Get your free apples at Irish Farmers’ Markets and celebrate World Pie Day!


World Pi Day is celebrated around the world on March 14th (3.14). Bord Bia and Con Traas of Irish Apple Growers Association have a delicious way to celebrate the day in Ireland this year and call for Irish consumers to take part in the #IrishApplePieChallenge. Consumers are encouraged to visit a local farmers’ market to collect free apples and bake an apple pie for a friend. Entering the challenge by sharing a photo of the pie or exchange on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag above on or before World Pi Day, participants will be in with a chance of winning a two nights stay at Catherine Fulvio’s 4* Ballyknocken House, Farm and Cookery School. Winners, selected at random, will be treated to breakfast each morning, a four course meal served on both nights with pre-dinner sherry, and a half day cookery class at the famous school.

In a recent survey by Bord Bia ‘What Ireland ate for dinner last night’, 15 % of consumers said they normally have a homemade apple pie after dinner. Other recent research showed that baking is perceived to require a high skill level. A mere 1 in 8 (13%) of people consider themselves highly competent bakers. 4 in 5 Irish bakers are women (82%), with 53% baking at least once a week and 30% monthly. The weekend is the most popular time to bake, predominantly on a Saturday afternoon. Interestingly enough but non-surprising, 14% of bakers refer to recipes that have been passed down through the generations. In the 52 week period ending on the 22nd May 2016, the home baking market within the Republic of Ireland was valued at €119 million.


For foodies, baking with Bramley’s is the surest way to savour every piece of the pie. Bramley’s are one-of-a-kind apples and one of few types used in cooking nowadays. Ireland grows 1/3 of the world’s supply of Bramley apples, and is proud of its oldest orchard trees that are more than 200 years old. Five and a half thousand tonnes of Bramleys are sold at retail level every year worth an estimated €9 million. Nearly 40% of sales are to consumers aged 65+. There are 34 Bramley Apple growers in Ireland, each sharing a production area of 314 hectares.


Free Apples

Apples will be given away free at the following times and venues while stocks lasts:


Date Time County Venue
9-11th 9.30am – 6pm Clare The Grainey, Scarriff
9th 10am – 3pm Cork Mahon Point Farmers’ Market
10th 9am – 2pm Cork Clonakilty Farmers’ Market
11th 10am – 2pm Cork Douglas Farmers’ Market
11th 9am – 1.30pm Cork Midleton Farmers’ Market
10-11th 10am – 6pm Dublin Keelings Farm Shop, St. Margarets
11th 9.30am – 4pm Dublin H2G Market, Glasnevin
11th 10am – 5pm Dublin Temple Bar Market
12th 11am – 4pm Dublin Peoples’ Park Market Dun Laoghaire
8th 10am – 4pm Dublin Stillorgan Farmers’ Market
10th 10am – 3pm Dublin Leopardstown Market
11th 10am – 4pm Dublin Marley Park Market
11th 9am – 2pm Limerick Killowen Orchard Farm & Flower Stall
11th 11am – 4pm Louth The Cottage Market
10-11th 9am – 6pm Meath New Barn Farm, Dublin Road, Ashbourne
6-13th 10am – 6pm Tipperary The Apple Farm, Moorstown, Cahir
6-13th 9am – 6pm Tipperary Country Choice, Kenyon Street, Nenagh
11th 9am – 1pm Tipperary Cahir Farmers’ Market, Castle Street Car Park
9-11th 10am – 4pm Tipperary The Green Sheep, Thurles
10th 10am – 5pm Waterford Killowen Orchard Farm Shop, near Portlaw
10th 10am – 4pm Waterford Crinnaghtaun Farm at Cappoquin Estate, Dungarvan Road, Cappoquin
10th 9am – 12pm Wexford Ballycross Apple Farm, Bridgetown, Co. Wexford


Apple Pie with Custard Recipe

From The Nation’s Favourite Food by Neven Maguire via




225g plain flour, extra for dusting

2 tbsp icing sugar

100g butter, diced and chilled

2 large egg yolks

2-3 tbps ice-cold water


900g Bramley cooking apples

100g caster sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Good pinch ground cloves/4 whole cloves

1 tbsp milk


5 egg yolks

3 tbsp caster sugar

½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out

300ml milk

100ml cream


To Cook

To make the pastry: Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Using a round-bladed knife or the tips of your fingers, work in the butter and then mix in the egg yolks. Add the ice-cold water until the dough just comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). Lightly dust the work surface with flour.

Divide the pastry into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other, then roll out the larger piece until it is about 30cm in diameter. Use to line a 20cm pie dish or a 23cm flat plate, gently pressing into the corners. Trim the edges with a knife and reserve the excess for decorating. Place back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the apples.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar. Add the cinnamon and cloves and mix together. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk and then pile the apples into the lined pie dish. Roll out the second piece of pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pie dish and use to cover the apples. Press the edges together to seal, then use a sharp knife to cut away any excess.

Crimp the edges of the tart with a round-bladed knife, using your fingers as a guide. If you wish roll out the pastry scraps and cut into leaf shapes. Brush the shapes with milk and stick on top of the pie. Brush the entire top of the pastry with milk and sprinkle over the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, to make the custard, place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds. Whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and thickened.

Place the milk and cream in a medium pan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the heated milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth, then pour back into the pan and place over a gently heat. Cook gently for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Keep warm.

Serving Suggestions

To serve, cut the warm apple tart into slices and arrange on warmed serving places with some of the custard. Pour the remaining custard into a jug and hand around separately.

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