• 400g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g cold unsalted butter
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 840g apples
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp light brown muscavado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 20mls milk
  • 10mls lemon juice
  • 50g icing sugar

Yeah, I know it’s a complete and total mouthful. Sorry. I just had to get all the information in. It’s a bad habit of mine. When I recount a story I always give too much detail, like I feel I’m cheating the poor recipient of the tale if I don’t give them every single last mind numbing detail. Poor them. It’s why me and the written word are better suited. Being a bit long winded is not necessarily a negative in writing, it can positively be a positive. Sometimes. So here’s the detail:

My Nanna has an apple tree that has an attitude problem. One year lots of apples, the next none, then this year just a few. It’s like it’s varying it’s yield to seek attention. Maybe she has relationship issues and no one to listen to her problems. Anyway, each year we have to think of what to do with the varying amount of apples. One year we had such a glut there was apple pie, chutney and frozen apple compote for wintery porridge breakfasts. Last year there was nothing. Zilch. We were apple pie-less. This year we have just a few so here’s my solution to not many apples from a very temperamental love-lorn apple tree.

One year ago: Christmas flapjacks and Walnut, bourbon and treacle tart  and All about cake pops

Two years ago: Father Christmas’ Bakewell tart and Chocolate cupcakes and truffle icing and Halloween bloodshot eye truffles 

Three years ago: Chocolate, cherry and hazelnut flapjack and Lazy fish pie and Greek green beans 

Double crust cinnamon cream cheese apple pie

Serves 10

Ingredients:

Pastry:

  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g cold unsalted butter
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 large egg

Filling:

  • 840g apples, weight when peeled and cut into cubes (this was 6 large apples from my Nanna’s tree)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp light brown muscavado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Glaze and icing:

  • 20mls milk
  • 10mls lemon juice
  • 50g icing sugar

You need a baking tray that measures roughly 32cm x 22cm x 1cm.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon then rub in the butter with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (You can also use a food processor with the blade attachment to do this.)

Beat the cream cheese, vinegar and egg together until well mixed and without lumps – I used a fork and then a whisk to achieve this. Then add this to the breadcrumb mixture and use a blunt knife and then your hands to pull everything together. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prepare the apples by peeling and coring them then chopping into 2cm chunks. Toss them in the lemon juice then the rest of the filling ingredients. Stir well and set aside. Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C.

Cut the pastry in two and roll out one piece onto a floured work surface using a rolling pin; be careful to roll in one direction only (from your tummy outwards) and then pick the pastry up and turn it 45 degrees. If you roll backwards and forwards you are likely to stretch the gluten in the flour and end up with tough as old boots pastry. Roll until you have a rectangle that will more than cover your tray. Transfer the pastry to the tray carefully, letting it slightly overhang. Then do any repair work necessary using your fingers to pinch any cracks together.

Fill the pastry case with the apple mixture then roll the other half of the pastry to just fit the baking tray, being careful to only roll in one direction as before. Transfer to the top of the baking tray, over the apples. Then pull the sides of the bottom crust of the pastry over the top of the pie and press down slightly. Glaze with the milk, using a little to glue the seams of the pastry together.

Cut into the pie to let any steam escape then bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling away. Make up the icing by mixing the lemon juice and icing sugar together and drizzling over the top of the slightly cooled pie. Serve hot, cold, with cream, with ice-cream, with custard or just plain.

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