1 old-fashioned sweet shortcrust pastry recipe
50 g butter, plus extra for greasing
100 g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 large Bramley apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 16 wedges
4 Cox apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
1 heaped tablespoon chopped stem ginger in syrup
150 g blackberries
1 large free-range egg, beaten
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
This is the best apple pie in the world. You can't go wrong with Bramley cooking apples, delicious blackberries and stem ginger. The cooking time can depend on how freshly picked the apples are, so the best thing is to cook them until they're softened first. And I don't know if you've noticed this, but blackberries in shops never seem to taste of anything these days unless they've just been picked from a local grower – so do try to get fresh ones if you can, or pick your own straight from the bush!
First, make your pastry dough, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge for at least half an hour. Then preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan and, when the butter has melted, add the apples, stem 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 fridge. Dust your work surface with flour, cut the pastry in half and, using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces out until it's just under 1cm thick. (Rolling the dough between two layers of greaseproof paper will also stop it sticking to your rolling pin.) Butter a shallow 26cm pie dish and line with the pastry, trimming off any excess round 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. 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 custard.
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The winter berries in my apple pie recipe really bring it to life, and the ginger adds lovely depth
1h 50m (plus chilling time)
Not too tricky
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