For the pastry:125g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
90g caster sugar
1 large egg
250g plain flour
For the filling:90g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, just seeds
½tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
4 large apples (about 1.5kg)
60g unsalted butter
1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze
For the pastry:Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and whizz until just combined.
Add the egg and whizz for 30 seconds.
Tip in the flour and process for a few seconds until the dough just comes together (be careful not to over process, or the dough will toughen). Add a tablespoon of cold water if the dough seems to dry.
Knead lightly on a floured surface and shape into a flat disc.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes before using.
For the filling: Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
Peel and core the apples then cut into thick chunks. Place in the bowl and coat with the spiced sugar.
Fry the apples in two batches. Melt half the butter and the vanilla in a non-stick frying pan and add half the apples. Fry over high heat for about 5 minutes until golden and caramelized round the edges, then transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining apples and butter. Leave to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 4mm thickness. Overturn a 20cm pie dish on top of the pastry and cut a rough circle, slightly bigger than the dish. Line the dish with the pastry circle, lightly pressing down to remove any air pockets, then trim off the excess pastry.
Re-roll the pastry trimmings into another circle, again slightly wider than the dish, to form the lid of the pie.
Spoon the cooled apples evenly over the lined pie dish. Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then use a rolling pin to drape the pastry lid over the pie. Press down lightly to seal, the trim off the excess. If you wish, use the excess pastry to decorate the pie.
Crimp the edges and brush over with the egg was to glaze. Use the tip of a knife to cut a small cross in the centre so that the steam can escape during cooking. Sprinkle over a little caster sugar.
Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the crust and golden brown and crisp. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.