If you’re not the foraging type, fear not: supermarket berries will work just fine (but imagine how wholesome you’ll feel if you pick your own!)
This is one of my favourite times of the year, when we pile the kids in the car and head east, over the hills to where the blackberries grow best. As this is now the third year in a row we have picked, we’ve wised up a bit and know that gumboots are the footwear of choice, jeans the best bottoms and a sun hat with a stupidly large and floppy brim the best thing to keep the sun from scorching one’s face. In the past two weeks we’ve picked twice and have already squirrelled away an impressive 8kg in the freezer. The goal is 20kg, so we’re off to a good start.
Seeing as the ground under our apple tree is already dotted with windfall apples, I figured a blackberry and apple pie was in order. I don’t make pies often as they can be fiddly. This one, however, is quite the opposite: both the dough and filling are quick and simple and it all comes together easily. I can see this one becoming a firm family favourite. Be sure to use both the cooking apples and the eating apples for this recipe. The eating apples are first fried in butter and sugar to soften a little and even after the pie comes out of the oven they still hold their shape, lending texture to the pie. The cooking apples, however, give and completely soften, forming a soft filling to envelop the apple cubes. Best served straight from the oven with ice cream or cream.
BLACKBERRY & APPLE PIE
- 325g flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 175g butter, plus 25g extra
- 6 tablespoons yoghurt
- 450g eating apples, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
- 350g cooking apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
- 2 cups (225g) blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon milk
Put the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add 175g of the butter and process again until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yoghurt and pulse again until just combined.
Turn out onto a clean bench, shape into a disc, put into a plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and put a pizza stone or baking sheet in the middle of the oven.
Heat the remaining 25g butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and fry the eating apples for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften and any liquid has evaporated. Add the cooking apples and fry for a further 2 minutes before adding the blackberries and setting aside.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and generously grease a 26cm pie tin. Divide the pastry into two, making one half slightly bigger than the other. This will be the base. Roll out the pastry until it is 3-4mm thick and drape over the pie dish so that it lines the base and sides. Use a sharp knife to cut off any excess.
Next roll out the top until it is just a little bigger than the diameter of the dish. Fill the shell with the blackberry and apple mixture, brush the edges of the pastry shell with milk (where the top will join with it), put on the top then, using clean fingers, push off the excess pastry, pushing down gently to seal the pie together. Decorate with remaining pastry if desired, brush with milk then bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.