Sunday, 15 September 2013


Good Morning to you,

Although the weather is colder, the wonderful thing about Autumn, is the big, fat, juicy blackberries which appear amongst our hedgerows. I love blackberry picking, but as yet I have not been able to locate any blackberry bushes.

When Natasha and Danielle were little, we would all go blackberry picking and I remember they would eat more blackberries than they would  put into their baskets.  Their mouths would be stained by the rich blackberry juice and often as not, there would be juice, staining their clothes as well, but being a canny mother, I always made sure they were wearing clothes which were old, so they could enjoy the blackberry picking, and not worry if their clothes became stained.

As I said, I have not found a good blackberry hedge yet, so I was so pleased to find blackberries, which had been grown in Yorkshire, being sold at Morrisons, my local supermarket. I decided to pair them with some Bramley apples which had been grown in Kent, and this is what we are making today,

an Apple and Blackberry Pie.  The blackberries and apples have been cooked and they have released this wonderful juice.

So, if you are ready to cook, it's on with the apron and the music I am listening to today is,

Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  The first time I heard Ladysmith sing was when we bought the Paul Simon LP, Graceland, where he featured Ladysmith. After hearing them sing, both George and I were smitten.

We are both in the kitchen at the moment, so George has chosen today's music,  and as always there is a little story to tell.  When our girls lived at home, he was the only man in the house, even Chloe, our King Charles Spaniel was a girl, so in the house, there were four girls and one man. Added to that, when Natasha and Danielle's girlfriends came around as well, it was sometimes all too much for him... well you know how girls can chatter.  He would find his Ladysmith Black Mambazo LPs, put on his large earphones, (it was the days of the large earphones) place his chair in the sunshine and we would be told not to disturb him as he was "Going to Africa". He would then close his eyes and listen to the music for an hour or so. Really he was escaping us girls.  The only girl allowed to disturb him was Chloe, as invariably, he had no choice, as she would climb up on his lap and go to sleep.

I am now ready to bake, I have my ingredients ready.


275g plain flour
100g cold unsalted butter

25g  of lard
1 level teaspoon of salt

5 tablespoons of iced water
use as much or as little as you need to combine the pastry.

These are the ingredients to make the pastry.  I have not taken any photographs as we have made pastry many times.  Once you have made the pastry,

cut the pastry so you have two thirds for the bottom of the pie and one third for the top.  Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

You will also need,
1 egg yolk to brush over the pastry before baking.


8 medium sized Bramley Apples

300g blackberries

150g Demerara sugar
or if you prefer granulated sugar,
but keep back 25g to sprinkle on top of the pastry

2 tablespoons of cornflour
50g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of lemon juice


Pre-heat the oven to 180 F
1 x 10 inch, buttered, loose bottom cake tin

Juice the lemon

Peel core and chop the apples
and add the lemon juice.
As you peel and chop each apple,
toss them in the lemon juice so that they do not

Add the Demerara sugar and mix 
(remember to hold back 25g of sugar)
Add the cornflour and mix
Lastly add the blackberries and mix carefully,
as you do not want the blackberries to break.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out.
Fit the pastry gently into the baking tin, don't force it
and allow  a little overhang.  As you can see on the
right hand side, I had to do a little patchwork.

Place the apple mixture inside
and dot with the 50g of unsalted butter.
 Roll out the pastry for the top of the pie and place it over
the apple and blackberry mixture.

Crimp the edges and brush the pastry with the egg
yolk to create a lovely golden brown pastry top.

Sprinkle with the remaining 25g of demerara sugar.
Using a knife, make two slits in the top of the pie
to allow any steam to escape.

Place the apple and blackberry pie on a baking sheet.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, for 30 minutes, until the pie crust
is golden, then reduce the oven temperature to 160 F and
cover the pie with tin foil and bake for a further 45 minutes
to 1 hour.
It takes the apples this long to bake as we used a lot of apples.

Remove the pie from the oven, but leave the pie on the 
baking sheet  and  allow to cool for
45 minutes, before you release the pie from
the cake tin. The pie will be warm, rather than piping hot,
and by eating the pie warm, you will be able to enjoy the flavours.

You will see in this photograph that some of the pastry has been
cut after baking. Sometimes I give the pastry a little trim with a
sharp knife, if the edges don't sit properly.  I just go around the
pastry using  a knife, it gives a cleaner look to the pie.

I thought I would show you the side of the pastry, as I did not
want you to worry if your pastry was not smooth. It will have a
few wrinkles, this is because it was placed into the cake tin  as one piece of pastry.

So using seasonal fruits we have created this lovely 
Autumnal pudding.

The sauce that is on the plate came from the pie. As the pie  rested, the juices came out of the bottom of the cake tin.  This did not spoil the pie as the base was thoroughly cooked.  I just added the juice to some Mascarpone cheese and mixed it together with icing sugar,  to eat with the Apple and Blackberry pie.

Alternatively, you could put the apples and blackberries into the base of a pie dish and use a third of the pastry to make a pie crust top.

Whichever way you decide to make this Apple and Blackberry Pie, I know you will enjoy it, served with cream, ice cream,  or that wonderful staple, custard.

So take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I will be joining,

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