Bedfordshire Apple Florentine Pie

An eighteenth-century recipe, traditionally made at Christmas.


  • 1 lb. (½ k.) short pastry
  • 4 large cooking apples
  • a little butter
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 pint (6 dl.) pale ale
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 cloves


Peel and core the apples, place in a deep buttered pie dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of grated lemon peel. Cover with a rather thick crust of short pastry and bake for 30 minutes at 450° F., gas mark 6. Carefully lift off the pastry and pour over the apples, after heating together but not boiling, 1 pint of ale, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, 3 cloves and a tablespoon of demerara sugar. Cut the pastry into four pieces and place one on each apple. Serve very hot in bowls, giving each person plenty of the mulled ale.

Some recipes leave the skin on the apples but they are better peeled as they will then absorb some of the spiced ale.