Lovers of the adventures of Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and the whole fun Disney family cannot fail to remember Grandma Goose, the sweet old lady who used to bake delicious cakes for her grandchildren Here, There and Here. Two cakes in particular appeared frequently in the comics: the tart and theapple pie original English recipe (or American). This cake is actually as much English as it is American as it originated from the meeting of these two cultures at the time of colonialism. Yet it is precisely the Americans who have identified it as the 'national cake' and outside the Anglo-Saxon world, this cake is often not given its proper paternity because it is actually English.

Granny Duck apple pie

Apple Pie original English or American recipe: characteristics

To make a delicious apple pie, it is essential to start by choosing the right apple: green and tart Granny Smith apples are perfect for this recipe. They also have a generally firmer and less watery texture, although it is perfectly normal for apples to release some water when cooking. Those who prefer a drier filling can let the diced apples rest on a paper towel for 10 minutes before seasoning them. The filling of the apple pie original English recipe should be creamy and firm and stay in the slice. This also depends very much on the cut of the apple: if the squares are too big they will tend not to cook well and will run away. To make a perfect apple pie, it is important to choose the right mould: using a glass mould with curled edges allows you to obtain the perfect original shape even if you are not very handy. The glass also allows you to check that the bottom is cooked, which is crucial for this pie! The mould used to prepare this recipe is the tart mould Ôcuisine 27 cm (6 vasos) in diameter with curved edges, which costs about 9-12 € on Amazon. The material allows the cake to be served at the table without having to remove it from the mould. If you are handy, however, you can also use a flared non-stick mould, but we recommend choosing one with a removable base such as this.

American Apple Pie: the recipe

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120 minutes

30 minutes

Easy

Cooker + oven

American / English

Ingredients for 6/8 persons

Apple Pie original English recipe: for the filling

  • 600 g green apples (Granny Smith)
  • 100 g caster sugar + 8 tbsp sugar
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g cornflour
  • the juice of a lemon
  • 1 level teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 3 tablespoons of water at room temperature

Apple pie original recipe: the 'tart' or pie crust 

  • 320 g 00 flour
  • 220 g cold butter
  • 10 g caster sugar
  • 5 g fine salt
  • 7 tablespoons of very cold water
  • 1 tablespoon apple vinegar

Accessories

  • 1 potato peeler
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 knife
  • 2 medium bowls
  • 1 tablespoon
  • cling film q.b.
  • 1 silicone rolling pin
  • 1 glass mould 27 cm in diameter
  • 1 silicone brush
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 colander

Apple Pie original English recipe: procedure in 6 easy steps

Step 1: Prepare the apples. Peel the apples with a peeler and cut them into large cubes (about 1.5 cm per side). Place the apples in a bowl and add the squeezed lemon, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly and leave to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour (time will be sufficient for the remaining preparations).

Step 2: Prepare the pie crust. Place all the ingredients for the pie crust in a bowl and mix them with your hands. Tip the mixture onto a work surface and knead quickly - but not too quickly - until a smooth dough is obtained. Divide the dough in half, form two balls and crush them to make two disks. Wrap each ball in cling film and let it rest in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Apple pie original English recipe

Step 3: prepare the cake tin. Take one of the two dough discs out of the freezer or fridge [If you have chilled the dough discs in the freezer, put the second disc in the fridge. If you have chilled the pie crust in the fridge, take out only one and leave the other one in the fridge]. Roll out the dough with a silicone rolling pin until it is fairly circular and thin, around 2-3 mm thick. Butter the glass cake tin well (important to check if the bottom is cooked through). Roll out the pastry sheet on the cake tin. If it is not perfectly rolled out or some of the pastry is missing in some places, it is not a problem! To solve this, simply remove the pastry from the places where it is surplus and add it where it is needed. Attention must be paid to the edges: the pastry should be tight and barely stick out. Place the cake tin with the pastry to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Prepare the filling. To simplify, the filling can be divided by preparing two separate sauces to be joined together when ready. 

Caramel sauce

  • Heat half a glass of water (100 ml) in the kettle and keep it aside.
  • Put 8 level tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan and let it melt over a low flame.
  • As soon as the caramel takes on the desired colour, i.e. not too dark brown (it must not burn or become too bitter), remove from the heat and add the boiling water, stirring quickly with a whisk. It will make a little smoke, but it stops immediately!
  • Allow to cool just long enough to prepare the other sauce.
  • Keep two tablespoons of caramel sauce aside.

Apple juice sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Using a strainer, separate the juice from the apples and add it to the butter.
  • Let it cook over medium heat until it boils, then add the cornflour and stir with a whisk. As soon as it solidifies and takes on a creamy consistency turn off the heat and slowly add the caramel sauce while continuing to stir.

The stuffing

  • Mix the mixture obtained by combining the two apple sauces very carefully.
  • Place the bowl of filling in the freezer for the time needed to roll out the topping.

Step 5: Composition of the cake. Turn on the static oven at 220 °C. Take the pastry disc out of the fridge and roll it out with a rolling pin as thinly as possible, to a thickness of 1-2 mm. Take both the cake tin and the filling out of the freezer, then place the filling over the entire surface of the mould, making a little mound in the centre. Cover with the pastry disc and fold it towards the edge. With the right mould, you don't need manual dexterity to form the closing curl: simply push the dough with your fingertip until it sticks to the edge. With a small, sharp knife, make 4 or 5 cuts in the centre.

At this point the original English apple pie recipe calls for brushing the pie with beaten egg yolk, but since not everyone likes the taste of egg you can replace it with caramel sauce (the 2 tablespoons kept aside). Dust with a spoonful of caster sugar.

Apple pie original English recipe

Step 6: Cooking. Place in the lowest level of the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes. To tell if it is cooked, the surface of the cake must 'boil', while the base of the cake must be golden and dry. If it is not, extend the baking time by a few minutes. Take the apple pie out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. When it is warm it is the perfect time to eat it! Do not unmould it: the glass baking dish is not afraid of a knife and is perfect for serving!

  • Caution! The surface of the cake must not darken! If you need to extend the baking time for safety's sake, it is advisable to move the cake right to the base of the oven and lower the temperature a little. Do not use tin foil in the oven as it is dangerous to your health (aluminium foil transfers to food at high temperatures).
Apple pie original English recipe

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What to pair with Apple pie original English or American recipe?

A trained sommelier is capable of proposing sensible pairings that go beyond convention. This is why I would like to suggest combining the original English apple pie recipe with two drinks made precisely from apples: apple cider and Calvados AOC. Personally, I find the latter really perfect for this pie as, being a French distillate containing about 30% of apples, it perfectly complements the apple pie and also enhances the spacing without disappearing.

As for the apple cider, on the other hand, I find it perfect for winter, especially when served warm. Its low alcohol content makes it perfect at any time of day. With freshly baked warm cake it is a real cuddle. Then as England is the home of cider, it is also a territorial proposition.

Chiara Bassi

Writer, sommelier & gastronome

Apple Pie: a good reason to try it

Apple pie is certainly one of the most widely prepared pies in the Western world. There are countless variations of it and everyone has their own special recipe. The original English apple pie is still an apple pie, but not in the common sense of the word as it differs in having a crust and a filling. It looks more difficult to make, but actually by following this recipe step by step the result is guaranteed. Moreover, it allows all sommeliers to study unusual pairings: if the classic apple pie is easier to pair with wine, the apple pie - with its spacing and caramel taste - presents more difficulties and can therefore be considered a tasty didactic dessert.

Apple pie original English recipe

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