Apple and Cherry Midnight Pie

Apple and Cherry Midnight Pie

 

Recipe

Serves 12

Time: 1 hour, plus chilling and baking time

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 470g plain flour
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 ½ tbsp water

For the filling

  • 4 Large cooking apples (I used 1kg of Bramley)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (around 90g)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 300g frozen cherries
  • 200g frozen blueberries

Method

  1. Begin by making the pastry. Put the flour and butter into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir the sugar and the salt into the flour with a round bladed knife and then keep mixing as you add the water until a smooth dough forms. Bring the dough together with your hands to make a ball and then wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Peel, core and dice the apple. Put the apple chunks into a large pan with the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Place over a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally until the fruit is starting to soften and let out its juices. Add the flour to the pan, stir to combine and then set aside to cool.
  4. Take the frozen blueberries and cherries and tip them onto a baking tray lined with kitchen roll. Leave to defrost, changing the kitchen roll if it becomes too wet.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. When the pastry is ready take it out of the fridge, cut it in two and put one of the halves back into the fridge.
  6. Shape the pastry half you’re working with into a circle and then roll it out on a lightly floured worktop into a circle about 33cm wide (or about 3cm wider all around than your tin. You can use your tin as a guide for rolling by placing it over your pastry every now and then to check the size!)
  7. Transfer the pastry disc into the pie tin, making sure it fits into any flutes or creases. Allow any excess pastry to hang over the edge for now.
  8. Take a square of baking paper around the same dimensions as the pastry disc you just rolled out. Scrunch it up into a ball in your hands and then unfold it back out into a crumpled square. Use this to line the inside of the tart, then weigh down the pastry with baking beans or rice.
  9. Bake the pastry like this for 10 minutes, until the pastry looks like it’s starting to cook through. Take out the weight (beans or rice) and the baking paper and return the base to the oven for about 10 minutes until just starting to brown. Leave to one side to cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile prepare/shape the pastry for the topping. Take the second half of pastry, shape it into a circle and then roll it out into a disc, roughly the same size as before, between two sheets of clingfilm. (I find at this point it’s useful to have a guide on baking paper to transfer your design onto, but you could also work freehand. If you want to do a pattern you can follow my instructions on how to make your own below this recipe.)
  11. Cut the pastry in half, down the centre of the circle you’ve rolled out. Place one semi circle to one side for later.
  12. Take a 5cm round cookie cutter and cut two semi-circles out of the pastry , equal distance from the centre point and place the hemispheres you’ve cut out to one side.
  13. Next cut 3 full circles out of the centre of the pastry in an arc, moving around from the top semi-circle to the bottom semi-circle. Keep all the circles you cut out.
  14. Take the first circle and, using the same 5cm cutter, cut out a moon shape by slightly off-setting where you cut into the circle. Do this again with another one of the circles, this time cutting a moon from the other half of the circle.
  15. Take the final full circle and a 4cm cookie cutter and cut a smaller circle out of the main circle. Finally, take one of the hemispheres and, using the 4cm cutter, cut a smaller hemisphere out of the large one.
  16. Place all of the pieces you’ve cut out onto clingfilm and leave in the fridge until the pastry base and apples have cooled completely.
  17. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  18. When ready to start assembling the pie begin by spreading an even layer of the apple filling over the pastry base. Then scatter over the de-frosted cherries and blueberries, starting with the cherries and then filling in the gaps with the blueberries.
  19. Take the egg for the topping and whisk it in a small bowl with a fork until runny. Brush this on half of the exposed pastry crust.
  20. Take the semi-circle of pastry out of the fridge and place it on top of the filling, where you brushed the egg, so the centre line cuts across the middle half of the pie. Take a fork and press gently around the top edge of the crust to help it bind with the baked pastry. Then cut off the excess pastry round the edge by cutting it away with a sharp knife, held vertically and then stroked along the edge of the pie dish.
  21. Take the shapes of pastry that you cut out earlier and arrange them on the top of the pie to look like the above photo.
  22. Take the leftover rolled-out pastry and cut out stars. Brush the pastry on the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg and then place the pastry stars around the edge of the pie. Brush the stars with more beaten egg.
  23. Bake the pie in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool a little and then serve with ice cream or custard!

How to make a pattern/guide for the top!

  1. Cut a sheet of baking paper about 33cm long (by however wide the roll is).
  2. Take something circular measuring 27.5cm in diameter (or equivalent to whatever diameter your pie tin is) and trace a circle onto your sheet of baking paper.
  3. Take a rule and draw a line down the centre of the circle to dissect it into two. Draw another line perpendicular to the first to transect the circle into quarters. Do this twice more so you have 8 segments.
  4. Take your ruler again and mark 5.5cm along each line from the centre point.
  5. Take a 5cm round cookie cutter and place the bottom edge on one of the 5cm marks you just made. Trace the circle onto this position and then repeat this on the other 5.5cm marks you made. You should now have 8 circles in a perfect ring.
  6. From this point you can choose how much more you do. I like to draw on the shapes you’ll be cutting out of the pastry, then to shade in where the filling will be visible.
  7. Keep the circle whole for now, however later when using it as a guide it might be useful to cut out the half of the circle that will be made up mainly of pastry so you can use it as a template on the pastry itself.
  8. If you choose to do step 7, a good tip is to take a pin or cocktail stick and make a little hole at the top and bottom of each circle (where the circle intersects with the line). This means that when you place the template on the pastry you can prick again with a cocktail stick through these holes and then you can use these marks to line up your cookie cutter so you cut out perfectly in-line circles.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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