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Sour Cream, Apple and Walnut Pie

Serves 6 - 8

10 large eating apples (I prefer the tartness of Cox's to Golden Delicious)
a little light brown muscovado sugar
142ml/5fl oz carton soured cream

110g/4oz sugar, half light muscovado and half molasses
110g/4oz unsalted butter
a large tbsp golden syrup
55g/2oz flour
85g/3oz walnuts, bashed into small bits
shortcrust pastry made with -
225g/8oz flour
110g/4oz unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease a pie dish with butter, then line it with two-thirds of the rolled-out shortcrust pastry. Let the overhang hang loose for the moment.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Toss them into a bowl with a small scattering of sugar and the soured cream, then mix with your hands until everything is well amalgamated. Pile this mixture into the pastry base, packing it tightly and mounding it up towards the centre.

For the topping, process the sugars, small bits of cold butter, syrup and flour together. Add the walnuts when you have stopped the processing and stir them in. Take lumps of the mixture on the palm of one hand and flatten them out with the other palm, so you have a flattened layer rather than a crumble top, and cover the surface of the apples bit by bit. Join the topping to the pastry edge before you cut off the pastry overhang.

Cook for 20 minutes before turning the temperature down to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and cooking for another 30-40 minutes. Check that the top layer is not darkening too much and if it is, cover with a layer of greaseproof or foil and continue cooking. The pie will smell ready when it is ready. I am of the firm belief that apple pie is best when left to cool for at least 3 hours after cooking, so if you want it warm or hot work out your cooking times accordingly and reheat very gently. Warm and á la mode, with homemade vanilla ice cream, is the business, but every I would not suggest that for breakfast.

Reproduced by kind permission of Tamasin Day Lewis from her book 'Tarts With Tops On' is published by Weidenfeld &Nicholson; ISBN: 0 297 84327 3

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