Apple & blackberry pie...

Yes, I'm lucky enough to have blackberries growing in my back garden. You have to be quick though - before all the birds will get to them first! It is tricky to pick them up too... The very top ones are gone, eaten by the birds, bottom ones - I dare you to pick up, I have a big rabbits family living in my garden and it's also an occasional visit place for a for or hedgehog :) So... the only "good ones" are kind of in the middle of the bushes. Tricky to get to them, but so worth it!
Had a little help from my 3 year old - she was holding a box, while mummy would bend almost like a member of the Cirque du Soleil while trying to reach those black, juicy fruit ;)

Don't know about you, but for me blackberries always mean one thing - a pie! And they go so well with another "autumnal" fruit - apples.
I'm always all for full butter pastry, but... but having read and watched about pastry making I've decided to use lard too. I'm still not entirely convinced that it was a good move on my part. There's something very rich and comforting about all butter pastry, whereas butter + lard combination failed to give me that feeling... It was good, short pastry, but for me I think I'll stick to all butter for my sweet bakes. Maybe there's something wrong with me, or my taste buds, but all butter pastry is the way to go for me when it comes to sweet pies.
I'm left with more than 100 g of lard, so I think that savory pie will happen someday soon. Can't simply throw away all that fat, besides - it might just convert me when it comes to meat/vegetable pies and their pastry casings ;)

apple and blackberry pie

How to make it...
- 250 g plain flour
- 100 g butter, cold from the fridge
- 50 g lard, cold from the fridge
- ice-cold water
- 5 large apples
- 2 cups of blackberries
- 4 tablespoons sugar

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl with a small pinch of salt. Cut the butter and lard into small pieces and rub into the flour with your thumbs and fingertips. To bring the mixture to dough ball, add a little ice-cold water. Start with a tablespoonful, adding it little by little and draw the dough in from the sides to form a ball. You want dough that is firm enough to roll but soft enough to demand careful handling. Cover the dough in clingfilm and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Set the oven to 200 C. Peel, core and quarter the apples, cutting them into thin slices, then put them into a bowl, add blackberries and sugar. Toss the fruit with sugar.

Divide the dough in half. Roll the pastry out to fit the bottom of your baking dish. You want enough extra pastry around the edge to be able to cut off and cover the rim of the dish. Roll out the second part of the dough to cover the pie completely. Lie the first part of the pastry in the tin, making sure the pastry goes over the edges. Fill in with apples and blackberries, leaving the juices in the bowl. Cover the fruit with the second pastry disc, pressing the edges to seal it well. Crimp it to seal with your thumb and first finger, or by pressing down with the prongs of a fork. Cut two or three short slits in the center of the pastry to let out any steam. Brush with a little milk and dust with caster sugar.

Bake the pie for 50-55 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and pale gold. Take out of the oven and leave in the baking tray to cool completely. Serve with cream.


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