Most apple pies are made with Granny Smith apples as they hold their shape well. But I love making apple pie with a sweeter variety, using the natural sugars of the fruit rather than adding a lot of extra sugar. Leaving the skins on reduces the prep time, too. Earl grey tea adds a lovely subtle flavour.
1 portion basic sweet pastry (recipe here), rolled to 2mm-3mm thick
2 tbsp loose leaf earl grey tea
6 pink lady apples, cored and sliced about 1cm thick
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
⅓ cup castor sugar
4 tbsp tapioca flour
1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp cream
1 tbsp raw sugar
Grease and line a pie tin. Gently place the rolled pastry over the top and push into the tin, trimming the sides. Re-roll any offcuts to use for your lattice top – you should have quite a lot of excess pastry. Rest the pie tin in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Blind bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry starts to turn golden around the edges. Remove the weights or rice and bake for another 10 minutes until it takes on a tanned colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Add the tea to half a cup of boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes. While the tea is steeping, toss the apples with the vanilla bean paste and castor sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Strain the tea over the apples. Place over medium heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring gently to cook evenly but be careful not to break up the apple. Remove from the heat, add the tapioca flour and stir quickly to coat (the apple should take on a jammy coating). Turn apple mixture into the pre-baked pie shell.
Cut the remaining re-rolled pastry offcuts (this can be about ½- to 1cm-thick) into even strips, the width will depend on how many lattice strips you'd like across your pie (between 4 and 12).
Lay out 4 to 7 parallel strips of the pastry on top of the filling with an even space between them. Now gently weave remaining strips perpendicular to those laid originally and press the pastry down gently around the edges of the pie to seal.
Brush the pastry with the glaze using a pastry brush, being careful not to glaze onto the apple sections, then scatter over the sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry lattice top looks lovely and golden.