Yippee it’s September! *cue Earth, Wind and Fire song*...
Now we finally have the excuse to put the fire on and snuggle up in our cosy jumpers and fluffy socks.
You may or may not know that this time every year is blackberry season. And what a wonderful season blackberry-picking season is! I just love it! It reminds me of when I was younger and care-free and I used to go blackberry-picking with my Nanna.
I went picking with my mum and brother around where I live at the end of last week and we came back with bags and bags full of ripe, juicy, plump and delicious blackberries – yum! So I have lots of blackberry recipe ideas lined up for you all in the coming few weeks, how exciting!
At the weekend, my grandparents kindly gave me a big bag of apples from their delicious apple tree in the back garden to use for my baking. So how could I not use them together with the blackberries we picked – it’s practically a match made in heaven!
So first up on the list – mini apple and blackberry pies. Delicious sweet melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry filled with a sweet yet tangy blappleberry mixture and baked to golden perfection. What more could you want to accompany you on the chilly darkening nights in front of the TV when you’re all warm and cosied up?!
So let’s get to the point. First of all, make sure you have absolutely well and truly greased the muffin tin, because we all know how in love non-greased tins and our favourite treats are, right?? So in love that they just want to stick together forever and ever. So just make sure you’ll be able to gently prise them apart, okay?
Start off by making the pastry. This can be done by hand, or you can cheat (which I definitely totally did not do, swear) by using a blender. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl and mix. Then add the diced butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (Or pulse in the blender until mixed). Then add cold water gradually until a non-sticky dough forms.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill whilst preparing the fruit.
To prepare the fruit, peel, finely dice and wash the apples. Rinse the blackberries well to ensure they are clean and mix with the apples along with the sugar and a squirt of lemon juice.
The amount of fruit in the recipe makes plenty enough for 12 mini pies, with possibly some left over. The pastry is the exact right amount for 12 pies – I had none left over. To make one big pie, use the same amount of pastry, but double the fruit.
To assemble the pies, roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of about 2mm. Then cut out 12 circles using a 3.5” (8.5cm) cutter which is just slightly bigger than the holes of the muffin tin. Gently place these into the tin and press the corners to the edges of the holes.
Then fill each pastry hole with a small spoonful of the fruit mixture. Be careful not to overfill.
Then with the remaining pastry, knead gently and roll out again. Cut strips to a thickness of about 0.5mm, then into lengths that will fit the width of the holes (9 strips per hole). Making sure the edges of the pastry already in the tin are wet, lay the strips onto each pie in a lattice pattern, pressing the strips into the sides. Brush with milk and dust with sugar to finish.
Pop in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool in the muffin tins completely before attempting to remove, otherwise the end result could be a disastrous fruity mess. To finish sprinkle with a bit more sugar.
Do you go blackberry picking at this time of year? Do you have any yummy recipes planned to use them in? I would love to hear about them!
Have a nice day!
Yield: 12 pies
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Decoration time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes
Total time: Around 1¼ hours
For the pastry:
- 225g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 60g caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- About 3 tablespoons ice cold water
For the filling:
- 300g cooking apples (about 2 apples), peeled, diced and washed
- 100g blackberries
- About 2 tablespoons caster sugar, to taste
- Squirt lemon juice
For the decoration/lattice detail:
- Cold water
- Granulated sugar
- To make the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the mixture of flour, sugar and salt with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. In a food processor, mix until combined. Then add the water gradually until the mixture forms a soft but not sticky dough.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill whilst preparing the fruit. Preheat the oven to 200®C/180®C Fan/400®F/Gas 6. Heavily grease the muffin tin.
- Peel and finely dice the apples, then rinse them in a colander to ensure they are clean. Then put the apples in a mixing bowl. Rinse the blackberries in the colander, then add to the apples with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well to combine, but be gentle to avoid breaking the blackberries.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut out 12 circles. Place the circles into the muffin holes and press into the sides. Add a spoonful of mixture to each pastry hole, but be careful not to overfill.
- To decorate gather up the remaining pastry bits, knead gently and re-roll. Cut into strips of about 5mm width, and the correct length for the width of the muffin holes. Wet the edges of the pastry already in the muffin tins with the cold water and lay out the strips in a lattice pattern over each pie, using 9 strips per pie. Ensure the edges of the strips are pressed into the pies. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Then bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the pies are a lovely golden brown colour.
- Allow to cool in the tin, then remove from the tins and serve warm or at room temperature.