Monday, 20 June 2011

A surprisingly fine Apple Pie

That is how author Simon Hopkinson describes the pie in his cookery book "Week In Week Out" and if you take a little time to follow his recipe you will find he is not mistaken!

I baked this at the weekend for our sunday lunch guests, and all agreed it was the finest apple pie we had tasted - thank you Simon Hopkinson!

(please note - I have somewhat condensed his instructions for simplicity and to reflect what I did in practice)


800 - 900g Bramley Apples (2 very large ones)
5 cloves (I omitted these as none of us like them)
juice of 1 small lemon
175g golden caster sugar (25g of which will be sprinkled on top)
1 tbsp milk
375 g ready made puff pastry *
a little milk for brushing pastry
a little butter for greasing tin

Grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin. (NB: I used a 22cm tin and used 500g pastry instead). Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Peel, core and then slice off small pieces of apple into a large bowl containing 150g of the sugar and lemon juice (I made mine small irregular shaped chunks rather than slices about 1" big, and they cooked beautifully soft without going to mush). Stir regularly as you slice to stop the apples turning brown.
Mix well then stir in the cornflour. Add cloves if using.
Roll out 2/3rds of the pastry to line the tin, allowing it to spill over the top - press pastry gently round inside bottom of tin so it lies flat.
Tip in the apples and lightly press down.
Brush a little milk around the pastry top edge.
Roll out remaining pastry a little more thinly than the base, and drape over pie, lightly pressing the two pastry edges together. Cut flush to top of tin all the way round, then knock up the pastry edges to from a crinkled edge.
Brush top of pie with milk, sprinkle over the remaining 25g golden sugar, and make a few incisions in the centre of the pastry lid to let out the steam.
Place on a baking sheet or tray and bake for 20 mins, then reduce temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and bake for a further 35 to 45 mins - pie crust should be "well-stippled with semi-caramelised sugar crystals".
Leave to cool to luke-warm before un-moulding, then serve with your favourite cream, vanilla ice-cream, or custard!

We had extra thick double cream with ours, but single cream or marscapone or anything would have been wonderful with this yummy apple pie.


Well, I had no time at all this weekend in my sewing room, but when I've finished this post I hope to get in there for an hour or two.

I thought I'd introduce a bit of gritty realism here and show you where I create - I have seen many blogs where people show these wonderfully large airy TIDY work spaces, which are to me but a dream.

My reality is somewhat less picturesque, cramped in the smallest room of the house under the eaves (yes, smaller than the bathrooms even!) and although I do periodically blitz and organise, I would usually rather being making than tidying - as long as I can lay my hands on that one elusive piece of fabric or trim that I know I  have somewhere, then that's good enough for me - and when I can't, I know its time for a tidy.

There are several things I'm working on at the moment - this is one of them.

Usual blurry picture (new camera please!!!!!!) but it will be an apron (either peg or cooks apron) when finished, one of several made from vintage linen.

Well, I'm off to fight my way into the sewing room, alone - Logan now prefers to stay out of the way on the chair on the landing as he finds he is always in the way when I move from sewing machine to cutting/ironing area!

From this vantage point he can see when I move out of the room and be ready to jump down and follow instantly.

My lovely faithful little hound - on my lap asleep as I type!


  1. Hello Gill:
    Well, your Apple Pie certainly does look to have been delicious and made us think fondly of English puddings which we so enjoy but rarely have.

    Your sewing room, tucked into the eaves, looks to be a very creative space and contans a wealth of interesting looking fabric just waiting for the moment to arrive when they will, no doubt, be so skilfully transformed by you into something practical and lovely.

    Logan is absolutely adorable!

  2. Love those storage baskets in your sewing room(which looks very tidy to me)..where did you find those I wonder?
    Apple pie mmm...scrummy,but I can't go there,I have way too many pounds to lose!Logan looks very relaxed on your lap. :0)

  3. Hello Jane and Lance - thanks for your comment!
    The apple pie isn't the prettiest looking of pies, but as we all know its what they taste like that matters! I'm sure you would enjoy this pie next time you treat yourselves to a good old fashioned english pud!
    Gill xx

  4. Hi Bellaboo!
    The baskets were from Laura Ashley, but from several years ago. We used to be lucky enough to have a LA concession in our local Homebase, now gone sadley. It used be great for picking up bargains as they often had lots of sale or end of line fabrics, lampshades, accessories etc.
    Yes, Logan likes a nap on a lap!
    Gill xx

  5. Nothing like a piece of apple pie Gill and of course it needs double cream!!
    I think your work space looks great, I don't have a dedicated space for craft, I just do it here there and everywhere, so you're very lucky.
    There really isn't another animal as faithful as a dog!
    Vivienne x

  6. I think your little space is lovely. I'm too ashamed to show mine!

  7. Wow! I want your craft room! I don't have an actualy work space at the moment.. we just don't have a house big enought. But one day I dream to have my own space to do what I want with..!

    Ashley xxx

  8. That's untidy????!!
    That is tidy girl!
    There's always a pet wanting some fuss or somewhere to nap when you're trying to use the keyboard.

    Sandie xx

  9. Gill - lovely sewing room and the fabrics make my fingers itch and long to take a little wander through the piles. I love fabric like nothing else. OK maybe books also do the same thing to me. :)

    A question - what do you think of the Sew Serendipity book? I've been thinking about buying it but am not sure if it's a good one?

  10. Love all your fabrics and bits and pieces!
    So would love a sewing room like yours instead of the whole house and my clutter! I dream of your organisation!
    Becca x

  11. Your sewing room looks organised to me. I'm just thinking give me that cosy chair in your kitcen and the pile of books in your sewing room and I would be one happy lady! Your apron made from vintage fabric looks tres chic! Love Linda x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x