6 oz (175g) plain flour, sifted
3 oz (75g) cold butter, cubed
A cold glass of water
3 large cooking apples (Bramleys are best!)
3 tbsps caster sugar
A small egg
2 oz demerara sugar
A large mixing bowl
A flat baking tray
A pastry brush
A rolling pin
Greaseproof Paper and Foil
1.First, make the shortcrust pastry. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you get a breadcrumb-like texture and the butter and flour have become one mixture.
2.Next, add the water. The amount of water you use always differs according to the weather and different varieties of flour. Add the water a couple of tablespoons at a time till the dough starts to cling around the fork and the dough is in small clumps in the bowl. Bring it together with your fingers and put it in a sandwich bag to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before you roll it out. (Top tip - Try not to handle it too much as you want the ingredients to stay as cold as possible!)
3.When the dough is in the bag, pat it out gently to a disk. The pastry needs time in the fridge to relax and let the butter harden so it's easier to roll out later.
4. While the dough is in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180'C and grease and line a flat baking tray with foil to keep the pie from sticking. Core, peel and slice the apples thinly and keep them covered in water in a bowl to keep them from going brown.
5.Roll out the pastry between two large pieces of greaseproof paper (double the size of the pastry) to about a centimetre thick. It doesn't need to be a perfect circle but just big enough to have a pile of fruit in the centre and be able to bring up the dough around the sides. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin to transfer to the flat baking tray.
6.Wash the blackberries and drain the apples before returning them both to the bowl and adding 3 tablespoons of caster sugar. Gently stir them with a metal spoon to make sure each bit of fruit has sugar on it. The fruit, blackberries in particular, are very likely to break up and become squashed so take care and don't mix it too much.
7. Spoon the fruit and sugar mixture into the middle of the pastry to make a mound of fruit with a thick border of pastry around it. Bring the borders up around the fruit like an open tart or 'volcano' and press gently into the fruit to seal. Unlike a deep dish pie, this pie only has pastry around the sides and at the bottom and none on top so you can see the delicious fruit. (Top tip – If the fruit pokes out of the pastry, just patch it up with a bit of pastry from another side of the pie!)
8.Lightly whisk the egg and use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry. Sprinkle the demerera sugar over the pastry so the egg acts as glue and gives an extra layer of crunch! Put the pie into the preheated oven for 30 minutes or so until the apples are soft and the pastry is golden brown and crispy.
9.Serve for Sunday lunch pudding with a dollop of clotted cream on a chilly September afternoon!