Pear and blackberry pie
Pear and blackberry pie is my cure for the winter blues, with its great balance of sweet and sharp flavours in a crunchy pie pastry. After baking the pie, let it sit for 10-15 minutes as it will taste better when it's not too hot. Serve with vanilla custard.
Pear and blackberry pie. Photo: Marcel Aucar
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2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup castor sugar
3/4 tsp fine salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg
3 to 4 tbsp cold water
550g pears (or you can use apples or poached quince instead of pears)
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
2/3 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
pinch of salt
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1. For the dough, pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it is in small pea-sized pieces. Beat egg and 3 tablespoons of water together, add to butter and pulse 1 to 2 times, but don't let the dough form into a ball in the machine. Turn dough onto a bench, form into a ball then wrap with plastic and chill for 1 hour.
2. Peel, core and slice pears into 2cm slices. Squeeze lemon juice over the fruit and toss with sugar, salt and nutmeg.
3. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add fruit and cook, stirring until sugar dissolves and juices simmer, about 2 minutes. Evenly mix the flour into the fruit and cook about a minute more to thicken the juices slightly. Stir in the vanilla, blackberries and lemon zest and remove from heat.
4. To make the pie, preheat oven to 175C and lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll a bit more than half the dough into a 28-centimetre circle. Line a 23-centimetre foil pie pan, trimming so it hangs about 1cm over the edge. Fill shell with cooked fruit so it mounds slightly in the centre. Roll remaining dough into a 31-centimetre circle. Brush crust rim with some egg. Roll dough onto the rolling pin and unroll over the fruit so it hangs over the edge of the pie pan by about 1cm. Press edges together to seal. Flute the crust by pressing a finger into the crust against the other hand's index finger and thumb to make an even impression all the way round then refrigerate the pie for at least 20 minutes.
5. Brush pie with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 6 to 8 small steam vents into the top and bake for 50 minutes.
Suggestion: Serve's with Frank's rich vanilla custard.