It's been a good year for apple growing this year, so if you've already been harvesting the apples from your trees you're probably looking for ways to make the most of all that delicious fruit you've grown.
At this time of year, there's nothing more heart-warming than tucking into a slice of warm apple pie at the weekend. This sweet and tasty caramel version works particularly well with a serving of creme fraîche on the side, but we won't hold it against you if you prefer a dollop of vanilla ice cream or even hot custard instead.
This pretty tart is a wonderful way to use your apple crops and we guarantee it would take pride of place on any Sunday lunch menu. Want to try growing more of your own seasonal fruit and veg? Check out our guides on how to grow garlic and how to grow pumpkins for top tips on getting started.
- 375g (13oz) sweet shortcrust pastry
- 1kg (2¼lb) Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks
- 100g (3½oz) butter
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 125g (4oz) caster sugar plus 2tbsp extra
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- 2tbsp cornflour
- 3 dessert apples, peeled, cored, quartered and finely sliced
Ingredients for the caramel sauce
- 65g (2¼oz) caster sugar
- 15g (½oz) salted butter
- 2tbsp double cream
- Crème fraÎche, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas 4.
2. Roll the pastry out to around 3mm thick, and line a 23cm (9in) tart tin with it, pinching the edge to crimp. Prick the pastry base with a fork and chill for 30 mins.
3. To make the filling, put the Bramley apples, 4tbsp water and the butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts. Add the cinnamon stick. Increase the heat and cook for around 30 mins, until the apples have softened. Blitz in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, lemon zest and cornflour, and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Remove the pastry from the fridge and line with baking paper. Fill with baking beans and bake blind for 20 mins. Remove beans and parchment and cook for a further 10 mins, or until the pastry is golden.
5. Evenly spread the apple filling over the baked pastry case. Arrange the sliced dessert apples, overlapping slightly, on top in a spiral, working inwards. Bake for 30 mins more.
6. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, put the sugar in a large pan over a medium heat and cook until it’s a caramel colour. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Once smooth, add the cream.
7. Brush the hot caramel sauce over the pie and leave to set a little. Serve with generous dollops of crème fraÎche.
Beth's first journalism job was working for Real Homes magazine more than 18 years ago. It cemented her love of all things homes- and garden-related and she's never looked back since. She's worked for and contributed to a number of leading magazines in the UK, including Ideal Home magazine, Period Living magazine, Grand Designs magazine and Good Homes magazine amongst others, before returning to Real Homes magazine as editor. Now the editor of Gardeningetc.com, Beth's attention is firmly outdoors, and she's constantly inspired by how people make use of their outdoor space.
Her own garden is a really important part of her family's home, and they were lucky enough to inherit a space with lots of lovely mature planting when they bought their 1930s property.
Since then, they've built several raised beds for a veg patch, increased the size of the flowerbeds to find room for yet more of her favourite David Austin roses and her husband's collection of hostas, created an outdoor living room complete with comfy sofas and festoon lights, and not forgetting the biggest challenge of all – trying to fit in the ever changing assortment of trampolines, climbing frames and outdoor toys that are inevitable when you have two young kids!
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