- STEP 1
Preparation: Peel, core and slice into strips the apple, lay out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle over a handful of Sugar. Leave the butter somewhere warm to soften, or if you're feeling brave just microwave for about 20-30 seconds on a low heat. Sift the flour into a large bowl, separate the 2 sugar measurements and whisk the 2 eggs together. This can be messy, so have a cloth at hand ready to clean up the flour. Finally, use a nub of butter to grease the pie dish and line with baking paper.
- STEP 2
For the pastry: Beat together the softened butter and sugar, or just rub together with hands if the butter is not soft enough. Once combined, add the nutmeg and a capfull of vanilla and mix in the egg until there is little excess liquid and the mixture resembles scrambled egg. Mix in the flour about in 3 parts (makes it easier to mix), just using a wooden spoon, and then your hands when it begins to thicken. Do not overwork the mixture, and if it begins to soften or damped then add a little more flour. Once the mixture is ready, form a clump and roll into a large ball and then sort of flatten into a thick disk shape, about half the size of the original ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for about 40 minutes.
- STEP 3
For the filling: Tumble the apples, blackberries and almonds together in a bowl, lined with cling film, then sprinkle the sugar and about 2 tablespoons of flour over and shake through. Add the cinnamon and a capful almond extract over the top of the mixture, then squeeze over the lemon. Put the mixture to one side. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (apparently 190°C, 375°F, or 'Fairly Hot')
- STEP 4
Assembly & Baking: While waiting for the pastry dough to chill, prepare a board and rolling pin with some flour, ready to roll out the pastry. Once the dough is ready, cut about 1/3 off to place back into the fridge and roll the pastry out to a size just large enough to cover the whole dish, leaving a small amount of overhang. Add the filling, then roll out the remaining pastry into a thin sheet. While you could place this whole sheet over the top, I prefer cut it into strips to be placed over the top of the pie in a criss-cross sort of fashion. This stylistic choice also helps the filling cook more evenly and thicken well. Trim the overhang, brush he pie with an egg wash mixed with another capful of Vanilla, and bake for around 40 minutes; it is ready when the pastry is bronzed and crisp.
- STEP 5
Additional notes: This recipe makes about 8 slices or 6 generous slices (the size of the pie dish I use is, I think, 23cm). Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes befote eating. Any overhang not used can to decorate the pie or can be re-rolled and chilled to make jam tart pastries.