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)
419 Calories
19g Fat
61g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 419
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 32mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 182mg 4%
*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 U.K. Though it is found here more often now as the flavor has crept over from the U.S. 

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:

  • 200 grams (about 1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 110 grams (about 4-ounces) cubed unsalted butter, or an equal mix of butter and lard

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling:

  • 700 grams (about 1 1/2 pounds) cooking apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 110 grams (about 4-ounces) sugar

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

  • 25 grams (about 1-ounce) unsalted butter

  • Milk, as needed for 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 425 F / 220 C / 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-inch (18-centimeter) 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.