Recipes

Apple and Blueberry Pie with Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

24/09/2020

An Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe is the perfect comfort food for the upcoming autumn and winter seasons! You will hardly find a cake more comforting on a cold day than a piping hot apple pie! Make this recipe today and you will be rewarded with a crumbly texture and buttery taste for your delicious pie.

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

I know what you’re thinking: this apple and blackberry pie doesn’t look like a classic American pie! That’s because I took inspiration from traditional Italian tarts when creating this recipe. Making pie isn’t difficult, but it does require patience, skills and a trustworthy recipe! For this Apple and Blackberry Pie, I used a delicious homemade, buttery pastry to give the pie the ultimate homespun look and taste.

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

What better seasons than the upcoming autumn and winter to gather around the dining table and eat a delicious and heart-warming pie? Whether you prefer a savoury or a sweet pie, an American-style or a British pie, it doesn’t matter. As long as it comes with a pastry crust and a filling, no pie is going to be left out!

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

For this recipe, I took inspiration from my favourite Italian jam tarts, crostata as we call it in Italy. The pastry is prepared in the traditional way, just like my mum taught me, and my grandmother taught her. All it takes to make your own pastry is mixing butter, one egg, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt together into a ball of dough. Pop it in the fridge to chill for an hour and then you are all set to make this delicious pie.

If you don’t have the time to make the pastry from scratch – or you simply can’t be bothered – don’t worry: a shop-bought short-crust pastry will do just fine.

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

For the filling of this apple and blueberry pie I used a mix of apple varieties (Bramleys are considered to be the best for baking), stewed in a large pan or cast iron skillet with sugar and spices (and why not, also a splash of brandy if you like). Fresh blueberries and orange zest are stirred in the pie just before baking.

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

You can bake this pie the same day you plan to eat it, and serve it warm with custard or ice cream. Though I prefer to make it a day ahead and let it cool down and set, as I find it always taste better the next day. Brew a cup of tea or coffee and you have the perfect afternoon treat!

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

This Apple and Blueberry Pie is my dream dessert to share with my husband on a cold evening (warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of cream). It’s also a fantastic cake to serve up for the Christmas holidays, a birthday or any other celebrations.

Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe with an Italian crostata style pastry crust

Other delicious sweet bakes you can make with apples this winter are: Apple Strudel (or strucolo de pomi, a recipe from Trieste in north-eastern Italy that was passed down to me by my grandma); Marzipan & Spiced Apple Pie, a classic American apple pie with a tasty almond paste filling; and Slow Cooked Apple Butter Galette, simple and comforting with sliced fruit and homemade apple butter.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 150g cold unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing), diced
  • 350g plain flour, sifted
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 egg yolk, for brushing the pastry

For the filling

  • 4 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 150g blueberries
  • 1 orange, zest
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten

Preparation

Start by making the pastry a day before or at least a few hours before you plan to make the pie.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the cold butter. Working quickly with cold hands or a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar, salt and lemon zest and mix everything together. In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs with a fork, then add them to the other ingredients.

Transfer to a floured counter and use your hands to bring everything together to a smooth, consistent dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Grease a 25x25cm glass pie dish with a little butter. Roll 2/3 of the pastry to a round shape slightly bigger than your pie dish and to the thickness of 3mm. Wrap the remaining 1/3 and place it back in the fridge.

Use the rolled out pastry to line the base of the pie dish, with a little pastry overhanging. Use the rolling pin over the dish to remove the extra pastry hanging from the edges.

Prick the base with a fork, cover it with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put the apples, sugar, spices, butter and a pinch of salt in a pan. On a low heat, stir the ingredients until the sugar has completely dissolved and the butter has melted. Raise the heat and, stirring now and then, simmer for 10 minutes, until the apples are soft. Take off the heat, stir in the fresh blueberries and orange zest. Set the pan aside to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan, gas mark 4.

Place the pie dish (lined with the pastry case and filed with baking beans) on a baking sheet in the centre of the oven. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking parchment and beans, brush the inside of the case with a little beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Cool down briefly.

Take the remaining pastry out from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of 3mm. Cut into 10 strips, about 1.5cm wide.

Drain any excess liquid from the cooked fruit. Spoon the filling into the pre-baked pastry case.

Using the prepared pastry strips, make a lattice topping over the fruit. Lightly press down where the strips overlay the pastry case, to seal the pie. Cut off the excess strips.

Brush the pastry generously with the remaining egg yolk, then bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the pie is lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and cool down completely before gently removing the blueberry pie from the glass dish. Serve as it is or paired with custard or ice cream.

Store in an airtight container for five days.

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