Learn how to make pastry: Simple Apple Pie with BlackberriesNovember 10, 2015
Pastry’s a bit scary isn’t it? Like the croissant or the crème brulée, there’s something deceptively simple about the transformation of butter, flour and that makes us think we must be missing a trick.
The difference between a cook and a baker is an important distinction. We all know someone who can whip up a macaroon no problems, but never attempts a risotto or a roast. Conversely, there are people like my grandmother: a fabulous cook who cannot follow a recipe to save herself. Needless to say, this approach has resulted in some… interesting cakes over the years.
Basically, to learn how to make pastry is to learn to trust in the rules! As tempting as it might be to stray from the path set out in a recipe (I am hopeless at this), the complex interplay of glutens, sugars, fats, even air, demands that a strict process be followed in order for the magic to happen.
Don’t try to get clever and skip a step. I promise it’s not worth it! The basics of baking have been passed down from generation to generation, from French Patisseries of the 17th century, to grandmothers baking pies left out on suburban windows to cool. Do you really want to fly in the face of all that history? Of course not. In honour of the wisdom of tradition, we’ve paired our party with a classic combination of apples and blackberries. If you’re lucky enough to have a mulberry tree in your backyard though (or an overhanging branch – cheeky), it should be in season and dropping perfectly ripe jewels right now! We highly recommend them as a substitute for the blackberries if you can get your lucky mitts on them.
Set aside some time to read the recipe in full before you start, and make sure you have all the kit you need before anything get poured into a bowl. Make sure you’ve got enough time set aside so you don’t have to rush, and dive in!
Learn how to make pastry: Simple Apple Pie with Blackberries
For the Pastry:
- 225g plain flour
- 100g butter, diced
- pinch salt
- 20ml water
- 50g caster sugar
For the Filling:
- 2 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1kg Bramley apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced
- 400g blackberries
- 140g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp milk
- Preheat your oven to 190°C or 170°C fan forced.
For the Pastry
- To make the pastry, combine the sugar, flour and butter in a bowl. Use your finger tips to pinch together the mixture until it comes together in a breadcrumb consistency, making sure all the butter is thoroughly mixed in. Now add the water and mix until the pastry forms a ball of dough. Wrap in cling wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour.
For the Pie:
- On a floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry into the pie dish so it covers the base of the dish. Allow for overhang as the pastry will shrink in the oven. Make some holes in the base with a fork, pour in baking beans so that they cover the base and then blind bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Wash, peel, core and cut up your apples. In a pot, stir together with the sugar, lemon and cinnamon. Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the apple have softened slightly. Place the apple mixture into the baked pastry and stud with the blackberries.
- Roll the remaining pastry and trimmings together into a square and cut out 8 strips of pastry that should be long enough to cover both ends of your pie. Weave the strips of pastry evenly over the fruit to create a lattice pattern and push them into the edge of the tart. Trim the overhang of pastry, and use a fork to press down the edges. Brush the top of the lattice with the egg and milk and scatter on a bit of sugar. Bake for around 50 minutes to an hour until lovely and juicy!
For an hilarious take on the baker/cook dichotomy, check out The Katering Show. We can’t wait for season 2 here at HelloFresh HQ!