HIX’s Baked Bramley Apples

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Bramley apples

1 small egg, beaten

Thick custard or double cream, to serve

 

For the pastry

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

a pinch of salt

½ tbsp caster sugar

60g lard

25g unsalted butter

 

For the filling

30g walnuts, chopped

30g nibbed almonds

1 tbsp ground almonds

6 dates, chopped

1 tbsp raisins

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp cider brandy

a good pinch of mixed spice

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. First, make the pastry: mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and make a well. In a pan, heat 100ml water with the lard and butter until they come to the boil, then pour on to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Leave the dough covered for about 15 minutes or so, until it can be handled.
  • Divide the dough into 4 balls. Roll each on a lightly floured table to about 14-16cm in diameter and cut into circles large enough to cover the Bramley apples.
  • Cut the stalk end off each Bramley apple and remove the core, making a hole about 1.5cm wide – enough to pour filling into. Mix the ingredients for the filling together and stuff into the Bramley apples. If any if left over, just spoon it on top.
  • Put a Bramley apple in the centre of each piece of pastry and bring the pastry up the sides of the apple, gathering it up and pinching it together, leaving the top of the Bramley and filling exposed. Place on a baking tray, brush with the egg and bake for 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden. If the pastry starts browning too much, cover with foil. Serve hot with custard or cream.

Bramleys provide an unequalled eating experience thanks to their melt-in-the-mouth texture when cooked. Hix’s Baked Bramley recipe inspires diners to expand their apple repertoire beyond delicious crumbles and pies and is surprisingly simple enough to be re-created at home.