Individual apple and blackberry pies

pies

It is truly going to be a case of who ate all the pies as I cannot get enough of these individual apple and blackberry pies. They are good steaming hot with a scoop of ice-cream or just on their own as an afternoon snack. There is something quite special about biting into the burnished pastry and a jewel like mix of apple and blackberries tumbles forth.

Ingredients
Pastry
330g plain flour
100g icing sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
180g cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
1 free range egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
Filling
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 dessert apples such as Russet, Braeburn or Cox
2 cooking apples such as Bramley or Granny Smith
100g caster sugar
250g blackberries

1. Brush a muffin tin with a thin layer of melted butter and leave to set in the fridge.

2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 2.5cm chunks. Melt a knob of butter in the pan and once bubbling add the cooking apples. Cook over a medium heat for 3 mins. Add the dessert apples, sugar and cinnamon for 2 mins while stirring well. Tip in the blackberries and allow to soften for 1-2 mins. The aim is for the blackberries and dessert apples to hold their shape while the cooking apples break down into a pulp and the whole mixture becomes a rich blackberry colour. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool completely.

3. To make the pastry put the flour, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt in a bowl and add the butter. Rub it in with your hands to get a coarse breadcrumb consistency with no large lumps of butter.

4. Add the egg yolk and water and mix just until the dough comes together, being careful not to mix any longer than necessary. I usually need to add a bit more water than the recipe calls for.

5. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead very lightly for a few seconds only, just to shape it into a smooth disc, 5-6cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins in the fridge

6. Lightly dust your work surface, remove the pastry from the fridge and cling film, place in the middle and roll out with a rolling pin until it is no more than 2-3mm thick. Work quickly so that the pastry does not get warm.

7. Cut out 8 circles using a pastry cutter or the rim of a glass as I do. Line the muffin tin by placing the circles inside and gently pressing them into the corners and sides. Then cut out a further 8 circles which will form the pie “lids”.

8. Spoon in the fruit mixture and place the pie lids on top, pinching the edges together to seal them. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up the pastry.

9. Preheat the oven to 220c. Remove the pies from the fridge and brush with a little milk. Sprinkle with sugar then pierce a little steam hole on each lid. Bake for 20-25 mins or until the pastry is golden.

This recipe is adapted from one by Gordon Ramsay in The Times earlier this month.

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