Sunday, 18 September 2011

English Rose Apple and Berry Pies

If you're looking for a warm, tasty, fruit dessert then look no further, these pies are absolutely perfect!  Succulent chunks of apple are mixed with a variety of juicy English berries with a hint of rosewater, all encased in a buttery, sugar-crusted pastry...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

They're so easy to make and so delicious, I'm sure you're guests, friends and family will adore them.  The recipe makes six small pies, but if you prefer you can use the exact same quantities to make one big pie instead.  Whichever you prefer I guarantee you won't have much left once everyone starts tucking in!

English Rose Apple and Berry Pies


250g plain flour
80g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 egg yolk


2 large cooking apples, peeled and cored
120g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
300g frozen mixed berries
1tbsp cornflour
1tbsp rosewater
2tbsp milk
icing sugar to dust

To make the pastry; place the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix.  Add the butter and a pinch of salt and use your fingers to rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of cold water and bring together with your hands until it forms a soft dough.  Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough is chilling cut the apples into 1cm pieces and place in a large saucepan with the sugar and 250ml of water.  Cover and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes , or until the apple begins to soften.  Add the berries to the saucepan and heat, uncovered, for about 2-3 minutes, until the berries start to release their juices.

In a small bowl add the cornflour with the rosewater and 2 tablespoons of cold water, mix until smooth.  Add the cornflour mixture to the fruit mixture and heat for a further few minutes until the mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5 and grease a 6 hole muffin tin with butter.  Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out onto a lightly floured surface until it's about 3mm thick.  Use a 12cm pastry cutter to cut out six rounds and use them to line the muffin holes.  Divide the fruit mixture between the holes, being careful not to overfill them.

Bring the remaining pastry into a ball and roll out until about 2-3mm thick.  Use a 9cm pastry cutter to stamp out 6 rounds.  If you have extra pastry you can stamp out a design to top these rounds (I used small hearts).  Brush the pastry edges with water and top with the smaller circles, pressing the edges firmly together to seal.  Brush the tops with sprinkle and sprinkle generously with caster sugar.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully turning out.  Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice-cream or a dollop of thick cream.

Belle's Top Tip
I always make more filling than I actually need, so if you find you have some left over, pour into a baking dish, use the crumble topping recipe from my "Totally Tropical Caribbean Crumble" post and make a delicious English Apple and Berry Fruit Crumble too!