For the pastry
- 225g cold unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
- 350g plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 large egg yolk (save the white for brushing the pastry)
For the filling
- 10-12 large figs, quartered
Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…
- 400g raspberries
- 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 8 cardamom pods
- ¼ tsp rosewater
- 1 tbsp fine polenta or ground almonds
An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…
- egg white, for brushing (reserved from making the pastry)
- cream, crème fraîche, natural yogurt or soured cream, to serve
Fresh unpasteurised milk quickly separates and the fat rises to the top. This fat layer is then…
First make the pastry. Put the butter and flour in a food processor with 1/4 tsp salt and blend until the mixture resembles damp breadcrumbs. Or do this by rubbing the butter and flour together in a big bowl with your fingertips. Add the sugar and briefly whizz again or stir to combine.
Whisk the egg yolk with 2 tbsp cold water, and drizzle over the flour mixture. Use the pulse button to blend the mixture once more, keep going until it starts to form larger clumps. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little more water a tsp or 2 at a time, but no more than 3 tsp in total.
Tip out onto a work surface and briefly knead the dough to bring it together into a smooth ball. Avoid overworking or it will become tough. Flatten the dough into a puck shape and wrap well in cling film. Chill for at least 30 mins, or for up to 2 days, or freeze for 2 months.
Next, make the filling. Put the figs, raspberries, sugar and cornflour in a large bowl and gently toss together, being careful not to break up the raspberries, until the fruit is well coated. Put the cardamom in a mortar and crack the pods with a pestle. Remove the seeds from their pods and place them back in the mortar, discarding the pods. Crush the seeds then add to the fruit, along with the rosewater. Set aside for 15 mins.
Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Re-wrap the smaller piece and set aside. Divide the larger piece of dough into the number of pies you’d like to make, or leave whole for a large one. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to the thickness of a 50p piece, or until large enough to line the base of your pie plate or tin, with a little pastry overhanging. Roll the dough over your rolling pin, lift into your plate or tins, and press it well into the corners. Scatter the polenta or almonds over and spoon in the filling. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf.
To create a stamped design for the top of the pie, roll out the pastry on a well-floured sheet of baking parchment . Use a small biscuit cutter to stamp out shapes (we’ve used a heart cutter, but circles, diamonds or flower shapes look pretty too). Brush the pie edge with egg, then slide the pastry lid on top. Trim the edge with scissors and squeeze the pastry edge around the top of your index finger, using your thumb and the other index finger. Work your way along the pastry edge to give a professionally fluted finish. Once covered, whisk the reserved egg white and brush over the pastry. Scatter with a little extra sugar, then place the pie on the baking sheet and bake for 45 mins for a large pie, 35-40 mins for medium pies or 25-30 mins for mini pies, until the pastry is golden and crisp and the juices are bubbling. Cool for 10 mins before serving with cream, crème fraîche, natural yogurt or soured cream.
Decorate your pieFor tips, tricks and ideas to style the top and sides of your pie, see our guide to 11 super easy ways to decorate a pie.
Avoid the dreaded soggy bottomTo make sure your pie has a crisp crust, use a metal or enamel pie plate, tin or a cake tin if your pie has a pastry base. Make sure the baking sheet is hot when the pie goes in the oven. Scatter ground almonds or polenta over the base to soak up any extra juice from the fruit.
Add a glazeWhisk leftover egg white from making the pastry with a fork until frothy and use this to glaze the pie. If you want the pie to have a nice golden colour, whisk in a little caster sugar too.