Cakes & Bakes: Spiced apple & sultana pie

Home-made spiced apple sultana pie | H is for Home

We’re coming to the end of British Pie Week so we’re getting involved again and making a pie.

Sliced ball of shortcrust pastry

At the mere mention of the word ‘pie’ we usually get involved – any excuse! Yes, the saying may go, “As American as apple pie”, but we’re famous for our apples here in Blighty – and have no doubt been using them in pies for centuries.

Peeled, cored and chopped apples

We’ve rustled up a spiced apple & sultana pie for our Cakes & Bakes post… it’s quite a comforting, wintery version of the simple classic.

Saucepan of chopped apples and Muscovado sugar

Crisp, buttery pastry with a soft, warm, cinnamon-infused fruity filling… and finished off with thick, cold cream of course.

Trimmed shortcrust pastry pie base

You might have a bit of pastry left over – if you do, don’t just bin it, use cutters to turn it into shapes or letters to adorn the top.

Home-made spiced apple sultana pie top

The perfect, celebratory Pie Week pie!

Spiced apple & sultana pie
Yields 1
For the pastry
  1. 240g/8½oz plain flour
  2. 120g/4¼oz cold butter
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 4tbs cold water
For the filling
  1. 4 Bramley apples - peeled, cored & chopped into 2cm chunks
  2. 50g/2oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz sultanas
  4. 75g/2½oz brown or Muscavado sugar
  5. ¼tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 2tbs milk
  7. 2tbs caster sugarHome-made spiced apple & sultana pie ingredients
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For the pastry
  1. Grease a 9" diameter round pie dish
  2. Put the flour, butter and pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs
  3. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each addition until the mixture comes together into a ball
  4. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour
For the filling
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan before adding the chopped apple
  2. Add the sultanas and brown/Muscavado sugar and cook until the apple is slightly softened but still al dente
  3. Set aside to cool completely while you roll out the pie base
  4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
For the pie
  1. Divide the chilled pastry into two, one ⅓ and the other frac23;. Put the ⅓ back into the fridge
  2. Roll out the other piece into a round about ⅓cm thickness and line the dish, carefully pressing it flat cut off the excess around the rim leaving a ½cm overhang
  3. Prick the base with a fork, cover with baking beans (or dried peas like I do) and blind bake for 15 minutes
  4. Remove the pie base from the oven and set aside
  5. Remove the 2nd piece of pastry from the fridge, roll out into a round, again about ½cm
  6. Spoon the apple filling on to the cooled pastry base and cover with the pastry round. Press into the pastry base and trim any excess.
  7. Brush the top with milk, sprinkle with the caster sugar and put back into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown
  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving with cream or vanilla ice cream
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Butter pie

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Home-made butter pie | H is for Home #recipe #pie #butterpie #savourypie

Last week was actually British Pie Week so, being big pie fans chez H is for Home, we just had to get involved! We went for the vegetarian variety and decided upon a local, Lancashire favourite – butter pie.

It’s my meal of choice when we get a take away from Grandma Pollard’s, our local chippy. It’s a very humble pie –  😉 – the filling consists of few, very affordable ingredients – potatoes, onions and of course lashings of butter. There are free-to-pick herbs planted all around Todmorden courtesy of Incredible Edible, so we added a bit of fresh thyme too. I’ve not made it before but it proved a very quick & easy dish… and utterly, butterly delicious!

It’s a real celebration of simple ingredients. We served it with stir fried greens, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar – pickled cabbage is another traditional accompaniment.

Butter pie

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: makes 2 portions

Butter pie


  • For the pastry
  • 115g/4oz plain flour
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • Ice cold water (2-4 tbs)
  • For the filling
  • 2 medium potatoes (such as Maris Piper or King Edward)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 25g/1oz cold butter (made into curls using a peeler)
  • 50g/2oz butter (for softening the onions)
  • sprig of thyme, woody stalks removed
  • 4 tbs milk


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl
  2. Add the butter incorporating using your fingertips or pastry blender until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Add just enough cold water to make the pastry form a ball
  4. Put the pastry ball into a plastic bag (or wrap in cling film/Saran wrap), press out the air and refrigerate for half an hour
  5. Peel the potatoes and onion, slice the potatoes a little thicker than a pound coin, and the onion into half rings
  6. Parboil the potatoes until just soft but still holding their shape (8-10 minutes)
  7. Sweat the onions and thyme over a low heat in the butter until soft. Stir regularly so that they don't stick to the base or colour
  8. Roll out two thirds of the pastry and use to line a 20cm/8inch diameter round pie dish
  9. Trim the edges using a sharp knife around the circumference
  10. Drain the potatoes into a colander/large sieve and allow to cool
  11. Once cool, layer the potatoes, onions and butter curls into the lined pie dish. Season with salt and white pepper
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush around the edge of the pastry with the milk
  13. Roll out the remaining third of the pastry (also using the trimmings from the base if necessary) and carefully lift it over
  14. Using your fingers or a fork, press the edges of the top & bottom layers of the pastry together
  15. Remove any excess pastry lid with a sharp knife
  16. Make a few holes in the pie top to allow steam to escape
  17. Brush the remaining milk over the top of the pie
  18. Bake at 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brown on top
  19. Slice & serve immediately