Proper British Apple Pie

Apple pie
Old fashioned British apple pie

Will Heap/Getty images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
377 Calories
22g Fat
46g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 377
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 294mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 2g
Calcium 63mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A British apple pie is the classic dessert or tea time treat. The pie is the stalwart of baking and practically every country has their own style. This one is a traditional British, and also Irish, one. Cinnamon is an optional, and not a traditional, flavor in the UK. Though it is found here more often now as the flavor has crept over from the US. 

The perfect apples for this pie are Bramleys. They have a lovely balance of sweet to acidic, and provide a nice tenderness when cooked, which makes them the best. If you do not have Bramleys, then feel free to use any good cooking apple. And, if really stuck, a good dessert apple will also work, though the apples will not be as soft when cooked.


  • For the Pastry:
  • 1 2/3 cups/200 g. all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 oz./110 g. cubed butter (or an equal mix of butter and lard)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. cold water
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 1/2 lb./700 g. cooking apples (peeled, cored and quartered)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 oz./110 g. sugar
  • 4 to 6 tbsp. cold water
  • Optional: 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 oz./25 g. butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (more or less, to glaze)

Steps to Make It

For the Pastry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the flour, butter and salt into a large, clean bowl.

  3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.

  4. Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.

  5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 425F/220C/gas 7.

For the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Simmer the apples with the lemon juice and water in a large pan until soft. Add the sugar and cinnamon to the cooked apples. Remove from the heat and add the butter and leave to cool.

  3. Roll out half the pastry and line a 7" (18 cm) pie dish. Put the cooled, cooked apple mixture into the pastry case.

  4. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie. Damp the edges of the pastry in the dish with a little cold water, cover with the lid,  press the edges firmly together and crimp to decorate.

  5. Brush the top of the pie with milk and bake in the middle of a hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

  6. Serve hot or cold with cream, ice cream or custard sauce.


  • The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill as above.
  • Try this low-calorie and healthy apple pie version.