apples in Autumn

Apples in Autumn

A few years ago, we planted three apple trees in our front garden.  For the bees and for the apples.  Since then we’ve had an abundance of apples to eat and to cook with.  The harvest starts in September, sometimes as early as late August, until end of October.   

As a young girl growing up in a Dutch household in South Africa, my mom regularly made appeltaart (apple tart).  The typical Dutch apple tart includes raisins, cinnamon and a sweet more biscuit-like crust.  A dollop of cream finishes it off nicely.   So that was the recipe we grew up on.

pictures of apple trees, apples and peeled apples.

It seems that most countries have their own version of some kind of apple tart or apple pie or apple cake.  In Ireland it looks more like a pie, as it does in England. 

While in France they have a version of an apple tart called the tarte Tatin which is an upside down apple tart where the apples have been caramelised.  The story goes that two French sisters, Caroline and Stéphanie Tatin accidentally created this beloved pastry in the 1880’s.  The sisters lived in Lamotte-Beuvron where they owned and ran the Hotel Tatin.  Stéphanie was an exceptionally fine cook and her forte was an apple tart, served impeccably crusty, caramelised and melting in the mouth. One hectic day, Stéphanie apparently left the apples cooking in butter and sugar too long and they were beginning to burn.  Trying to rescue the dish, she covered the top of the pan with the pastry base and put it into the oven.  The upside-down tart resulting from this blunder was a huge hit with the guests.

Indeed, there are just so many variations of apple tarts, pies or cakes where apples are baked into the dough.  Whatever the recipe, I just love the fresh taste of apples in any kind of pastry.

It seems everyone in the world loves to bite into this fruit if you look at the total production of apples in 2018 which was 86 million tonnes

And like most people who bake apple tarts or pies there is always a favourite recipe.  I have mostly baked a more Dutch-type recipe.

recipe book by Jamie Oliver : Comfort Food
Recipe book : Jamie’s Comfort Food

But recently I decided to change things up a bit and made a recipe for an apple pie from Jamie Oliver’s book Jamie’s Comfort Food – scrumptious happy classics. It is called “Amazing Apple Pie” and the difference in the crust (with the other recipes I’ve used) is that it has almost no sugar and uses much more butter. 

At the top of the recipe Jamie adds that how your make the pastry and which apples and sugar you choose makes all the difference to the final product.  I have to say I was very happy when I saw he uses cinnamon as well. 

Flaky Pie Pastry

250g unsalted butter (cold)

350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tablespoon golden caster sugar


2kg apples (mixture of Bramley, Russet, Braeburn, Cox and Granny Smith) I used a mixture from our trees and whatever was in the fruit basket.

1 lemon

50g unsalted butter

100g light brown muscovado sugar (I didn’t have light, so used the dark one)

1 good pinch of ground cinnamon


1 large egg

20g demera sugar


  • Chop the butter into 1cm chunks and put into the freezer until super-cold.
  • Put the flour, a good pinch of sea salt, the golden caster sugar and cold butter into a food processor and pulse until just combined but still a little chunky
  • Pour in 150ml of ice-cold water and pulse again until it just forms a very rough dough.
  • At this point use your hands to bring the dough together into two equal flat rounds. 
  • Wrap them in clingfilm and put into the fridge to rest for at least one hour.
  • Peel and core the apples.  Cut half into rough chunks and quarters and the other half into 1cm chunks, then squeeze over the lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.  (I really like the idea of cutting the apples in different sizes, it makes the eating part really exciting)
  • Melt the butter and muscovado sugar in a large saucepan on a medium heat, then add the cinnamon.
  • When the mixture starts to bubble add the chunkier half-batch of apples and cook for around 10 minutes, or until hey start to soften but are still holding their shape.
  • Stir in the rest of the apples and cook for a further 4 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to cool completely.
  • Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas 5.
  • On a flour-dusted surface, roll out one piece of pastry, turning and dusting with flour as you go, until it’s 3mm thick.
  • Loosely roll the pastry around your rolling pin then unroll it over a 26cm pie dish, making sure you have a decent overhang.
  • Pile the filling into the pie dish and gently pat it down.
  • Whisk the egg and brush around the edges of the pastry.
  • Roll out the remaining piece of pastry and use your rolling pin again to unroll it on top of the pie – let it sink naturally onto the apples, then gently press down at the edges.
  • Trim off any excess and feel free to decorate the top.
  • Crimp the edges together with a fork or pinching with your fingers.
  • Egg wash the top of the pie, then scatter over the demera sugar from a height.
  • Cut a cross in the middle, then bake at the bottom of the oven for 50 minutes to one hour, or until golden.
  • Serve with custard or cream. Even ice cream.
An apple pie just out the oven
Delicious apple pie

If you try one new recipe this autumn, try this one!  Happy baking.

my name, Ieteke, signed
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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] baking. Especially baking. In previous blogs I’ve given you different recipes for apple tarts and pies, so the recipe today is for a scrumptious apple […]

  2. […] wrote a previous blog about Apples in Autumn where I added a recipe by Jamie Oliver, called Amazing Apple Pie. This recipe, however, is for a […]

  3. […] I know. Another apple-story and another recipe for an apple tart. But hey, who doesn’t love apple tart and with it being […]

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