Not much beats a home-baked apple pie. The ultimate comforting dessert, this buttery crust and spiced apple filling is sure to be a hit with the family.
For this, you will need a 25cm (approx) metal pie dish.
For the pastry, sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor, add a pinch of salt and the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the sugar and pulse until mixed in.
Transfer to a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and the water. Using a flat-bladed knife, work the liquid into the dry ingredients until it forms a soft dough. Tip out, knead briefly and flatten into a disc. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
Now, onto the filling. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut into thin slices (about 5mm), and put into a mixing bowl with 75g of the sugar and all of the spices. Use your hands to combine. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and pop in a baking tray to heat up.
Divide the chilled dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. On a floured work surface, roll the smaller piece out into a disc roughly 30-35cm across and press into the base and sides of the pie dish. Pile in the apple slices, packing tightly. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water. Roll out the larger disc to roughly 45cm across. Place on top of the apples, trim the excess and press and crimp the edges together.
Roll out any off-cuts and cut out leaf shapes to decorate. Brush the pie with a little milk, scatter with the remaining caster sugar and cut a small hole in the middle (this will allow steam to escape as it cooks).
Slide the pie onto the hot baking sheet and turn down the heat to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden and apples are tender.