“Even if you didn’t grow up with homemade apple pie, there’s something nostalgic about having one cooling on the kitchen counter. This version is lightly spiced, sticky with dates and absolutely delicious drowned in custard. ”
Dice the butter and tip into the bowl of a food processor with the flour and ¼ of a teaspoon of sea salt, then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Finely grate the lemon zest and reserve for later, then squeeze in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of cold water, and pulse to combine. If the mixture is still looking a little dry, continue adding small amounts of water and pulsing until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough in two, shape into equal-sized discs, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
Peel and core the apples, cut into 1cm wedges and place in a saucepan. Sprinkle over the reserved lemon zest and squeeze in the remaining juice. Finely chop the dates, removing any pits, then stir in with the sugar and spices. Gently simmer over a medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the apples are almost tender. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. On a flour-dusted surface, roll out one pastry disc to 5mm thick and use it to line a deep 20cm pie dish, pushing the pastry into the edges. Trim the edges, leaving a 2.5cm overhang around the dish. Spoon in the cooled pie filling, packing it tightly.
Roll out the second pastry disc to 5mm thick, moisten the edges with water and place over the pie, pressing the edges to seal. Fold in the overhang and crimp with your fingers.
Beat all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl, then brush all over the pie. If you have any off-cuts of pastry, you could make extra decorations for the top, sealing with extra glaze. Using a sharp knife, make incisions into the pie top to allow steam to escape during baking. Sprinkle with extra demerara sugar.
Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and firm. Delicious served whilst still warm, with pouring cream or lashings of fresh custard.