Apples are in peak season during autumn and Matthew Evans’ apple and blackberry pie is a delicious way to use up your surplus. Lemon leaves add a citrus hint to the custard that works brilliantly with the blackberries in this pie.
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 180 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 125 g fresh or frozen blackberries (see Note)
- 55 g (¼ cup) white sugar
- 3 large granny smith apples, peeled, cores removed
- 1 tbsp cornflour
Lemon leaf custard
- 1 litre milk
- 3 lemon leaves, washed
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 5 eggs
- 100 g caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Standing time 10 minutes
To make custard, place milk and lemon leaves in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. Combine cornflour and 60 ml infused milk in a bowl and stir until cornflour dissolves. Whisk in eggs and sugar, and pour into a clean pan with remaining infused milk. Place over medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 6 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain, cover surface with plastic wrap and cool. Refrigerate until needed.
To make pastry, process flour, butter and egg yolk in a food processor until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add enough iced water (up to 60 ml) to combine. Turn out onto a floured surface and shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and line base and side of a 22 cm pie dish. Keep remaining pastry covered in plastic. Toss blackberries with 2 tbsp sugar. Stand for 10 minutes.
Cut apples into 5 mm-thick slices, then toss with blackberry mixture, cornflour and 2 tbsp water. Spoon into pastry case and scatter over remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
Roll out remaining pastry to a 4 mm-thick, 23 cm round and cut into 10 strips. To make the lattice, lay 5 strips horizontally across the pie, 1 cm apart, then fold every second pastry strip back on itself.
Lay a fresh strip of pastry perpendicular to the horizontal strips just off the centre, then place horizontal strips back down.
Fold back the pastry strips that weren’t folded back in step 5 until they reach the vertical strip. Lay a second fresh strip of pastry perpendicular to the horizontal strips and place horizontal strips back down. Repeat until you use up remaining strips, then repeat weaving with horizontal strips.
Bake for 40 minutes or until pastry is golden and apples are tender. Serve with the custard.
• If using frozen berries, remove water from step 4, and toss the defrosted berries with their juices and the sugar in step 3.
As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Alan Benson.