This apple pie with sourdough pastry is simple to make and delicious. Sweet apples are encased in a tart shell that’s tender, buttery and flaky.
If life gives you apples, you make apple pie of course! Not just any apple pie however. Apple pie with sourdough pastry. A pie where the base is the most deliciously flaky shortcrust pastry, using sourdough starter. The starter makes the pastry oh-so tender and adds great flavour.
Inside the pie are the usual suspects. Apples, spices, lemon, sugar and a little cornflour to thicken. Just the right amount of cornflour so once you cut the cooled pie there is no liquid running everywhere , or a soggy pie bottom. I am not a fan of soggy pie bottoms. A little brush on the pastry shell with an egg wash helps avoid this too.
The pastry I made by hand using a dough cutter. You can absolutely use a food processor too. Cold butter is cut into flour until it resembles course bread crumbs. You want to see the pieces of butter in there as when they melt in the oven, they are what makes your pastry so flaky!
Then a little salt and sugar is added (omit the sugar if you’re making this pastry for a savoury dish), and sourdough starter is added as the liquid.
You need about 3/4 – 1 cup of sourdough starter. It can be freshly fed or discard starter, it doesn’t matter, but I do use a 100% hydration starter. This means I have fed it equal weight flour as water (not volume). If you’re using discard starter, it can be about 3/4 of a cup as this won’t be as airy as a recently fed one.
Keep a few tablespoons of iced water handy just incase you need a little extra liquid. Bear in mind that the dough should only just come together. You don’t want too much water!
Once it has formed a dough it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but up to 16. If you want to make this dough way in advance, it freezes very well too. If it’s frozen, let it thaw for 2 hours before rolling (but don’t let it warm up.)
After it has chilled, roll out the dough on a floured bench, to fit a pie dish. Any offcuts, place those back in the refrigerator to use later as the pie lid.
Place the pie dish in the refrigerator to chill again while you prep the filling.
The filling is apples, lemons, sugar, cornflour and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.)
Before placing the filling in the pastry shell, mix up an egg with a tsp of water and brush the bottom of the pastry. Keep the rest of the egg mixture for brushing the top of the pie at the end.
Then, spoon in the filling.
To make the pie lid, you can choose to roll out a flat circle and cover the whole thing (though make some slits in the top for steam to escape,) or make a pastry design. I like to make a rustic lattice top.
Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with course sugar.
Bake the pie until the apples are soft and the pastry is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.
Leave it to cool for two hours before slicing. Once cooled it’s also easy to remove the pie from the dish and place on a serving plate.
Apple Pie with Sourdough Pastry
- 188 grams all purpose flour (1 1/4 cup )
- 150 grams unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 – 1 cup sourdough starter (if using discard starter, use about 3/4 cup)
- iced water if needed
- 6-8 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2cm thick
- 1 medium lemon, zest and juice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 egg + 1 tsp water for egg wash
- granulated sugar for topping
- Using a food processor or a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour until it resembles course breadcrumbs. Stir in the salt and sugar. (Omit the sugar if you’re making a savoury pie)
- Add in the sourdough starter, a bit at a time and use a fork, and then your hands to stir it and form a ball of dough. Add in a tsp of iced water at a time ONLY if needed. The pastry should not be too wet, it should only just come together.
- Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (up to 16.) This dough can also be frozen.
- Remove from the refrigerator after it has chilled and roll it out, 1/2 cm thick to fit into a pie dish. Any offcuts place back in the refrigerator to make pie top later on. Once the dough is in the pie dish, place this back in the refrigerator too while you prepare the filling.
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients except for the egg, and stir well to coat all the apples.
- Briskly whisk the egg and the tsp of water in a cup.Remove the pie dish from the refrigerator and brush the pastry base with some egg mixture. Scoop the apples into the pastry base.
- Roll out the pastry offcuts you saved before to make a pie topping of your choice. If you make one large circle to cover the top, add some slits in there to allow steam to escape.
- Place your pie topping on the pie. Brush the pie topping with the egg wash and sprinkle with some granulated sugar.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the apples are soft. Allow the pie to cool for two hours before cutting.