This is the best pie of its kind that I have ever eaten. The quality of the pie was confirmed by Mrs WDC, who not only took delight from eating the pie, but also could not conceal her chagrin – as she made her way for seconds – that a man-baked apple and blackberry pie might be as good, if not better, than she could make.
Make a coulis: Wash half the blackberries, peel and core half the apples. Add about 200ml of sweet wine. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes or until collapsed into a rough sauce. Cool slightly and sieve well to remove the pips. Return the coulis to the pan. Taste for sweetness. It will need more sweetness from extra sugar, add this until it is a sweet as you like. It also needs to to have a thick consistency – about the thickness of runny porridge. To do this add a teaspoon of cornstarch in a couple of tablespoons of cold water and add to the coulis. Heat until is starts to bubble and thicken. Add more orange juice or water or sweet wine until it is the right consistency. Rest overnight.
Macerate the blackberries: Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of sugar to the remaining half of blackberries (depending on sweetness) and add juice of half a lemon. Stir and cover. Store in the fridge overnight.
Make the sweet shortcrust pastry: roll out the shortcrust pastry until double the area sprinkle 2 tablespoons caster sugar over the pastry and roll or fold – give it a couple of kneads only – and form into a ball. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven: 180C, Gas 4
Bake the pastry: Roll out the pastry into a thick cylinder and cut off one third – wrap in cling film and return to the fridge. Form the remaining two-thirds into a ball and roll out to line a pastry case. Line the case and trim the pastry, prick the pastry with a fork and cover with parchment, bake the pastry blind (using pastry beads or beans) for 15-20 minutes, remove the bead and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes. Do not burn or overly brown the edges of the pastry case.
Make the lattice: This is more complicated than you might imagine. But here is my tip – make this on a separate floured oven sheet. Find a plate that is roughly the same size as the pie tin and use this as a guide – then overlap your strips to make a large circular shape and then cut using the plate.
Make and egg wash: beat one egg with a teaspoon of milk.
Prepare the filling: Put the coulis in a pan with the remaining blackberries. Peel and core the remaining apples and slice into the coulis. Heat the coulis to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes. Check for sweetness and viscosity – adjust with lemon, sugar, sweet wine, orange juice or water. Cool for a couple of minutes.
Prepare the pie: Put the fruit mixture into the pie case. Put the egg wash around the edge of the pasty case. Carefully slide the lattice top over the pie ensuring it sticks as well as possible around the edges. Trim if necessary. Carefully, brush egg wash on the lattice.
Bake: For abut 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the mixture is well cooked.
Serve: Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream.