In the UK, we have a famous old rhyme and ditty that goes like this...."Apple pie without cheese, is like a kiss without a squeeze"!! This is my traditional English double crust apple pie WITH a kiss that HAS a squeeze - the CHEESE! Don't worry if you are not a cheese lover, (is there anyone out there who is NOT a cheese lover???) as this pie has the cheese on the SIDE - so you can have your apple pie with cheese or without, it's up to you! This is a tried and tested old family recipe and is based on the pastry and pie recipes in the Be-Ro cookbook. It is wonderful eaten hot with cream, custard or ice cream, as well as with the cheese; and it is an absolute must for lunch boxes and picnics! An interesting historical note - English Apple Pie in one form or another, goes right back to the time of Chaucer in the 12th century. Apple pie should have meltingly crisp and VERY short pastry with layers of spiced apples, preferably Bramley apples, in the middle. If you have a pie funnel, such as a black bird pie funnel - use that for a really traditional touch, as well as directing the steam out of the pie! I have a mixed spice mixture posted on zaar, Mixed Spice - Traditional Old Fashioned English Pudding Spice. I also have a spiced apple pie sugar posted, Old English Spiced and Fruited Sugar for Apple Pies Etc!. Replace this for the cup of sugar and the mixed spice listed in this recipe, and omit the lemon rind.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 125 g butter
- cold water
- 750 g cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 4 tablespoons sultanas or 4 tablespoons raisins
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1⁄2 juice and lemon, zest of, finely grated
- butter, for greasing the pie dish
- caster sugar
- 12 ounces mature cheddar cheese or 12 ounces wensleydale cheese, cut into wedges
- To prepare the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar. Add the butter in pieces and rub into the flour with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in enough water to hold the mixture together, then form into a smooth ball.
- Wrap in foil or grease-proof paper and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two and roll out one half on a floured board into a circle to fit the base of a well greased 20cm/8inch pie dish.
- Put the apples in a mixing bowl, then stir in the remaining filling ingredients. Spoon into the dough lined pie dish. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle to form the lid. Lay over the filling, pressing down and sealing the edge with water. Flute the edge with your fingers or crimp with the prongs of a fork. Brush with a little milk and dredge with caster sugar. Make a slit in the centre of the pie for the steam to escape, or use a pie funnel.
- Bake on a baking sheet in the centre of a hot oven (200 degrees C/400 degrees F) for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to moderate (180 C/350 F) and continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. If the pastry starts to brown too quickly, cover the top with some greaseproof paper.
- Allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with wedges of cheese, or with cream, custard or ice cream.