Apple and Calvados pie...

I'm always on a look out for a nice pie crust recipe (when it's so easy to make yourself, why would you buy it?!) and nice pie in general, being it sweet or savory, although having a bit of a sweet tooth, it's usually the first one ;) This particular recipe caught my eye in the "Fruit" cookbook by Hugh from River Cottage. The crust is quite sweet (not like Nigel's from Pie of plums) but it goes perfectly with my sour apples and Calvados. Yes, crisp, fresh, aromatic, strong but gentle at the same time Calvados. Whenever I can smell fresh apples, it reminds me about Calvados, I don't think that I'm the only one with such comparisons ;)

Back to today's pie. Autumn is a perfect time to make pies. Time when I need warmth and full of flavor, pungent, indulging, comforting food. Sweet, fruity pies are my answer to it! The smell of this particular pie being baked - heavenly! I could barely wait for it to cool enough, so I can cut into it! The addition of Calvados and raisins are my own (original Hugh's recipe calls for some almonds in the filing, but I didn't want any in my version). The below pie literally disappeared! I barely noticed and it was all gone. Luckily I was able to treat myself to a big slice, with some Greek yogurt on the side and string coffee.... I really DO hope that you'll make my pie! If you don't have Calvados I think that a little bit of apple cider would work here quite well too ;)
What's your favorite fruity/sweet pie?

How to make it...
- 1 kg Bramley or other cooking apples apples
- 150 g caster sugar, plus more to finish- 1/4 cup Calvados
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the sweet shortcrust:
- 300 g plain flour
- 50 g icing sugar
- 175 g cold butter, cut into small dice
- 1 egg yolk
- about 4 tablespoons cold milk

For the pastry, put the flour and sugar in a food processor and blitz briefly to combine. Add the butter and blitz until the mix resembles breadcrumbs (or rub it in by hand). Add the egg yolk (save the white) and just enough milk to bring it together, then knead lightly into a ball, wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Heat the oven and a metal baking sheet to 220 C. Peel and core the apples, chop them roughly into a large saucepan. Add the sugar, raisins and the Calvados. Add the cinnamon, if using. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the apples start to break up but are not yet mushy. Leave to cool. Cut the pastry into two, about two-thirds and one-third. Roll out the larger piece and line a 4 cm-deep 24 cm pie dish (metal or enamel give a crisper finish). Tip the apple into the pastry-lined dish. Roll out the remaining pastry and brush a little water around the rim. Place the lid over the filling, trim off any excess and seal the edges. Lightly beat the reserved egg white and brush over the pie, then sprinkle generously with caster sugar (mixed with a good pinch of cinnamon, if you've used some in the pie). Cut a couple of small slashes in the top. Put on the hot oven sheet, bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 C and bake for 30 minutes more, until a rich golden brown. Leave to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving, with cream, custard or ice-cream.


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