This is a somewhat bastardised version of a Jamie Oliver recipe. I started out following Mr. Oliver’s recipe, only to find I didn’t have all the ingredients listed, didn’t like the idea of whole chunks of fruit in the pie, and I sort of went off on a tangent after that... According to the Big Guy this pie tastes like a summer garden, and reminds him of mown grass and sunshine, and flowers swaying in the breeze. How very poetic! High praise indeed from the son of a baker! I’ve included Mr. Oliver’s sweet shortcrust pastry here as I’ve made a few different versions and I always come back to this one, it truly is second to none. If you are pushed for time or don’t feel up to making pastry from scratch, fear not! This recipe works just as well with shop bought shortcrust, but I would suggest that sometime you give making it yourself a go. It’s surprisingly easy, and crazy delicious. Seriously, the man’s a genius.
If you’d like to try Jamie Oliver’s non-bastardised version it’s from his “Jamie at Home” cookbook, on page 348, and includes stem ginger (which I must try myself as I love all things gingery!).
1 sweet shortcrust pastry recipe (I use the lemon zest flavouring for this pie)
100g golden caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
4 cooking apples
4 eating apples
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon OR mixed spice
1) Make your pastry dough. Once made wrap your pastry in clingfilm and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour. Shop bought pastry simply needs to be thawed (this takes 12 hours in the fridge, or about 3 hours at room temperature).
2) Peel, core and roughly chop your apples. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
3) In a saucepan large enough to hold all your apples, place your sugar and butter. Melt over a high heat, and once your butter has melted, reduce to medium heat and add your apples and enough water to come about a third of the way up the apples. Slowly cook for 10-15 minutes with a lid on, then add your blackberries and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid off. (A word of warning here, if you think your wooden spoons are precious, use a metal spoon at this point. My wooden spoons are a permanent shade of violent purple from this pie). Remove from the heat once cooked.
4) While your pie filling is cooling get your pastry. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out half the pastry until it’s just under 1cm thick. Line a shallow, buttered pie dish with the pastry, and trim off any excess (a simple way to do this is to roll across the dish with your rolling pin).
5) Spoon your pie filling into the dish, filling it up as much as you can without actually having it brimming. Roll out the rest of your pastry as you did the first half, and place it over the top of your pie. Trim the edges again, and push the two pastry layers together with your fingers.
6) Beat your egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pie. Mix your leftover sugar and cinnamon or mixed spice together, and sprinkle over the top of the pie. Make a few steam vents in the pastry with a sharp knife.
7) Pop into the lower part of the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. You may want to place a baking tray underneath it to save your oven from any sticky fruity splashes.
8) Eat, and enjoy! Delicious hot with cream, custard or ice-cream, or can be wrapped in some greaseproof paper and tucked into a lunchbox to be enjoyed cold.
*I often have some leftover pie filling, and I tend to put it in a small bowl and keep it in the fridge. It’s gorgeous the next day with pancakes or French toast at breakfast (just quickly warm it through before using), mixed through natural yogurt it can be enjoyed at anytime as a quick snack, or it can be swirled through whipped cream to make a delicious fool. Great for getting fruit into kids!
**This pie keeps for 2-3 days at most, though I’d be surprised if anyone can actually make it last that long!