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

  8. My favorite apple recipe is my Apple Cake which is always moist, tasty and delectable. Love apple recipes. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. Living in the northeast corner of Ohio, we have many apple orchards. I enjoy when the apple season arrives so I can make apple sauce, apple pies and baked apples. My favorite apple pie is one I make with golden raisins. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Your apple pie would be greatly enjoyed since apple baking is special. We always baked with apples ever since I was young and my ultimate favourite is apple squares. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. I love Dutch apple pie with the crumb topping loaded with brown sugar. Talk about going for broke! I've also eaten delicious apple cakes. It is hard to beat eating a Honey Crisp straight from the orchard but since we no longer live in Minnesota we have to settle for store-bought.

    1. My mini-orchard (now six trees) went crazy this year and produced bushels of apples, so I'm desperate for new apple recipes. Some great suggestions here!

  12. My mom's apple dumplings are to die for! My husband used to request them instead of birthday cake. Lots of brown sugar, cinnamon and doughy goodness! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com The recipe looks yummy, thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Great variation on that Apple Goodie recipe! How did you bring fruit back?

  14. You have combined some of my favorite apple recipe elements: crust, flavored apples, and crumble topping.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  15. Growing up, I used to make an apple pie with my sisters from a recipe we found on a box of Keebler cinnamon graham crackers. It's a very simple version of your Bramley apple pie, and uses a ready made graham cracker crust, apple pie filling, and a topping of crushed cinnamon grahams and butter. It was delicious. Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas!

  16. I sometimes put together a saucepan apple dessert. I cut up an apple, put it in a small saucepan with a couple spoonfuls of water, a spoonful of brown sugar, couple shakes of ground cinnamon, and a shake of nutmeg if I'm in the mood. Toss in some raisins or dried cranberries if I have them handy, then simmer until apples are tender. I then plop in a bit of butter, stir it to melt, then put in a bowl. Sprinkle on a little granola, let it cool to eating temperature, and dig in. Satifies the apple pie craving with a bit less trouble. kimmwrtr(at)yahoo(dot)com.

  17. When I was a kid I used to watch my grandmother make apple pie. She never measured anything but her pies were really good. And she’d let us make shapes out of the leftover crust and bake them for us.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  18. A traditional apple pie is my favorite apple pie. There is a dessert called Dutch Apple Dessert. A friend gave me the recipe. It is good also. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  19. I recently tried apple brownies at a friend's house. They were really good.

  20. Interesting apple that we don't have here but would probably substitute with some other more Tara bhan sweet. My favorite apple dessert is Apple Something. It's not a pie and not a "something" else. I also make baked apple puffed pancakes and make a brown sugar sauce and these are delicious for anytime and perfect with cinnamon ice cream on top for dessert.

    I follow every blog and truly enjoy your trips to Ireland, Sheila.

    Thank you for the giveaway. I would absolutely love love love to win a copy if your upcoming release.

    Merry Christmas.

    Cynthia B
    ceblain AT tmlponline DOT net

  21. I llove apple pie but no longer bake. One local grocery store has a great one. Hope to win your

  22. I really do love apple pie, but dont bake much at all. My favorite apple is Granny Smith. I have one a day every day. Thanks for the chance to win. I have my copy pre-ordered! kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

  23. My favorite is apple strudel.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  24. My favorite apple recipe is my Mom's English Apple Pie. There is no crust and a crumb topping. I wish I could find her recipe, but I misplaced it somewhere.

  25. I'm more of an Apple crisp or strudel..

  26. Smitten Kitchen's apple pie. It is a monster calling for 5 lbs of apples. Dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

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  28. I’ve made many apple pies. The men in my family like them. sue foster109 at gmail dot com

  29. Who doesn't love apple pie!