Best Blackberry Apple pie
While strolling through the farmers market the other day in the early morning sun, I made my way over to the old Mexican woman’s stall, ‘Buenos Dias Martha’ what have you got today I asked? her smile lit up her beautiful weather lined face
and she nodded toward the baskets of plump ripe blackberries and handed me a sample to try. I popped it into my mouth and a sweet berry blast of memory opened up in my brain and I was taken back to Ireland in another time and place.
Best Blackberry Apple pie. I hurried out of the house with a small blue pail in my hand and headed up Killiney Hill, cutting across the field toward the railway tracks. It was late afternoon and the watery sun was setting without fanfare into the Irish Sea. I plodded through the long wet grass toward the stony beach and hedgerow and felt the cool breeze on my cheeks. The blackberry brambles were full and bursting with fruit. The prickly stalks stabbed my fingertips as I plucked the soft dark purple jewels and placed them in the pail. It filled up fast and time stood still. The scent of wild roses filled the salty air and I placed a handful of berries into my mouth and sucked and savored their sweet essence, as the inky juice dribbled down my chin staining my favorite white shirt.
When I got back home I rolled out the pastry that was resting in the fridge, made the filling and filled the pastry case. I pierced the center of the pie and baked it till the crust glistened to a golden brown and the apples softened and the berries oozed. A ribbon of steam swirled out of the top as I took it out of the oven and I whipped up some fresh cream to accompany it. Sometimes it’s hard to hang about waiting for pie to cool and patience eluded me this day so I cut a hearty slice feeling quite dizzy with anticipation, and plopped a dollop of cream on the side, then spooned the taste of Autumn into my mouth.
- 7 oz plain/ all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 4oz butter, cubed
- 2-3 tablespoons cold water
- 1lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/4 teasp ground clove
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 – 6 tablespoon cold water
- 8oz fresh blackberries, washed and cleaned
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 oz butter
- Milk to glaze
- Place the flour, butter and salt into a large clean bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.
- Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.
- Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes
The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap and chill as above. Heat the oven to 425°F/220°C/gas 7.
- Meanwhile simmer the apples and clove with the lemon and water in a large pan until soft. Add the sugar and blackberries to the cooked apples. Remove from the heat and add the butter and leave to cool.
- Roll out half the pastry and line a 7 inch/13cm pie dish. Put the cooled, cooked apple and blackberry mixture into the pastry case
- Roll out half the pastry and line a 7 inch/13cm pie dish. Put the cooled, cooked apple and blackberry mixture into the pastry case.
- Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie. Damp the edges of the pastry in the dish with a little cold water, cover with the lid and press the edges firmly together and crimp the edges to decorate.
- Brush the top of the pie with milk and bake at the top of a hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes.