Poor Man's Apple Pie

Thursday 1 November 2018

Old Mother Rayner went to the cupboard to bake her poor hubby a pie. 

When she got there the cupboard was bare, except for a couple of apples, some cornflakes, some butter and a bit of brown sugar and spice and so she did what was the next best thing.  Poor Man's Apple Pie. 

Not really, I just made that up, but when I came across this old, old recipe that is immediately what came to mind . . . 

the wonderful thing that happens when opportunity, need and provenance meet together in a delicious way to create something the family will enjoy eating together.

This is what it looks like before you put it into the oven.  Its not really a pie, but layers of thinly sliced apple, with a sprinkling of brown sugar, baking spices and cornflakes.  

Oh, and butter.  You dot each layer of cornflakes with some butter. 

This is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven  . . .  the apples cook and get soft and almost melt down . . .

The butter and the brown sugar and the spice melt together, with the inner layer of cornflakes thickening up the juices  . . .

The Top layer of cornflakes getting crisp and golden brown . . . and yes, slightly sweet and buttery, and lightly spiced . . .

Todd enjoyed his warm, out of the oven . . .  with lashings of evaporated milk poured over top as I had no cream . . .  

and during the war, when he was growing up, evaporated milk was the only cream-like thing they had to enjoy with their desserts . . . he likes evaporated milk.  (Me, not so much. I am spoilt.)

For myself, I would enjoy this with ice cream.  A nice ball of good vanilla ice cream. 

 I did not have more than a little taste of this however, just so I could tell you how good it was. 

And it is good, very good  . . .

Tart and sweet  . . .  lightly spiced  . . .  buttery and crunchy . . .

In short, pretty perfect! 

I am really pleased that I took the opportunity to bake this.  It sounded interesting and it sounded tasty, and it was very tasty.  Very tasty indeed.

I don't think it will ever replace apple pie in the scheme of things, but it did make for a highly enjoyable dessert according to Todd. 

Yield: 4-6

Poor Man's Apple Pie

prep time: 15 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 45 mins
I strongly suspect this old, old recipe was born out of need.  Layers of sliced apple cornflakes, brown sugar and butter.  What can ever be wrong with that!


1 1/2 pounds eating apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
corn flakes
soft light brown sugar
a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
butter to dot
Pouring cream to serve


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Have
ready a medium sized deep baking dish. Butter the dish.  Start layering
in as follows:  Sliced apple, cornflakes, a dessertspoon of soft light
brown sugar sprinkled over all, some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and
dotted butter.  Repeat until all your apples are used up and ending with
 cornflakes, sugar, seasoning and butter.  Bake in the preheated oven
for 25 to 30 minutes until the apples are soft. Spoon out into bowls and
 serve with some pouring cream.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Quick, easy, simple and delicious.  This ticks all the boxes.  Bon Appetit!   

Oh by the way, what did you think of the Bake Off?  I was thrilled with the results.  I called it from the very beginning.  I did think that the technical challenge was a really nasty one.  Baking Pita Breads and three dips with no work stand and only an open fire.  

I told my husband as I was watching it, "And that is why I would never go on GBBO!"  In the heat, with the sun beating down on them.  I was not at all surprised that everyone's ended up being rubbish! It was a no win challenge!  


  1. Lovely. Looking forward to trying this. We rarely eat cornflakes as a cereal, tending to use it as an ingredient in cooking so this is perfect. Thank you for another wonderful recipe.

    1. I hope you enjoy it Katy! One good thing about having cornflakes in the kitchen is they make good breading for chicken, pork or fish, so you know they will always get used. They are great crumbled on top of casseroles also! xo

  2. This sounds great - and a clever use of pantry staples. That said, I'm not sure that I've even seen cornflakes here, but then I never go down the cereal aisle, so I might breeze by next time and see what I find.

    This GBBO final was agony for me; I don't think they've ever had a bunch of bakers where I just liked everybody so much. They never had a final before where I was wanting everybody to win. I had hoped that Kim-Joy would do one of her gorgeous, creative, highly decorative showstoppers and take the prize, but it wasn't to be. The pita challenge was a bit ridiculous, though. I am not interested in seeing the bakers struggle to produce something edible, as I like it better when I can imagine producing the thing myself, or am at least tempted to try.

    1. Oh, wasn't it just! Each one had such talent. I thought the pita challenge was ridiculous. Surely the challenges should be something that they can learn from, not an exercise that you know they will ultimately fail at. I was as frustrated as the Bakers were and I thought it was not on! It really wasn't! I loved Kim-Joy's whimsical style of baking and I predict that she will do well in the future! xo

  3. My mother used to use corn flakes when making a meatloaf at times but this is a new one on me. I'm surprised with the name as corn flakes aren't quite so cheap but maybe when it was created breakfast cereals weren't quite so pricey. You can know for sure this recipe did not originate in Ghana Africa. Years ago my grandmother, who loved traveling all over the world, decided to visit her cousin Erma, a Mennonite missionary essentially her entire adult life, in Ghana. A great shock to my grandmother were the food conditions. The only thing Erma asked my grandmother to bring was food. When people tried to send items to her most things were stolen before they were ever received. My grandmother filled her largest piece of luggage in every tiniest inch with food. She only carried clothes in a carryon. She EVEN took eggs from an aunt's farm. They all made it unbroken in her tote bag. In the "grocery store" only a small number of items were sold but there would be entire rows of the same item. This was in the 1980s. At that time a box of Corn Flakes was $15 and a bottle of ketchup was $9. Not poor man's material exactly.

    1. Cornflakes have always been relatively cheap in comparison to other cereals wherever I have lived Pam, mind you I have never lived in a third world country! xo

  4. This looks good -- like apple crisp but with corn flakes. Bet you could use granola too!

    1. I am sure you could Jeanie! Welcome back! xo


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