Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Blackberry and apple pie

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Ingredients

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Baking tool:

  • greased round deep pie-dish,
  • diameter top 22 cm,
  • contents about 1 ½ l

 

Dough:

  • 50 g butter, chilled
  • 50 vegetable fat for deep-frying
  • 200 g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 60 ml ice cold water

 

Fruit:

  • 500 g apples (Bramley, Elstar),
  • peeled and cored
  • 250 g blackberries
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp potato flour

 

On top:

  • milk
  • white castor sugar

 

To serve:

  • whipped sweet cream

We are picking blackberries from several meters high bushes in the hills above Nottingham with a view of Wollaton Park. For standing still we only have time when the bucket becomes too heavy to carry. A gentleman, also frantically busy, calls to us: ‘That will be Blackberry and apple pie tonight’. We had to look this up. For this  pie you need juicy blackberries, which can be picked only to the end of summer. It has an upper crust that seems to float above the fruit. That we learned from the famous gardener Christopher Lloyd in his book Gardener Cook. The recipe below is made following his instructions. It has to be baked in a real pie-dish with a flat rim. Such a vessel you cannot obtain everywhere. In that case you can use the trick mentioned in the recipe below.

  • Cut butter and fat through flour and salt. With cool finger tips rub this into very small crumbs. Christopher tells us that he does so single-mindedly, contemplating eternity. Stir in the water with a knife. Press together with a cool hand and knead for a moment. Roll out immediately on a floured surface into a 27 cm circle. Leave to rest on a cool place, but not in the fridge.
  • Cut the apples into small cubes, mix with the washed blackberries. Mix the sugar with the potato flour. Spoon through the fruit. Laddle into the dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas 4.
  • Dampen the pastry rim. If you could not find a real pie-dish, here is the trick: cut a ring of 2 cm width from the dough circle you made. Press this onto the rim of the dish. Dampen that too and put the rest of the dough over the dish. Press the rim again. For a pie-dish you can leave the dough-ring out. Cut a hole in the middle. Trim of the excess dough. Now you can put this in the fridge if you like. Make decorations (leaves for example) of the left over pastry.
  • Brush the top with milk, decorate with the trimmings, brush again. Sift a thin layer of castor sugar on top.
  • Bake in the heated oven on the middle shelf for 50 minutes. Serve warm or cold (as a dessert) with whipped cream.

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