This classic apple pie recipe with home-made shortcrust pastry, a beautiful lattice top and cinnamon-scented whipped cream tasted like home in every bite.
I have this idea of how my future will be. I’ll be in my 50’s/60’s, my kids will be grown up living happy, successful lives of their own and I will be travelling. A lot. But then my kids will phone me and say “Mom, I’m dying for your (enter iconic mom dish here). Come home.” And I will, and I will cook it for them and they will look at me with complete adoration in their eyes.
And often, people will laugh at me when I tell them about this little fantasy of mine. But then the other day, Aidan comes to me and says “Mamma, please please please can you make me apple pie again. Your apple pie is the best.” And I knew, right then, that I am not being unrealistic. Because let’s face it, we all have that one (or more) dish that our moms just make the best. Even my mom, not the most eager of cooks, had dishes that she just kicked ass with. Her chicken-fried steak, chicken liver pate and marshmallow fridge tart are to this day some of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.
And so, I made an apple pie. And the whole time I was busy making the pastry, slicing the apples, whipping the cream, Aidan popped his head around the corner, asking when I would be done. He also kept telling me that this was the prettiest pie and he just couldn’t wrap his head around the lattice top. And to be honest, it takes a second or two to figure it out but the reward is so much bigger than the amount of effort it takes to create this pretty topping.
My brother said that the pie didn’t even look real. “It looks like a cartoon pie!” And that’s all down the pretty lattice top. This is not only an aesthetic thing though, the lattice top also allows the steam to escape efficiently, allowing your pie filling to become jammy and the pastry to stay crisp. In fact, I didn’t even blind-bake the pastry before hand. I simply chilled it efficiently before filling with the apples and baking.
The end result was this beautiful pie with its golden, crisp pastry and jammy apple-y interior. Serve with a dollop of soft, cinnamon-scented whipped cream and you have home in every bite.
How do you make a homemade apple pie?
Start by making the pastry by pulsing butter, flour and sugar together in a food processor then add ice water and egg until the dough comes together. Chill in the fridge before rolling out and pressing into a pie plate. The filling is made with granny smith apples. Peel and slice the apples finely then mix with cinnamon, sugar and corn starch. The corn starch helps the apple juice thicken up so you don’t have a watery pie at the end. Top with lattice crust then bake until golden brown and bubbling. Remember to allow the pie to cool down before slicing as this will help the sliced pie keep its shape.
What are best apples for apple pie?
I prefer apples that have good flavor and will keep their shape once cooked. Granny Smith apples hit both those boxes but I’ve also had success using a few different varieties in one pie. Pink lady apples are also really delicious in pies.
Do you have to peel apples for apple pie?
No, you don’t have to. It results in a “smoother” eating experience and is more classic but you can definitely leave the skin on. Just make sure to slice the apples finely.
Classic apple pie with cinnamon cream
for the pastry
- 400 g flour
- 200 g salted chilled butter, cubed
- 50 g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
for the filling
- 6 apples I used 3 Granny Smith and 3 Pink lady apples, sliced
- 3 heaped tablespoons muscavado soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- 2 tablespoons corn flour/corn starch
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg beaten (for brushing the pastry)
for the cinnamon cream
- 1 cup cream whipped with 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor then pulse until the mixture resembles rough bread crumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and pulse until they are mixed in.
- With the mixer running, slowly pour the water in, a spoon at a time, until the pastry comes together in a ball.
- Remove from the food processor. Divide the mixture in two, with one piece being slightly bigger than the other (the bigger half will be for the bottom of the pie).
- Roll the bigger half out on a floured surface, ensuring it's big enough to cover the bottom of your pie dish.
- Place the pie dish in the fridge and allow to chill.
- Roll the remaining dough out and cut into 10 slices, approximately 1.5cm wide. Place on a piece of parchment paper and place in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
- To make the filling, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
- Remove the chilled pie case from the fridge and brush the edges with beaten egg yolk.
- Place the filling in the chilled pie case then cover the pie with the remaining slices of pastry. crimp the edges and cut away any excess pastry.
- Brush the pie with the remaining beaten egg and place in the oven.
- Allow to bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. If the pastry starts to brown too much, simply cover it with a piece of foil and continue baking.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow to chill to room temperature before serving with the cinnamon cream.