Friday, December 8, 2017

Bramley Apple Pie and a Giveaway

I know, you've seen plenty of apple pie recipes, but there's a reason for this one.

It all started with the apples at the Skibbereen Farmers’ Market in West Cork. You see, in England and Ireland they have Bramley apples, which are large, green, and often kind of lumpy-looking. They hold their shape in cooking and they taste good. They were first described in 1809, and are the most important cooking apple in England and Ireland. For some reason they've never really caught on in the US, so I brought a few back with me.

I needed a recipe. As I have said (too many times) already, I’m lousy at making rolled pie crusts, so I decided to use a simple one that I could press into the pie pan, and I found a nice, easy recipe.

The rest I kind of borrowed from my own recipe for Apple Goodie. I’d never made that with a crust, but it seemed worth trying. Besides, the topping for Apple Goodie is also quick and easy, and you can mix up everything with your hands (saves washing up!).

Bramley Apple Pie


2 cups flour

3 Tblsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, 
   cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tblsp water

In a food processor, mix all the ingredients until the mixture is clumpy, but stop before it starts forming a ball. Or mix with your fingers.

Find a ten-inch pie plate (metal works best—I’m not sure how the crust would brown with a ceramic or Pyrex pie plate). Dump all the crumbs into the pan. Press the dough around the sides first, then the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and use a glass or cup and press the dough smooth all around (this helps firm it up so it holds together when you’re serving it). Remove the plastic (!).


Peel and slice your apples (I used three Bramleys, which made up between 3-4 cups. This is a shallow pie.), then toss them with some sugar, flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Put the apples into the pie pan over the crust. Lay them sort of flat, but you don’t have to be fussy.


1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Mix coarsely (fingers again, if you want) and sprinkle over the apples in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pie in the middle of the oven (you might want to put a cookie sheet under it or on the rack below in case it oozes) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until what you can see of the crust around the edge is nicely brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a while (but you can serve it still warm). I will confess I held my breath when I sliced it, but it came out in a tidy piece. Eureka! (And it tasted really good!)

And a holiday giveaway! I have my first author copies of Many a Twist, the next County Cork Mystery, which will hit the shelves next month, and I want to share one! Leave a comment about your favorite apple pie (or apple dessert, or just about anything that uses apples) and I'll pick a winner!

"This laid-back mystery combines plenty of puzzles with a strong feeling for life in small-town Ireland."
     --Kirkus Reviews


  1. Fabulous apple pie recipe! My favorite apple dessert is Cinnamon Roasted Apples topped with French Vanilla ice cream.

  2. Hi, I love your recipe. Perhaps granny Smith apples would be good. I love little individual foods lately so I would use frozen puff pastry poke holes in bottom. I'm thinking I would use the puff pastry shells and put thinly sliced granny Smith apples and Mic with goodies then a crumble top.Bake and enjoy. I would love to read a book from your country cork series. Thanks.

    1. That would work (and no messing with pie crust! I'm a fan of frozen puff pastry.)

  3. Looking forward to Many a Twist!! Thanks for sharing the apple pie recipe. Dspinlexo at aol dot com

  4. I feel the same way you do about pie crusts. This pie looks wonderful and now I don't have a reason not to try it.
    Thank you.

    1. I bet even kids would like to make this--getting their hands dirty would be fun. (But the clean-up might not be.)

  5. I really love the County Cork mystery series so I'm really looking forward to Many a Twist. I guess I should get busy reading the 4 books after Buried in a Bog before Many a Twist is released.

    The apple pie recipe looks yummy. I really must try it.

    1. It might help, but it's not like Many a Twist ties up all loose ends. It just moves some things forward and introduces some new complications.

  6. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. I love anything with apples in it. No way to choose just one favorite. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. I love apple pie with some kind of crumbly topping but have shied away from making pie myself. I, too, have had difficulties with making the pie crust. Thanks for showing this recipe, may have to give it a spin and shock the family.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com