pie pie baby

 

apple & blackberry pie 

Apart from my recent cravings for soups and slow cooking, one very distinct side effect of the onset of Autumn has been my desire to bake pies. While this isn’t the most positive development for my waist-line, the good news is that the cooler weather is much more conducive to pastry making. It always seems a lot easier for me to achieve a crispy flaky crust when the ambient temperatures are less summery.

After trying many different options, my favourite sweet crust pastry is based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe. He has it published HERE on his web site. I’ve made his crostata on different occasions with peaches and also with the suggested fresh figs and it is a winner.  Although with fig season now behind us it will have to wait for next year for a repeat performance, I recommend giving it a go.

But while a tart is lovely served at room temperature with some icecream as the end to a summery BBQ, cooler evenings just cry out for a more substantial dessert…one with a lid… And what better to fill your pie with than some new season apples lightly spiced with cloves and given a makeover with prettily coloured blackberries…..a frozen reminder of the Summer’s bounty to see us through the cooler months ahead….all good things…

apple & blackberry pie
serves 8

The pastry recipe is Jamie Oliver’s but the idea for an apple pie with a crowning glory of crunchy sliced almonds came from an old issue of my favourite food magazine, Australian Gourmet Traveller.  The addition of blackberries takes this pie from being a bit too classic to a real work of art.

for the pastry:
180g unsalted chilled butter, diced
150g icing sugar
pinch salt
375g plain flour
3 egg yolks
3T cold water
for the filling:
1.2kg cooking apples
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
2 cloves
1t vanilla extract
300g blackberries, fresh or frozen
for the topping:
80g icing sugar, extra
1 egg white
100g sliced almonds
double cream, marscapone, or vanilla icecrem, optional to serve.

Combine butter, icing sugar, salt & flour in a food processor and whizz until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add yolks & water and pulse until the mixture is just starting to come together but still dry and crumbly. Turn the mixture out onto a large sheet of cling film, and pat together to form a rough disk, being careful not to handle the dough too much. The more you move it, the tougher it will become. Wrap dough in clingwrap and rest in the fridge for at least 1hr.

Meanwhile, for the filling, peel and core apples and chop into chunky slices. Combine apples, zest, and cloves with sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and simmer over a medium heat until apples are soft. Remove from heat, discard cloves and stir through blackberries and vanilla and refrigerate until needed.

Divide pastry into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured piece of grease proof paper until approx 5mm thick and line a 23cm metal pie dish, preferably with a removable base. Don’t worry if the pastry tears, just patch it up, you’re after a rustic looking pie.  Roll out the other half of the dough into a circle large enough to cover the top of the pie dish. Place base and lid in the freezer to rest for a least 1hr.

Preheat oven to 180oC and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up. For topping combine icing sugar and egg white until smooth.  To assemble pie fill the base with apple mixture (note: if the mix looks too watery stir through a couple of tablespoons of plain flour to soak up the juices…nobody likes a soggy pie) Brush pastry edges with a little of the egg mix and top with the lid, pressing edges together to seal. Trim excess pastry and cut a slit in the pie top. Brush pie top with egg mix to cover and then sprinkle over almonds.

Place the pie on top of the preheated tray in the oven (this helps give a crispy bottom) and bake for 50mins to 1hr until pie is deep golden on top and the almonds are toasted and the base is cooked. Allow pie to rest for ten minutes before serving thick slices either straight up (if you’re like my sister batgirl) or  with double cream, marscapone, or vanilla icecream.

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