A delicious warm Apple Pie (we also say Apple Tart in Ireland) reminds us all of home. Here's an Irish recipe to celebrate St Patrick's Day. Served with freshly whipped cream it is a wonderful dessert.
Is there anything more homely than apple pie? It must be one of the most nurturing desserts, loved by adults and children alike. The aroma of a freshly baked apple pie takes me right back to my childhood.
I would be sent out into my grandfather’s garden and farm in Delgany, grumbling all the way, to collect the windfall apples. Windfalls don’t store well. The bruise which forms where they hit the ground quickly starts to go bad. They had to be used immediately, and my grandma’s deep dish apple pie was the perfect way to do it. I love everything about it: the wonderful smell, the rich golden buttery crust and the slightly tart apple filling.
I have a favourite Pyrex glass pie dish which I’ve been using for fruit pies for more years than I care to remember. It is deep enough to fit in a generous amount of apple and has a good sized lip round the edge. The deep lip helps with crimping the edges of the pastry, keeping the juicy filling safely inside. My grandma used a fork to crimp the edges, but a rustic thumbprint works just as well. Brushing the bottom edge of the pastry with egg wash before adding the top layer will help to seal the crimped edges together.
Different varieties of apple will give slightly different results. I’ve used Bramley apples here, which become soft and fluffy when cooked. Varieties such as Cox or Braeburn will keep their shape. You may want to use a mixture of the two, depending on what you have to hand. Here's the recipe!
For the apple filling -
For the pastry -
Note: For a Rhubarb Tart, use 2-3 lbs rhubarb, cut in inch chunks, tossed in 2 tablespoons cornflour. For Apple and Blackberry Pie, use 2lbs cooking apples and 1lb blackberries.
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See my recipe published in the Irish Times Weekend Magazine.