The season of baking is officially here. With the return of our beloved Bake Off, and the cosy autumnal evenings drawing in, there’s no better time to huddle up in the kitchen wih a cup of tea and a piping hot pie to warm your bones.
Having been a complete pastry-virgin until Bake Off inspired me to bake, this was actually the first so pie I’d ever baked in my life, and I’m so happy it turned out so cute! Though there was a slight disaster towards the end of the bake *read until the end to find out more* but I can whole-heartedly recommend this as one of the easiest, and perfectly autumnal pies to bake this season.
A mix of braeburn apple, blackberries and fresh garden mint, it’s the classic English Country Garden pie, and when baked right, fills any kitchen with a mouthwatering smell to keep you coming back for more.
You will need:
1 pre-made roll of shortcrust pastry
1 pre-made roll of puff pastry
10 medium braeburn apples
150g caster or granulated sugar
Two handfuls of blackberries
A handful of mint leaves
1 egg (for washing)
- A deep pie dish
- Rolling pin
- Flour shaker
- Strainer or colander
- Pastry brush
- Start by peeling and chopping your apples into small chunks, before putting on the hob with once boiled water to simmer.
- In parts, add in your sugar and stir continuously until the apple cubes begin to soften, and the sugar takens on syrup-like consistency.
- Finely chop your mint, and stir into your filling mix. Add a few handfuls of blackberries and allow to simmer for a short time before removing filling to a cold bowl to cool.
- Unroll your pastry (or make it yourself if you’re a lot more flour-fingered than I am!) and knead into a ball until soft and pliable. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and roll into to a large circle of no more than 0.5cm thickness.
- Lay your pastry into your pie dish, using your fingers to lightly press it into the corners and bottom of the dish. Your pastry needs to be evenly reaching or folding over the rim of your pastry dish, before taking a sharp knife and cutting off the excess edges.
- Once cooled, drain your filling in a colander or sieve, and pat loosely with a paper cloth or tea towel to remove some of the excess moisture.
- Pour the filling into your dish, making sure to keep everything within the pastry rim, without spilling down the edges. Spread evenly with a spatula.
- Unroll and knead your puff pastry, before rolling out again to a rough circle. Try to make the pastry a little thinner this time, as puff pastry can rise and be difficult to work with if rolled too thick.
- Using a sharp knife cut your puff pastry into 1.5cm strips, making sure that the length of them can reach from one side of the pastry dish to the other.
- Lay your strips across the top of the pie filling in a lattice pattern, making sure the horizontal and vertical strips cross over each other and are evenly spread apart. It’s important to keep the gaps between the pastry reasonably small to avoid the filling from bubbling out during baking.
- Use a fork to crimp down and stick the ends of the strips to the pastry in the dish, forming a lid, before using an egg wash to help achieve a glossy, shiny finish.
- Bake at 180° for 40 minutes, checking throughout and testing with a cocktail stick or metal rod to make sure the base of the pie is cooked and that the filling is piping hot before bringing out of the oven.
- Leave to cool, and serve!
Now for the sad news. After trying just one small slither of my pie, I was desperate to take some photos of it’s majestic pie-ness for my blog, so rushed upstairs to my mini-studio. Mid-way through the shoot, my poorly-balanced photography light suddenly shook and crashed it’s way down onto a nearby table, it’s glass shattering everywhere. Whilst I was miraculously un-hurt, my poor pie suffered the consequences, and we ended up finding small shards of glass snuggled up next to the rosy blackberry and apple filling inside. After a rather miserably mourning period, I had to admit defeat, and it was ‘bye bye pie’ for me.
Make sure your hands are well floured and cool for lacing up the lattice strips, as I found this incredibly difficult to do with soft, sticky dough.
The pie-dish I’m using in these photos was a gorgeously deep and matte finish from Wilkos, and I highly recommend their baking session for your seasonal bakes!
Adding your blackberries too soon will turn your mixture pink, and can overpower the crisp white of the apple, so wait until around 2 minutes to cooling before popping them in the pan.
Stewed apples are a great desert for cold wintery evenings, so make a little extra and freeze for an emergency comfort food after dinner.
ALWAYS BALANCE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHTS PROPERLY BEFORE SHOOTING FOOD!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this bake, and this post, and I look forward to seeing your autumnal bakes this coming season!