Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Apple & Blackberry Pie

When my mother-in-law moved up here, one of the things she brought for the garden were some thornless blackberry bushes. I have to say, they're amazing! They flower for months, then they ripen for months - sweet-tart, spicy-scented and juicy. They are easy to pick, and go beautifully with apples. Mmm... pie.

Cloves are not my favourite spice in general, but when I was picking the blackberries they told me they would like to go with some cloves. They were right.

8 servings - a 10" pie
2 hours - 1 hour prep time - allow time to cool

Make the Crust:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
8 to 9 tablespoons ice cold water

Put the flour and salt into a food processor, and whizz briefly. Cut the butter into chunks and add them to the food processor. Process until the butter is the size of peas, then start adding ice cold water in tablespoons.

Once you have added enough that the mixture begins to hold together, turn the contents of the food processor out onto a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper. Press everything together to form a disc of dough, and wrap it up in the paper loosely. Set it aside to rest for about 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 unequal portions. One should consist of about 60% of the dough, and the other should be about 40% of the dough. Roll out the larger portion into a circle a little larger than your pie plate, sprinkling it with a little flour to keep the rolling pin from sticking. Flip the circle of pastry into a 10" pie plate while it is still attached to the paper, then peel the paper off. Press the pastry into the bottom and sides of the pan.

Once the bottom crust has been filled, roll out the remaining dough in the same way as the first piece, although it should only be the size to top the pie.

Make the Pie:
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 pods green cardamom
1/4 cup arrowroot OR tapioca starch
OR 3 tablespoons minute tapioca
2 cups blackberries
5 to 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples

Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

Mix the honey, cloves and cinnamon. Crush the cardamom pods, and discard the green papery hulls. Grind the seeds finely and mix them with the honey and other spices.

Rinse and pick over the blackberries, and drain them well.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Toss the arrowroot, tapioca starch, or minute tapioca with the apples. Fill the prepared pie crust with the apples and blackberries, a layer of each at a time, for a total of three layers of each.

Place the top pie crust over the pie, peeling away the parchment paper once it is in place, then pinch it sealed all the way around the pie. Cut or pierce the top of the pie in several spots to allow the steam to escape as the pie cooks.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for a further 45 to 55 minutes, until nicely browned. Best to bake this with a cookie sheet under the  pie plate - it will be pretty juicy.

Last year at this time I made Pollo alla Cacciatora.

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