Historically, I have made my apple and blackberry pies by rolling out ready-made pastry and chucking into the pie dish chopped raw Bramley apples with blackberries, sprinkling with sugar, topping with pastry and whopping in the oven: we all thought these were fine. So, when I saw this recipe, I did think it involved a lot of faffing about, but… the difference is phenomenal! The pie is so very, very delicious: sweet, scrumptious apple given an extra depth of flavour and warmth by the addition of cinnamon and ginger and the lovely Autumnal blackberries with the cheeky little zing of the orange zest – a wonderful combination that brings in one mouthful everything that is wonderful about this lovely season! Give it a go!
Serves 6 – 8 (if you’re conservative with your portion sizes!)
What you need…
1 x 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin, lightly buttered and lined on the bottom with parchment paper or Bake O Glide
1 x baking sheet
750g short crust pastry (ready-made or home-made – see recipe for Lemon Tart, already blogged: you will need double the quantity)
3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
150g golden caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
50g unsalted butter
Zest from ¼ large orange
1 egg, lightly beaten
What to do…
Roll half the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and line the base of your tart tin, trimming the pastry so that there is a little overhanging. Prick the base, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Pop in the fridge for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, put the apples, sugar, spices, butter and salt in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat to moderate and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat, tip in the blackberries and orange zest. Stir gently to evenly incorporate and set aside to cool.
Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4. Put the tart tin on the baking sheet and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Brush the inside of the case with beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Cool briefly and then, using a serrated knife, trim the overhanging pastry.
Roll out the remaining pastry again to a pound coin thickness and then cut into strips – mine were just over 1 cm wide. Brush the rim of the pastry case with beaten egg and then, using a slotted spoon, (we don’t want any soggy bottoms) add the fruit to the case. Use the strips to make a lattice topping, trimming the edges level with the pie case. Brush the lattice topping generously with beaten egg and then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove, sprinkle with a little more sugar and then cool for at least 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and serve with double cream (if you’re John) or as it comes (if you’re me). Taste the very best flavours of Autumn – yum, yum, yum!
For illustrations on easily creating a lattice topping for your pie, see my blogged Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Lattice Pie, inspired by our national treasure, Mary Berry.
My Waitrose magazine
It’s not difficult but there is quite a lot of faffing around so you do need the time available but hey, it’s worth it!