I love pie, who doesn’t love pie? Sweet but tart fruity filling, all-butter short crust pastry and all with homegrown ingredients. Well okay I borrowed the apples from my neighbour’s garden and the blackberries from over the road but that’s as home-grown as I’ve ever managed to achieve in a recipe! Maybe one day I’ll be able to grow some vegetables and have a few chickens and bask in my garden of self-sufficiency? Haha no I’ll never have time.
Anyway, this pie! I’m feeling a little smug because my pastry, even bought pastry, always 100% fails. It always overcooks, undercooks (soggy bottom), contracts, my puff pastry aways explodes, the list goes on. But this just worked, and I didn’t make any massive holes or ruin the edges. Maybe I have finally watched enough Food Channel that I can work with pastry….or its a fluke. Either way I’m proud it looks pretty good and tastes even better! Maybe a bit autumnal for an August recipe but the fruits were ripe, the world wanted blackberry and apple (and so did my Dad).
The one thing I would say is taste the apples and the blackberries before you add the sugar. Most recipes will encourage you to just pile in the sugar and butter before adding the fruit but then especially wild fruit can vary wildly in it’s sweetness/tartness. Hence I melted the butter, added the apples, then most of the sugar to taste, knowing the berries were quite sweet already. Also, for a better explanation for the lattice top, head here to simplyrecipes.com.
- 2 blocks (or ready-rolled sheets) of all-butter shortcrust pastry
- 70g caster sugar
- 30g dark brown or muscovado sugar
- 1 heaped tbsp butter
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 1 tbsp plain flour
*First things first, make or buy your pastry dough and leave in the fridge to keep cold until needed for rolling an shaping. Here’s a good recipe.
Take out a large heavy based casserole pan or frying pan and melt the butter over a medium heat. Next add the apples, spreading them evenly over the base of the pan to sizzle in the butter to caramelise for 2 minutes, then taste before adding most, if not all of the sugars, to your taste. Stir then allow to cook slow and low with the lid on for 10 minutes, then add the blackberries, stir and cook for 3 more minutes with the lid off. Once cooked, leave aside and turn the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 to preheat.
Next, remove your pastry from the fridge and (my new trick) cover the work surface with a piece of grease-proof paper then dust well with flour. Roll out the block until it’s just under 1cm thick and about 30cm wide. Butter a shallow 26cm pie dish and lay over the pastry, gently pressing in the corners. Use the rolling pin to pinch off the excess and prick the bottom.
Spoon the cooled fruits evenly into the pastry case, leaving the cooking liquid behind. Roll out the second piece of pastry, perhaps a little thinner than before and use a pizza cutter to make 1 inch thick strips. Lay 4 to 7 strips of pastry over the dough vertically to makes stripes (I used 5). Fold back every other strip half way, and lay over a strip at 90° to the original. Unfold, then fold back the other, opposing strips and lay another strip at 90°. Continue to create a lattice.
Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, sprinkle generously with sugar and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the sides and top look golden brown and crisp. Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream!