apple and blackberry pie

A few weeks back I had a hankering for pie, specifically apple and blackberry pie. It's not blackberry season in Sydney but that didn't deter me. I checked the freezer cabinet in the supermarket and found a packet of frozen blackberries and so on Father's Day, away I went to make pie and to test out the oven.

For the pastry I adapted a recipe from Tara O'Brady and cobbled together a filling using the frozen berries and some canned pie apple I'd picked up at the shops.

Why pie apple? I've used tinned unsweetened pie apple to make apple pie my whole life and I can't see any reason to change my ways now. It doesn't involve all that peeling, coring, slicing and cooking of apples so it's 
a faster way to make a pie. If you'd like to make the pie using fresh apples, I always precook the apples in the microwave then let them cool before using them. I also decided to make a lattice pie because I wanted to see those juicy blackberries.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven, so if your oven is fan forced, you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Apple and Blackberry Pie
½ cup cold water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2½ cups plain flour
1½ tbs caster sugar
pinch salt
250g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 800g tin unsweetened pie apple (or 1 kilo green apples peeled sliced and stewed then cooled)
200g fresh or frozen blackberries
½ cup caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tbs blackberry or cherry jam

Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Combine the cold water and lemon juice in a small jug. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubes of butter and process the mixture for about 10 seconds or until the butter is the size of peas. Add half the cold water and process for another 10 seconds. Check the mixture to see whether it clumps together when a small amount is squeezed. If not, then add the remaining water. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and squeeze and flatten the mixture until it makes a dough. Avoid the temptation to knead the dough at any time. There should be visible streaks of butter in the pastry. Divide the pastry into two portions, and shape each into a circle. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

To make the filling
In a large bowl combine the cooked apple, the blackberries, the sugar and cinnamon and place in the fridge while preparing the pie.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pastry circles and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving a small overhang around the rim. Spoon the jam into the base of the pie crust then spoon the fruit into the pastry shell mounding slightly in the centre. Brush milk over the pastry edge. Roll the second half of pastry into a circle. Leave whole, or cut into strips for lattice. Top the pie with the second crust, either whole or weaving into a lattice.

Trim the top crust to barely overlap the bottom. Lift the edge of the bottom crust over to enclose the top, rolling inwards with even, firm pressure. Keep working around the perimeter of the pie, forming the edge slightly inside the pan’s rim. Crimp or flute as desired. Place the pie onto a baking tray and refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F placing the rack in the lower third. Glaze pastry lightly with milk, cutting steam vents into the pastry if using a whole crust, then sprinkle with some granulated sugar. Bake the pie on the baking tray for 45 minutes. If the pastry isn’t golden brown at this stage, raise the oven temperature to 220°C, move the rack to the centre of the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the juices are bubbling.

Allow the pie to cool a little to let the filling firm before serving with a nice dollop of cream.

My brother Farmer Andrew was in town unexpectedly on Sunday so he was invited to partake of pie. Very quickly half the pie was eaten and the other half swiftly followed when I took it into work the next day.

I guess I'll be making pie a bit more often in the future.

See you all again soon,



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