Apple pie

Freshly baked apple pie

Freshly baked apple pie

An apple pie is one of the most comforting, homely puddings you can ever make, and this is my all-time favourite recipe, adapted from my Hungry Student Baking book

If you’re not confident making pastry from scratch, this is a great recipe to start with. It’s pretty much foolproof and produces a delicious, rich, buttery pastry. It’s slightly sweet and enriched with egg yolks, which is exactly how I like sweet shortcrust pastry. I hope this recipe will also convert you to making pastry at home, rather than using shop-bought. The difference is astonishing. 

This pie is easy and quick to make, as homemade pies go, and it also uses readily-available ingredients – all of which I will generally keep in the kitchen – so this is a lovely last-minute dessert to make to follow a Sunday roast. It’ll really impress your family or guests.

Feel free to add more spice or dried fruit to the mix. Cloves and sultanas all work very well here. You could also use half Bramley apples and half eating apples, such as Cox, Braeburn or Jazz, which would produce a softer texture and taste a little sharper. 

Apple pie
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
553 calories
81 g
146 g
23 g
8 g
14 g
270 g
20 g
37 g
1 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
270g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 553
Calories from Fat 205
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g
36%
Saturated Fat 14g
69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 146mg
49%
Sodium 20mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 81g
27%
Dietary Fiber 5g
21%
Sugars 37g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
17%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
4%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. For the pastry
  2. • 300g plain flour
  3. • 150g butter, cubed and chilled
  4. • 4 tsp caster sugar
  5. • 2 egg yolks
  6. • 8 tsp ice cold water
  7. For the apple filing
  8. • 650g eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
  9. • 75g caster sugar
  10. • 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. • 4 tsp water
  12. • 1 egg, beaten
  13. • 3 tbsp caster sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Place the apple slices into a saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon and water and cook for 10 minutes. The apples should have softened a little during this time. Set aside to cool.
  2. Now start the pastry. Place the flour and butter into a bowl. Rub together lightly using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and egg yolk and stir into the butter and flour. Finally, add the cold water, a little at a time. Take a table knife and use this to stir the mixture to mix the water in. Once the water has been added, bring the pastry together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chilli in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. Whilst the pastry is chilling, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Grease a 24cm pie dish, or a 20cm/ 8” round spring form tin well and set aside.
  4. When the pastry is chilled, take two large sheets of clingfilm, place half the ball of pastry between the two sheets and roll out to be thin enough to fit the tin – ¼-½ cm thickness is generally about right. Fit the pastry to the tin and press into the edges and round the sides. If you are using the springform tin, build the pastry up to 5 cm up the sides of the tin and cut around the edges neatly. If you have any thin patches, just press any excess pastry over them to cover them up. If you are using the pie dish, leave 1-2cm excess pastry around the rim.
  5. Fill the pastry case with the apple mixture.
  6. Roll out the second half of the pastry as you did the first half. Place the pastry on top of the pie and cut around the edge of the dish using a knife.
  7. Dampen down the edges of both pieces of pastry with water. Then, take a fork, and press down around the rim of the pie to seal the pastry, or crimp using your fingers, which is what I did when I made the pie in the picture.
  8. Brush the pie with the beaten egg to glaze, and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Make a couple of small cuts in the centre of the pie using a sharp knife. Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Serve warm or cold with cream, custard or ice cream
Adapted from The Hungry Student Cookbook, by Charlotte Pike
beta
calories
553
fat
23g
protein
8g
carbs
81g
more
Adapted from The Hungry Student Cookbook, by Charlotte Pike
Charlotte's Kitchen Diary http://www.charlotteskitchendiary.com/

Thank you and Happy New Year

Summer in Sjælland, Denmark

Summer in Sjælland, Denmark

It’s such a cliché, but I really can’t believe 2015 is nearly over and we’re starting a new year already. 

2015 was a very busy, challenging year, but an incredibly exciting one, and I am really looking forward to everything 2016 has in store. Over the last year, I’ve had a huge amount of a lot of work on, and I’ve been away from home more days than I was home, so lots happened that I didn’t share with you all. So, here’s a little summary of my year.

The start of 2015 was very busy, and January was mostly occupied by the end of the shooting season. 

How many birds in the bag?!

February was busy in a different way, as I worked flat out to finish FERMENTED, my latest cookbook.

Recipe testing for FERMENTED

Recipe testing for FERMENTED

We had an excellent mini break to Northern Ireland and Belfast, too.

Giant's Causeway

Giant’s Causeway

Highlights included visiting the Giant’s Causeway and an unforgettable lunch at OX in Belfast, which was awarded a Michelin star this year, too.

OX

OX

With my book mostly written, we started shooting the book in London in March, which was great fun. I had the most amazing team working for me, who really captured the look and feel I wanted for this book.

IMG_5649

Shooting FERMENTED

In April, I popped over to Dublin to attend a party and had an excellent few days over there on my own enjoying this brilliant city.

