulsing should look like breadcrumbs.
Whisk the whole egg and yolk in a small bowl and add to the dough. Pulse until the egg is fully incorporated – about 10 pulses. Remove the dough from the bowl and pat into a disk. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 200C/180 (fan)/ Gas mark 6. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat. A hot tray will help crisp the pastry bottom. Smear about 5g of the butter in a 22-23cm pie dish (I used an enamel one). Set aside.
Peel and core the apples. Take each apple and cut into 8 slices – cut each slice into 3-4 pieces. Pop all of the pieces into a large bowl. Mix the cornflour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss through the apples, along with the vanilla, if using. If you leave it more than 15 minutes you may need to drain away liquid and add a bit more sugar and spices.
Roll out one-third of the dough on a lightly floured surface. It will likely break a bit but is easily patched when pressed into the baking tin. You want a round-ish disk to fit the pie dish, with a 4cm overhang. Carefully drape into the prepared tin and gently ease into the bottom so there are no gaps underneath. Patch any tears with bits of the overhanging dough. Pile in the cut apples – it will be quite a mound, but will shrink a bit. Brush the edges with water.
Roll the remaining dough to about 28cm and fit over the mound of apples, pinching to seal. Trim the excess dough with a sharp knife and make five or so steam holes in the centre. Brush the dough with egg white and sprinkle over the extra sugar. Bake on the heated tray for 45 minutes, until deep golden in colour. If it is browning too fast for your liking, lightly drape over a piece of foil.
Last updated one year ago

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