At this time of year, there is so much fruit in season, it's a great opportunity to make use of cooking apples and blackberries.
Since I was a teenager, I was always a little daunted by making apple tart. My hands were too warm to work with pastry and when making it for my junior certificate home economics exam I forgot to add sugar to the apples! I've improved since and I love to make them now. You can't beat fresh pastry, sweet fruit and a little whipped cream.
Note: if you can't get blackberries, this recipe is still lovely with just the apples.
Time: 1 hour
225g Plain Flour (and a little extra to work with)
125g Butter, cut into 1cm cubes (if you don't have a pastry knife, grate the butter instead of cubing it)
2 Egg Yokes
4 or 5 Cooking Apples (800g)
A fistful of Blackberries
100g Caster Sugar
Pie Tin, 20cm (between 1 and 2 cm deep)
Large Mixing Bowl
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Sieve the flour into the mixing bowl. Tip: Tap the sieve against the heel of your hand over the bowl.
3. Add in the butter cubes and cut them into the flour. At the end, you can use your fingers to rub the butter in a little more but try not to introduce too much heat as it will make the pastry greasy.
4. Separate the egg yolk from the white. Tip: there are lots of ways of doing this, here is just an example of a very simple method. Add the egg yolk and 3 or 4 tablespoons of very cold water into the bowl.
5. Bring the mixture together using your hands. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place it in the fridge for at least half an hour.
6. While the pastry is chilling, peel and core the apples. (if you don't have a corer, simply cut around the core.)
7. Cut the apples into half centimeter slices. Put them in a bowl with the blackberries and cover them with the caster sugar immediately.
Grease the pie tin. (We always kept old butter wrappers at home for this purpose but a small knob of butter will do just fine.)
9. Lightly flour a large clean surface and the rolling pin. (I like to use a cool surface to keep the pastry cold, but it's not essential.)
10. Cut off 60% of the pastry. Lightly flour and roll out the piece of pastry until it is at least 3 cm wider then the pie dish.
Pick up the pastry by draping it over the rolling pin and lay it loosely over the tin. Lift it at the sides to remover the tension and let it fall into the base of the tin, making sure it it gently tucked in all around.
12. Fill the dish with the apples and put the blackberries in on top, evenly spread out.
With a fork, mark all around the edges of the dish. Using the pastry brush, wet the edge with a little milk.
14. Roll out the remaining pastry and lift it over the dish, again using the rolling pin.
15. Seal the tart by going around the edge again with the fork. Prick holes in the cover and use the pastry brush and milk to 'wash' the whole thing.
16. Cut off the excess pastry by running a knife along the edge of the tin.
17. If you like, you can make a little decoration from the excess pastry. I made a little appl
18. Place in the over for 25-35 mins until it has turned golden brown on top.