3 – 4 Apples (depending on size). Granny Smiths are best… If you can’t get those, some green, slightly tangy apple is good. Or use red sweet apples and you can leave out the sugar.
1 teaspoon (approx) Cinnamon
3 tablespoons (approx) Sugar
15 whole Cloves (or about 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves)
1). Peel and chop the apples. Put these in a pot with the whole cloves (not the powder if you are using that) and enough water to cover the pieces, and bring to the boil. Simmer until the apples are soft and mushy.
2). Drain the apples to remove excess water, and fish out the cloves (It helps if you remembered exactly how many you put into the pan, so you can make sure you got them all). Mash these apples. I like to have some slight chunks in my apple pie…. so don’t go mad smashing them… just a rough mush will do.
3). Add the cinnamon and sugar (and ground cloves if you’re using these) and mix well. You can do this to taste… if the apples aren’t very tart then you might not need so much sugar. If they are really tart you might need more.
4). Leave this mixture to cool while you make the pastry.
5). Divide the pastry in half and roll out both pieces. Alternately, you can make a latticework top for the pie – if you don’t have enough pastry to do a lid, or you prefer the look. If so, you’ll need only about 1/4 of the pastry for the strips, and the rest for the pie crust.
6). Grease your baking pan/dish and place the pastry bottom into it. Fill the dish with your apple mix, and put the lid on top. If making a latticework top, cut equal strips and lay these along the top of the pie. You’ll have to keep lifting the strips up to make the under/over patterns – so do so carefully.
7). You can finish the edges off by using the prongs of a fork to make a ||||| pattern along the edges (this also helps to stick the two halves together) If you are feeling creative (and have spare pastry), you could make some leaves or other decorations for the top.
9). Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pastry top with milk (this stops it burning and makes it a bit shiny). You can add egg to this milk too if you like (but it just tends to waste a lot of egg). I like to sprinkle raw sugar over the top for a bit more sweetness, and a nice country look.
10). If you have a solid top, carefully (with a sharp knife) cut a line or two in the top, to allow the steam to escape as it is cooking (or the pie will blow up).
11). Bake at a fairly high temperature until the pastry is browning. Serve hot or cold.
You could add raisins or sultanas to this if you wish. Perhaps rhubarb… You could also make it using peaches or some other fruits instead.