Making this apple, blackberry and plum pie has reminded me that last year we started living in a lovely house in London. It belongs to a friend who has moved to New York to work. The house is a gorgeous old Victorian terraced house that backs onto one of the many railways lines criss-crossing our great city. Many people turn their noses up to living close to the noisy railway tracks but I love it. It reminds me of the first flat we bought in London all those years ago that also backed onto the railway. Sure it can be noisy but it’s a good noise. The sound of industry, the sound of people getting away, the sound of people going to work, the sound of life.
In this new house there is a narrow patch of land behind the end of the small garden, that raises up to the track and in the summer this patch of land is basically a blackberry, or bramble factory… and it stretches along at least 20 houses. If I could get back there and pick all the fruit I’d have tonnes of the stuff and the brilliant thing about brambles is that they fruit in abundance and then even more once you start picking them. This year they’re especially juicy and every morning this summer I go outside to do my stretches and yoga and then I pick fruit. Needless to say the freezer is full.
My mums apple and bramble pie is legendary in my memory of childhood. The combination of sweet apple and sharp blackberries is probably what kickstarted my obsession with sweet and sharp. Anything sherbetty is a winner with me and this pie ticks all the boxes. With the addition of these teeny little Victoria Plums, the first of the British plums in the supermarket makes the whole dish feel very ‘end of summer’ but that’s my favourite time of year so I have no issues and there’s always pie to mop up your sorrows.
for the pastry
- 400g plan flour
- 200g salted butter at room temperature
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme
- a splash of cold water
for the filling
- 2 pink lady apples – cored and chopped but not peeled
- 150g brambles or blackberries
- 200g plums – de-stoned and roughly chopped
- 100g sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- the grated zest of an orange
i’ve used a 20cm fluted ceramic pie dish which i’ve buttered well
start with the pastry by placing all the dry ingredients into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add a little water and bring the pastry together into a dough – wrap in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 mins
place all the fruit, spices, sugar and zest into a bowl and stir together -set aside and pre-heat the oven to 170C
roll out half the dough onto a well floured surface, then line your pie dish with the dough
pour the mixed fruit into the pie dish, then roll out the remaining dough and lay it on top, crimp the edges of the pie and make a hole in the centre with a knife – brush an egg wash over the pastry and sprinkle with a little caster sugar
bake in the oven for 30 -45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown, then remove from the oven and allow to cool for a while before tucking in!
eat and of course, enjoy!