For the filling:
1kg Estate Bramley apples
2 cinnamon sticks
3-4 cloves
2 bay leaf (I always pinch some out my mums garden)
1 star anise
140g golden caster sugar
For the pastry:
pinch of salt
400g flour
200g unsalted butter
56g sugar
2 vanilla pods
2 beaten eggs water


  1. Filling first; core and peel the apples and cut them into chunks.

  2. Heat up a heavy bottomed pan and throw in your spices to start releasing the aromas.

  3. Add the chunky apples and then the sugar, and let the apples stew down for 5-10 minutes, but take them off before they turn to sauce. Leave to cool down while you crack on with pasty.

  4. For the pastry sift the salt and flour and set aside.

  5. Mix the butter and sugar until just combined, then split the vanilla pods and scrape seeds into the mixture. Gradually add the eggs one by one.

  6. Now add the flour in stages until all combined and knead until smooth. Leave to rest wrapped in cling film for 20 minutes.

  7. Split the pastry into 2 and roll out to approximately 28 cm across. Line a 20-22cm diameter/4cm deep pie dish and, leaving some pastry to over-hang, place your cooled pie filling into the pie dish.

  8. With a pastry brush, brush some water around the edge so that when the lid goes on you get a nice seal, then its time to crimp the top and the bottom together. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

  9. Place into a pre-heated oven [190° C/fan oven 170° C/gas mark 5] for 35-40 minutes.