Sunshine, blue sky and blossom on St. Stephen's Green, Dublin

Sunshine, blue sky and blossom on St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

May was a lovely month. At the start of the month, we headed up the Peak District, which we enjoyed, and then spent a long weekend in Snowdonia. A highlight was getting back into the saddle and riding through Snowdonia together.

Snowdonia

Llechwedd, Snowdonia

Then, I headed back to Ireland for a week to speak at the Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival, which was a huge privilege.

Ballymaloe Lit Fest

Ballymaloe Lit Fest

Next, I spent the week on a solo road trip, travelling around Kerry and Cork which was absolutely lovely. 

Ballyvolane House

Ballyvolane House

In June, we headed north to Skye, which was a dream come true. We were really unlucky with the weather, but had a fantastic trip and staying at Kinloch Lodge was a long held ambition of mine. 

Skye

Skye

July and August were hugely interesting and enjoyable months, as I headed off to Denmark for the summer. Just before I flew out to Sjælland, we had a super long weekend in the Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

I had a fantastic time in Denmark, which is such a beautiful country and came home completely inspired by the wonderful people and food there. 

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

I had a very quick turnaround and we took the ferry over to France for a very dear friend’s wedding in the Loire, which was just amazing. We combined this with a fantastic road trip around northern France.

Celebrating in the Loire

Celebrating in the Loire

At the end of August, FERMENTED was published worldwide, which was a huge joy.

FERMENTED Cover

FERMENTED

We spent the August Bank Holiday in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, which was really beautiful. 

Forest of Dean - The Tudor Farmhouse

Forest of Dean – The Tudor Farmhouse

September was another busy month, with book promotion worldwide. I visited Paris with 11 wonderful friends, which was so much fun. We hired an enormous apartment and drank wine, ate cheese and had a very jolly time together. As soon as I returned, I headed off to Laranza in Hertfordshire to film my first TV series for Simply Good Food TV. And then we packed our bags again and headed to the Middle East for a fortnight, which was complete bliss. 

Waldorf Astoria, UAE

Waldorf Astoria, UAE

Back home in October, we visited South Devon for weekend as I was invited to speak at the Dartmouth Food Festival. I had a busy month teaching my cookery classes at Harborne Food School in Birmingham. 

November was another hectic month with lots of work on. I did manage a week in London catching up with friends and business meetings. We finished the month in Madrid, which was really special.

El Retiro, Madrid

El Retiro, Madrid

December has been a crazy month with lots going on work wise and at home. It’s been nice to have a little time off over Christmas as I gear up for an even bigger and better year in 2016. I have a new book to write imminently and some very, very exciting work projects in the pipeline, which I shall start to share with you in a few weeks. 

It was very special to finish 2015 nominated for the André Simon Award for FERMENTED. Other shortlisted authors include Jamie Oliver, Bee Wilson and Oz Clarke. The awards will take place in London in January, which should be good fun.

As always, thank you so very much for all your support this year. More of you have been reading this blog than ever, and buying my books to make them best sellers. I appreciate all of your support, and I look forward to bringing you more books, recipes and Foodie Guides in 2016.

I wish you all the very best for the year ahead. Charlotte X

Kale, spinach, pomegranate and walnut salad

IMG_9037

Salads are not just for sunny days. In the depths of winter, a salad can be a wonderful thing; full of nourishing ingredients and vibrant flavours to ward off colds and cheer the spirits. In many ways, a good winter salad is more exciting than a summer salad. It’s an unexpected injection of flavour at this cold and dark time of year.

I love interesting salads, packed with interesting flavours and textures. A good salad is a deeply satisfying meal, and this is one of my very favourite winter salads. I adore kale and love it raw in salads. The key is carefully preparing the leaves, picking out any stalks or tough stems, and ensuring that the leaves are shredded into small pieces.

This salad is just wonderful enjoyed on its own, or with some lamb kofte or meatballs to turn it into a complete meal. It’s one I make time and time again at this time of year. I hope you love it too.

Spinach, kale, pomegranate and walnut salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
205 calories
26 g
13 g
10 g
7 g
4 g
284 g
167 g
10 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
284g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 205
Calories from Fat 87
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 4g
19%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 13mg
4%
Sodium 167mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 6g
23%
Sugars 10g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
391%
Vitamin C
173%
Calcium
24%
Iron
28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 red onions, thinly sliced
  2. 25g butter
  3. 200g kale, stalks removed and sliced into thin strips
  4. 500g baby spinach
  5. 25g walnuts, chopped
  6. Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  7. 1 bunch dill, chopped
  8. ¼ tsp cinnamon
  9. 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  10. Juice from ½ lemon
  11. Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  12. Pinch caster sugar
  13. Sea salt
  14. Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Gently fry the onions in the butter for around 15 minutes until translucent. Set aside and leave to cool.
  2. Once the onions have cooled, combine all the ingredients together, gently tossing to ensure the leaves are evenly dressed. Add enough olive oil to lightly dress the leaves. Season to taste. Serve immediately.
beta
calories
205
fat
10g
protein
7g
carbs
26g
more
Charlotte's Kitchen Diary http://www.charlotteskitchendiary.com/