Blackberry and apple pie
Apple pie is good, but a couple of handfuls of blackberries make it amazing. Wild berries create less juice so you can add more of them without swamping the pastry. The nutty, salty flavours of the sorghum in the pastry sit so well with tart Bramley apples. Almond pastry is delicious too, but more delicate than shortcrust, so it can break up a little over the dish as it bakes, allowing the juices to bubble through enticingly.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 if using shortcrust, or 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas 4 if using almond pastry.
While the pastry is chilling, make the filling. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into chunks – not too small, or they will collapse early on baking and the pastry will flop. Taste the apples for sweetness and decide how much sugar to add. Tip the apples into a large bowl and add the muscovado sugar and blackberries. Toss gently, then pile into your pie dish.
Break off a small piece of pastry and roll it into a long thin sausage that will fit all around the rim of the pie dish. Wet the rim of the dish and press your pastry sausage to flatten onto the rim all around, joining the ends together.
Roll out the rest of the pastry between two sheets of cling film dusted with tapioca starch to about a 4–5mm thickness – not too thin or it will break when you lay it over the fruit. Peel off the top sheet of cling film and invert the pastry over the fruit.
Press the pastry down gently around the edge of the pie dish to seal and then use a sharp knife to trim the excess overhanging the edge of the dish. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edge. Make a couple of slashes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Brush the pastry lightly with milk and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Bake for about 45–50 minutes until the pastry is crisp. If it looks like the pastry might become too dark, just lightly cover the top with foil.
Serve the pie warm, with lashings of cream.
- 450g sweet shortcrust pastry or sweet almond pastry, chilled
- Tapioca starch for dusting for the filling
- 6 large Bramley apples
- 3–6 tbsp light muscovado sugar, to taste
- 3 large handfuls of wild blackberries (or 2 handfuls of shop bought)
- Milk or almond milk for brushing
- Caster sugar for sprinkling
- 30cm round or oval pie dish
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Gluten Free Cookery
Learn how to make bread, pastry and treats to suit your intolerance, with a day of gluten-free baking at the River Cottage Cookery School.