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A Delicious Irish Farmhouse Apple Pie Recipe

 

Irish Farmhouse Apple Pie: A nurturing dessert loved by all ages!


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!


Ingredients:

For the apple filling -

  • 4 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 egg yolk, to glaze
  • 1/2 cup freshly whipped cream, to serve

For the pastry -

  • 2 Cups all purpose flour, sieved
  • 1 Cup butter, diced small (plus extra for greasing)
  • 2oz superfine sugar
  • 1 egg or 2 tbsp cold water 

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. For the pastry: Sieve the flour and sugar into a large bowl.
  3. Add the cold diced butter, rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. 
  4. Next, stir in the egg yolks , then add the cold water to bring the dough together (add more water if necessary).
  5. Bring the dough into a ball, using your hands. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  6. Divide the pastry into two (the piece for the top layer should be slightly larger). Roll out the pastry and line an ovenproof pie dish with the smaller piece of pastry. 
  7. For the filling: Arrange alternate layers of apples, sugar and a scattering of cloves in the pie dish.  Brush the pastry rim with reserved egg white or milk and cover the apples with the second piece of pastry, trim around the edges of the dish with a sharp knife and press down the pastry edges with your thumb or crimp with a fork.  
  8. Use any pastry trimmings to decorate the top of the pie with letters, leaves or other pretty shapes (using a little drop of milk to stick them on).  
  9. Brush the top of the pie with egg white or milk and dust with a little extra sugar.
    Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for a further 30-35 minutes, until the apples are just tender and the pastry is golden in colour.
  10. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

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.

 

If you liked this recipe, why not take a look at our ONLINE Ultimate Irish Cooking Course? This at-your-own-pace on demand course is full of more traditional authentic Irish recipes like this one. Get a taste of the Emerald Isle at home! Find out more HERE.

 

See my recipe published in the Irish Times Weekend Magazine.

 

 

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