I wasn’t expecting to bake this pie in August, but the unseasonably cold weather has produced bushes teeming with perfectly ripe blackberries much earlier than usual. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier.
It was my birthday last week, and I convinced my boyfriend to come blackberry picking with me. I wasn’t holding out much hope – the berries looked ripe, but it just felt way too early in the year. But to my surprise, I filled three Tupperware boxes with the sweetest, juiciest blackberries I’ve ever tasted.
Coincidentally, the very next day I was gifted a bag full of freshly picked apples. With this abundance of seasonal fruits in my kitchen, I knew I had to make something special.
Can you think of a more perfect introduction to autumn than a freshly baked pie, bursting with late summer fruits?
The pie crust recipe is adapted from the lovely It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken’s blog post – the only real difference is that I used wholegrain flour instead of white. This gave my pie crust a darker brown colour, which I really like! I also doubled the recipe to be sure I had enough dough, in order to create the lattice effect on top.
For the pie crust
- 3 cups of wholegrain flour (plus extra for rolling)
- 1 cup of vegetable shortening, chopped into small cubes
- ½ a teaspoon of sugar
- ½ a teaspoon of salt
- ½ a cup of almond milk
For the filling
- Three large Bramley cooking apples (peeled, cored and chopped into tiny pieces)
- Four cups of fresh blackberries (or more, if your pie dish is big enough!)
- Two tablespoons of sugar
- Chill your cooking tools in the fridge for around half an hour before you start preparing your pie. This stops the vegetable shortening from softening too much while you work with the dough.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the vegetable shortening and use a cold fork to mash it into the flour mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add the milk and combine everything together (don’t over-mix!) until you have a ball of dough.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto your work surface, remembering to coat your rolling pin. Divide the dough into two halves and set one aside.
- Place the first ball of dough in the middle and roll it out until you have a large circle, an inch or so bigger than your pie dish.
- Carefully place the dough into the pie dish and cut off the excess around the edges. Set aside.
- Add a little more flour to your work surface and roll out the second ball of dough. Use a pastry cutter (a pizza cutter works fine, too!) to cut out long, fairly thin strips.
- Place the chopped apples into the pie crust, forming a thick layer on the bottom. Add the blackberries and then sprinkle the sugar on top.
- Place your strips of dough over the pie, creating a lattice effect (or whatever you want, really!) Remove any excess and then press a fork all the way around the edges of the pie, which will form a crust.
- Brush the pie with a little almond milk and then place in the oven. Bake for one hour, until the crust is deliciously golden and crumbly and the blackberries are oozing juice.
Served with a scoop of vegan ice cream and a mug of warm herbal tea, I can’t think of a better way to welcome the colder months!