The temperature dropped by ten degrees in one day. It was the day H came back from travelling. Bringing Thai fisherman trousers for A and a temple bell for me. She said it's for the door of my shop...Maybe one day...
Cold weather is pie weather. Chicken and mushroom pie, apple pie, blackberry or mulberry pie. Or best of all a mixture of the last three.
Something made me think I may have been eating too much pie recently...
I have a bee in my bonnet about people hanging coats on the back of chairs. I hate the habit. 'A' knows this.
He came in from work one night this week and said: "I didn't hang my jacket on the chair in the study. I've put it away."
"Thanks" I said "I love that chair, that's why I chose it. I love to look at the shape of it"
He said "I know, that's the same reason I chose you." I thought how sweet of him to say so....
Then he thought for a minute...and said,"but then it changed...."
I was in hysterics...he meant my shape...Too much pie...
I'm sure you all know how to make a fruit pie but if you don't here's my Too Much of a Good Thing Bramble Pie Recipe
For the pastry
- 10oz of chilled butter (or vegan alternative)
- 5oz of plain flour
- One or two eggs depending on the size.(or water)
For the filling
- Windfall apples and foraged blackberries, and if you have any mulberries...they are the bees knees. Lots of them, enough to fill the pie dish and heap on top.
- Honey, maple syrup or soft brown sugar to sweeten.
- A little bit of flour to absorb some of the juice and make a nice sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 190-200c
- Sift the flour into a large baking bowl.
- Either cut up the cold butter into tiny pieces and drop into the flour or grate it directly into the flour.
- Rub the little pieces of butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Crack the egg/s into a bowl and beat them. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the eggs in. Mix with a fork gradually incorporating more and more of the flour mixture into the centre until the mixture has all come together. If it seems too dry, add a little milk or water.
- With clean hands gather the dough together and form into a ball. Flatten it a little and then wrap in waxed paper or cling film and place in the fridge to chill. The butter paper is good for this.
- Whilst the pastry is chilling prepare the fruit. Berries are the easiest. Just rinse a little if you think they need it and remove any stalks. Peel and slice apples, removing the pips and core. Put the apples into a bowl of water with a little lemon juice to prevent from browning. Put the berries to one side in a bowl but don't add any water to them as they already have a high water content and this will dilute the flavour of the fruit.
- If the apples are Bramley or other baking apples they should cook fairly quickly in the pie with the rest of the fruit and be nice and soft. If using eating apples you may need to cook them a little in a saucepan with some of the honey or sweetener and a drop of water until they begin to fall and loose there shape a little. Keep a good eye on them to make sure they don't burn.
- Once the fruit is prepared. Lightly flour a clean work surface and get your rolling pin ready. Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut in half. Return one half to the fridge and roll out the other half until it's slightly bigger than the pie dish.
- Carefully line the pie dish with it, pushing it well into the corners and prick the base with a fork.
- Place a piece of baking parchment inside to cover the bottom and a layer of baking beads. I use some dried black beans I keep in a jar. You can just roll up a few odd bits of the pastry just to weigh the paper down if you don't have any baking beans.
- Place in the oven and bake blind for five or ten minutes.
- Remove from the oven and pop the filling in, piling it up nice and high. Then drizzle with honey or maple syrup or sprinkle with brown sugar. You may like to add a few dobs (if that's a word) of butter too and a little sprinkling of flour. This is especially good if you're using lots of berries as already mentioned they are high in water and so produce lots of juice. The flour will thicken this up a bit.
- Remove the second half of the pastry from the fridge and do the same as with the first half. Lay the pastry over the filling, pressing down at the sides. Trim with the edge of a knife at a 25 degree angle as it will shrink a bit while cooking. Make a couple of holes in the top with a sharp knife. Brush the top with egg or milk to glaze. Or fruit juice for a vegan pie.
- Return to the oven and bake for ten minutes or so and then reduce the heat to 180c for a further twenty minutes or so until the pastry is golden brown, and the filling cooked. I love when the juices start to bubble out.
- Allow to cool for a little then serve with custard, yoghurt or just as it is...scrumptious...
When not working or making pies I've been knitting this cardigan in linen yarn that's so nice to work and the pattern easy to follow...One to take away and knit on route...glad I'm not the long haul driver. And I discovered that if you run out of rice, couscous tastes amazing with Thai green curry and all the while I've been sipping lots of this calming tea that I recently discovered thanks to a gift from my lovely blogger friend.
Have you made any pies this week?