So’s who’s in favour of a little detour away from the mince-pie? I know I am, but only because I think I might’ve have already consumed my quota and there’s still just under two weeks to go to the big day, but also because I have plans for my next blog post which involves mincemeat without the pie.
So instead I’ve baked apple and blackberry pies, inspired by my mother who has been baking a much simpler variation for years now and are today a much coveted little treat she bakes lovingly with and for my small one.
I’ve spoken many times about the mother’s apple tarts… well these little pies were a creation of that left over pastry. She would simply cut out rounds, fill them with jam, poke holes in the top, pop them in the oven and voila. Not the most elaborate or creative of pies but oh so tasty and so simple.
Unlike the mother though I haven’t baked an apple tart so I don’t have left over pastry – I’m using the ready-made kind. But to make up for that I have made my own fruity filling, using apples from the sisters garden and frozen blackberries, picked earlier in the year from the bramble bushes bordering my garden. You really must try these, they taste so good and are perfect with a cuppa, after a long day battling the crowds in that final rush for Christmas presents.
Apple and blackberry hand pies
Makes 8 • Baking time Approx 12-15 minutes
375g sweet short crust pastry
150g of apple (peeled & cored weight)
25g castor sugar
1 tablespoon of cold water
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
Brown sugar to sprinkle
1 egg beaten for glaze
1. Preheat oven to 200/Gas 4/180(fan). Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
2. Chop the apples into small pieces and place along with the blackberries, water, castor sugar and nutmeg into a saucepan. Cover and simmer for ten minutes or until the fruit becomes soft, stirring occasionally.
3. Flour a work surface and roll out your pastry to about ½” high. Cut sixteen 3″ rounds out of it.
4. Place eight rounds on the prepared baking tray. Spoon a teaspoonful of the apple and blackberry mixture into the centre of each and sprinkle with brown sugar.
5. Cover with another round and press gently to seal. Then cut a deep cross on the top. Dip a fork in the egg and edge your way around the pies to seal. Brush a little egg over the top also. Repeat with the others pies.
6. Bake for approx 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. The filling may bubble out a bit and that’s all part of the effect. Transfer to a wire rack and allow the pies to cool slightly before eating.