Jamie’s Apple and Blackberry Pie

This pie recipe has been sitting on the back shelf for almost a year. Every time I see a pint of blackberries at the farmers market, I’m tempted to dust off this recipe and bake. But, I don’t. Instead, I’m distracted by a shiny new recipe that I have to make, immediately. Like this, this, and this. So, Jamie’s fabulous pie recipe has sat quietly on the bookshelf just waiting for its time to shine.

I’ve got to say, that this pie would ideally be made in early fall when blackberries are still available at the farmers market and crisp autumn apples begin to make their welcome arrival. But, I just couldn’t wait any longer. So here it is: Full of tart and sweet apples, tinged with a rosy blush from the lush blackberries, with hits of spicy ginger. This is far more interesting than your average joe-schmoe apple pie.

For my American readers, the stem ginger the recipe calls for may take some sourcing, but you should be able to find a jar in any British grocer, or import shop. Any leftovers of the stem ginger would be gorgeous baked into scones, chopped up and added to jam recipes, as I did with this one for rhubarb-ginger, or even spooned over vanilla ice cream (not too sure what isn’t improved by the addition of ice cream?).

This is an adaptation of a recipe by Jamie Oliver, whom I’ve had just the slightest food crush on since his young days as The Naked Chef. I’ve modified the shortcrust (pie crust) pastry recipe slightly by adding whole-wheat pastry flour, to give it heft and some fiber. Otherwise, the recipe below is all Jamie.

Jamie’s Apple and Blackberry Pie
Adapted from Jamie at Home, and reprinted here
Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • Old-Fashioned Sweet Shortcrust Pastry, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 large McIntosh apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 16 wedges
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped stem ginger, in syrup
  • 5 ounces blackberries
  • 1 large free-range or organic egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

First, make your pastry dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and rest it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan and, when the butter has melted, add the apples, ginger and a tablespoon of the ginger syrup. Slowly cook for 15 minutes with a lid on, then add the blackberries, stir and cook for 5 more minutes with the lid off.

Meanwhile, remove your pastry from the refrigerator. Dust your work surface with flour, cut the pastry in half and, using a floured rolling pin, roll 1 of the pieces out until it’s just under 1/2-inch thick or looks as if it will cover a shallow 10-inch pie dish. (Rolling the dough between 2 layers of waxed paper will also stop it sticking to your rolling pin.) Butter the shallow 10-inch pie dish and line with the pastry, trimming off any excess around the edges using a sharp knife.

Tip the cooled apples and blackberries into a sieve, reserving all the juices, then put the fruit into the lined pie dish so you have a mound in the middle. Spoon over half the reserved juices, (if desired use all the juice). Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg. Roll out the second piece of pastry, just as you did the first, and lay it over the top of the pie. Trim the edges as before and crimp them together with your fingers. Brush the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg, sprinkle generously with sugar and the cinnamon, and make a couple of slashes in the top of the pastry.

Place the pie on a baking tray and then put it directly on the bottom of the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. To serve, slice the pie into portions and serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

 

Old-Fashioned Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons good-quality cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 large free-range or organic eggs, beaten
  • Splash milk
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

Sift the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and powdered sugar together in a large bowl.

Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture. This is the point where you can spike the mixture with interesting flavors, so mix in your lemon zest.

Add the eggs and milk to the mixture and gently work it together until you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly. Don’t work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short. Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round, flour it lightly, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator to rest for at least half an hour.

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