Monday, 21 September 2015

Autumn is here!

Summer is now well and truly behind us (well, it is in England at least!) and to get into the autumn spirit I have made another tutorial for this month's The Dolls' House magazine (October 2015) with a mini food project for apple and blackberry pie.
Where I grew up in England as a little girl, the half term holiday from school in October was always known as 'blackberry week'.  This was the week when all the wild blackberries in hedgerows and bramble bushes would ripen and everyone would bring out their Tupperware bowls, buckets and plastic carrier bags to pick them to make into pies, crumbles and jams.  This yearly tradition became  one of my favourite things to do in autumn as a child so when I was asked by the magazine to make something 'autumnal', I instantly knew I had to make a blackberry pie!

My inspiration for this tutorial was my nana who used to make the most amazing blackberry and apple pies! Each October school holiday me and my brother would help my nana and my granddad pick the biggest, juiciest blackberries to help her make into a delicious pie.

Once we had picked enough blackberries we would go back to their house and help to make the pie.  We would begin by making the shortcrust pastry, rolling it out and lined it over the bottom of a large deep plate; in the meantime the apples would be stewing and bubbling away in some water and sugar in a saucepan.  Once the apples had softened we put the apple mixture onto the pastry lined plate along with some of the blackberries and sprinkled them with sugar. 

To finish the pie we rolled out enough pastry to cover the top of the plate, crimped the edges, and made a hole in the top to let the steam escape.  We then brushed the pastry with a beaten egg, sprinkled some more sugar over the top and baked in the oven till the pastry was golden and the thick blackberry juices started to ooze out of the top.

We used to enjoy eating the pie fresh out of the oven and served with either cream or custard.  It was equally tasty just eaten on it's own.  It is the ultimate in comfort food! Just the thing to cheer you up when the weather outside is cold, dark and miserable! I must get my nana to make this again for old time's sake! 

This issue is currently available in branches of WH Smith or alternatively you can order a copy from here.

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