The ultimate apple pie

The traditional double-crust recipe can rattle even the most confident cooks. Rachel Walker takes you through the steps that will banish soggy bottoms

The classic recipe

Serves: 8 people

Time: 1 hour


  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 150g cold butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1kg cox’s orange pippin apples
  • A knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp semolina
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

01 Heat the oven to 160C (180C non-fan). Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in with your fingertips, or use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or pulse in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and bring together the dough, using small splashes of iced water if needed.

02 Split the pastry into thirds. Press two of the thirds into a ball, then form a small ball with the remaining third. Squash both into thick disc shapes, wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 25 minutes.

03 Rinse the pastry bowl and tip in the lemon juice. Peel, quarter and core the apples, cut them into 1cm-2cm slices, then toss straight into the lemon juice to stop them browning.

04 Grease a 24cm pie dish with the butter and dust the worktop with flour. Roll out the larger pastry disc into a circular shape a little larger than the pie dish. Drape the pastry over a rolling pin and lift it into the dish. Press it into the sides and leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge.

05 Sprinkle the semolina over the pastry base. Tip the apples into a colander to drain the lemon juice, then layer them in circles around the dish, packing them in tightly.

06 Roll out the smaller ball of pastry to make the lid. Lift it onto the pie. Pinch together the base and lid, then cut away the excess pastry. Brush the pie lid with the lightly whisked egg, use the tip of a knife to stab a small steam hole in the centre, then bake for 25 minutes.

07 Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a dish and sprinkle over the pie as soon as it comes out of the oven. Serve warm.