Another mad week has passed. I got older. 31 now. The plans are properly cooking for our house.
The weather, however, refused to maintain decency for any helpful length of time. I love a bit of crap weather more than the average creature but I cannot abide windiness. It’s just so incessant. It makes me cross.
I know one thing that can uncross me is something delicious. A very special kind of delicious. A familiar and comforting kind was called for this time. Pie. My grannies were both not the most accomplished in the kitchen but they both, equally, mastered the art of pie.
Granny (the Irish one) was a whizz at the most classic of all; apple pie. Her English counterpart (Grandma) made the perfect bilberry pie. I only had the second a handful of times because it required a farcical number of wild, handpicked berries, but it was remarkable.
So as an homage to my grannies and an attempt to silence the weather I made an apple and berry pie. I know it’s out of season but I don’t care. A straightforward apple pie would be quite perfect by itself but I remembered I had frozen some mixed berry puree so thought I may as well use that too.
All the stars were, were a bag of frozen, mixed berries heated up with a spoon or two of caster sugar and then, when softened, smushed with the back of a spoon, poured into an ice cube tray and frozen.
Oven temperature 180 Celsius, enough for 6 very hungry people
Pastry; use the quantity and rolling out method from here.
Filling; I used 3 large cooking apples, 2 eating apples and a dozen mixed berry stars
Cornflour 2 tablespoons
Caster sugar 100g
Glaze; 1 beaten egg
So. Find a large (23cm-ish), loose-bottomed, deep round tin. Butter and flour it.
Preheat the oven.
Make the pastry like I did here and cut it into two pieces; one piece being a third and the other being about two thirds.
Roll the larger piece big enough to cover the base and sides of your tin. If you can roll it big enough to slightly hang over the edge all the better, it’ll help keep the pastry in place while you prepare your filling.
To prepare the filling peel your apples and use a small knife to slice them into thinnish pieces – 3mm.
Toss those apple-y bits into a very large bowl and throw in a few berry stars, the cornflour and sugar and then mix it all together.
The cornflour, if you were curious, is to thicken the juices. This is mainly because of the berry component, if you were making a wholly apple pie the cornflour would be unnecessary.
Now. Tumble the fruity mess into the unbaked pastry.
Quickly roll out the second piece of pastry into a circle big enough to cover to dome of fruit you’ve created.
Using a pastry brush, brush the top edge of the fruited pastry with the beaten egg.
Place the disk of pastry on top of the fruit and gently squish the edged of the pastry case and lid together to seal everything in.
Liberally paint the top of your masterpiece with some more of the beaten egg.
Stab the pie a few times, with a sharp knife, to let the steam out.
The beast I created took a good 1hr 15mins to cook. You’ll know it’s done when it’s golden brown and if you stick a sharp knife in it, the apples will be soft and easily pierced.
When it is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a good 30mins before you attempt to unmould it.
It should be served warm and with ice cream.
Thanks Granny and Grandma.