Banbury apple pie


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

This is a type of closed pie as we know mostly from America today. These kinds of sweet pies came from England, where they have been on the menu for centuries. Their lids were either decorated with pastry, or the pies were cut into shapes, creating the ‘cut laid tarts’ we find in old cookbooks.

Apple pie was very common in Britain throughout the ages. I like the fact that this recipe is linked to the town of Banbury in Oxfordshire by a recipe I found in a 1928 newspaper. Strangely, it appeared in a very different county than the county in which Banbury is located.

For this pie you need a pie plate, which is a tin with a wide rim on which you can rest the bottom pastry and then attach the pastry lid.


For the shortcrust pastry

  • 250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 100 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 125 g ( oz) chilled butter, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • butter, for greasing
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

For the filling

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) cox, Jonagold or other red apples
  • 100 g ( oz) raw (demerara) sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 50 g ( oz) currants
  • 25 g (1 oz) candied citrus peel
  • 50 g ( oz) butter, cubed


For a 22 cm (8½ inch) pie plate

Make the shortcrust pastry by combining the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse for 8 seconds or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and water and pulse again until the dough forms a ball in the bowl. Remove from the bowl and knead briefly. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F).

Cut the apples into slices and then into thirds. Combine with the sugar and spices and mix well. You need 650 g (1 lb 7 oz) of chopped apple.

Butter the pie plate and dust with flour. Thinly roll out half of the pastry on a floured work surface and place in the pie plate. Brush the rim of the pastry with the egg wash.

Spoon half of the apple mixture into the pastry. Sprinkle the currants over the top and then add the candied peel. Finish with the remaining apple and the butter cubes.

Thinly roll out the rest of the pastry, lay it over the apple and cut away the excess. Press the rim of the pie well with a fork or crimp with your fingers for a scalloped effect. Make a cross or a hole in the middle of the pie so that the steam can escape. Decorate with the left-over pastry and brush with the egg wash.

Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm with ice cream, custard or copious amounts of clotted cream.