Preparation time 20 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time 35–40 minutes
150 g (5 oz) wholemeal flour
75 g (3 oz) plain flour
125g (4 oz) chilled butter
1 tablespoon caster sugar
pinch of salt
3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond essence
1–2 tablespoons soft dark brown sugar, to taste (optional)
200 g (7 oz) fresh or frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons toasted, chopped almonds (optional)
Place the flours in a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with the fingertips until
the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar and salt. Mix in
3½–4½ tablespoons cold water, adding enough water to form a dough, and
knead lightly until smooth. Divide into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other.
Wrap each in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Put the apples, lemon juice, almond essence and brown sugar in a bowl and toss
to coat. Mix in the blackberries and set aside.
Roll out the larger ball of pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit a 23 cm (9
inch) nonstick pie tin. Press the pastry into the tin to come up the sides,
moistening the edges with a little cold water. Roll out the smaller ball to fit as a
lid. Spoon the fruit evenly over the pastry shell, then scatter over the almonds, if
using. Top with the pastry lid, pressing down the dampened edges to seal. Trim
away the excess pastry with a sharp knife.
Cut 3 small incisions in the top of the pie and place in a preheated oven, 180°C
(350 °F), Gas Mark 4, for 35–40 minutes or until crisp and golden. Leave to rest for 5–10 minutes, then serve in slices with half-fat crème fraîche.
For rhubarb & raspberry pie, replace the dessert apples with 400 g (13 oz)
thinly sliced rhubarb and the blackberries with 200 g (7 oz) fresh or frozen
raspberries and add the freshly grated rind of 1 lemon. Bake as above until the
pastry is crisp and the rhubarb tender. Stir 1 teaspoon rosewater into 4
tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche and serve with the pie.