Firstly you need to pop the apples into your large saucepan and squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Give them a little stir to coat the apple with the lemon. Turn the heat onto high and add just enough water to almost but not quite cover them. Next add in 2 dessert spoons of sugar. Let this come up to the boil and boil away for about 5 minutes whilst you make the pastry.
Gently whisk the flour with a hand whisk to get rid of any lumps, and then add the flour to your food processor. Add the butter and blend together until you get a crumby consistency. Next you need to add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, to bind everything together. Start with two tablespoons of water and blitz again for 10 seconds. The mix probably hasn't bound together yet, so add another tablespoon of water and blitz again until the mix has formed a big sticky blob in the food processor.
Lightly flour your work surface and empty the pastry dough onto the flour. Now all you need to do is form the dough into a ball with your hands and then wrap it up nice and tightly in a food bag or clingfilm. Pop the dough into the fridge and then leave for at least 20 minutes.
After 5 minutes the apples should have softened nicely without completely disappearing. Turn the heat off the apples and drain them through a sieve into a bowl. Leave the apples in the sieve over the original saucepan and pour the juice from the bowl into a smaller saucepan. I hope that makes sense!
Turn the heat back on high and then add 2 heaped tablespoons of cornflour into a mug. Add two tablespoons of water to the cornflour and mix until you have a white paste. Whilst stirring the apple juice, pour in the cornflour. The juice will instantly start to thicken as it bubbles. Turn the heat off and pour the apples into the metal bowl before adding the thickened juice. Gently fold the apples and juice together.
You need to cool the apple mix down before it can get added to pastry. A good way of doing this is to stand the bowl in your sink and fill the sink up with cold water so the bowl is sitting in the water. It should take about 20-30 minutes to cool, by which time the pastry will have been well rested also.
Preheat your oven to 190c , dust your work surface with flour and pop the pastry on top. Flatten the pastry out using your hand and then roughly divide into 2 portions, 2/3 of the pastry for the base and sides, and 1/3 for the lid. Set the 1/3 piece aside and then using your hands, make the 2/3 piece into a ball again. Lightly dust the rolling pin and start to roll out the pastry. As you're probably using a circular dish, try and roll the pastry in a rough circle shape. Every couple of rolls, use your palate knife to check the pastry isn't sticking. You'll know when it's done, as it should be big enough to cover the base and sides of the tin with plenty hanging over the edges. Once you get to this size, ease the pastry off the work surface and drape it over the tin. Ease the pastry into the tin and gently press into the corners.
Once you've presses it into the corners, you should have a rough outline of the base and sides. Next you need to dip a pastry brush into your cornflour and dust the base of your pie. Once you've done this, get a fork and prick the base all over, before setting the pie aside and rolling out the lid.
The process for this is exactly the same. Lightly dust your work surface, then take your smaller bit of dough, make a ball and start rolling. Once you've got a rough circle that's plenty big enough to cover your pie, pour your apple filling into your pie and then drape the pie lid on top. Now you need to pinch together the lid with the bit of the base that's overhanging, so effectively it becomes one bit of pastry. Take your time and pinch all the way around.
Next you need to fold the overhanging pastry down and pinch it under the rim of the tin. Using a small knife, cut awat the excess pastry by running the blade horizontally around the outside of the pie, cutting away any dough that's below the bottom of the rim, as in the final photo to the right.
Brush some milk all over the lid, then generously sprinkle some brown sugar on top. Lastly make two incisions with your knife in the centre of the pie, about an inch apart, to allow steam to escape whilst it cooks. Pop this in the oven for 45 minutes until it's all golden brown and looking great. Leave to cool before turning out so the pastry can harden.
I hope that you enjoy it.