Apple and Blackberry Autumn Lattice Pie

It’s that time of year again.

The nights are getting darker and the morning air crisper. The clocks soon to go back and the leaves soon to fall. Autumn is well and truly settling in.

And with that in mind, the worsening weather calls for a dessert with enough home-made charm to warm even those still so in denial about the passing of Summer that they persistently wear shorts and flip-flops. You know the kind.

A simplistic, classic sweet that captures the full, fruity flavour of its contents; I’d like to think my apple and blackberry pie is capable of achieving just that.

Apple and Blackberry Pie

There’s nothing complicated about a pie. After all, it’s simply pastry, sugar and the fruit of your choice.

But that’s the beauty of it. Anyone can make one, and everyone enjoys one. Particularly after kicking their way home through piles of golden leaves on a chilly October evening!

First off: The pastry.

Pastry ingredients

Also: 22cm pie or flan tin, baking beans and grease proof paper.

Rub the flower and butter together until you make a crumb-like texture. I recommend washing your hands in cold water before doing so, and make sure to only use your finger tips to avoid clumping.

Stir in the sugar using a metal spoon or knife, then make a well in the middle of your mixture. Pour in your beaten egg and bring the mixture together to gradually form a dough.

Sugar into pastry

Having trouble with making this happen? Not to worry. Try adding water one teaspoon at a time to help aid the process. It’ll happen eventually!

Once the dough’s good and ready, make it into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and put into the fridge to chill for just under 30 mins.

While you wait, preheat the oven to 190 degrees (170 fan oven).

Once the pastry has chilled, take two thirds and roll out onto a floured surface. The result should be big enough to fit into your tin. Trim off any edges, but leave a little overhang to allow room for any shrinking when baking.

Pastry in tin

Prick the base of your pie gently with a fork and line the inside with grease proof paper. Gently pour in your baking beans and bake in the oven for 10-15 mins. At this point we just want to firm the base, not actually cook it, so keep a close eye on its progress!

Baking beansWhen the edges of the pastry begin to darken, take out your base and remove the beans. CAUTION: Baking beans can get incredibly hot (Unfortunately speaking from experience here!).

Now pop the base back into the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is a light golden colour. Take it out and leave it to one side.

Turn your oven down to 170 degrees (150 fan).

Next for the filling.

Filling ingredients

Put the apples, blackberries, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt into a pan. Soften the fruit on a low heat for around 10 mins.

Don’t let the syrup come to a boil! Stir regularly, also making sure that the fruit doesn’t catch to the pan.

Take your remaining third of pastry and roll out into a square shape, just a little bigger than the width of your pie. Cut your square into 8 strips, all about 2cm wide.

Fill your base with the fruit mixture so that it’s a little higher that the side of your tin. Leave enough pastry clear around the edges for you to be able to fix your lattice strips.

Filling In Pie

Lay half of the strips of pastry across the top of your pie, and in true farmhouse fashion, weave the other half across in the opposite direction. Push the edges of the lattice gently into the pastry so that it sticks firmly.

Brush the top of your masterpiece with the beaten egg and place in the oven for 20-30 mins until the top of your pastry is golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling.

Brush pie with egg

Take out of the oven and leave to cool for a little before sprinkling with sugar.

Finished result

Palatable enough for dinner parties, light enough for lunch, simple enough for a between-meal snack.

Enjoy warm with crème fraîche and hold off the cold for just one mouthful longer.

Final Image

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Project: Northern Monkey

#10 21 Jump Street

“Leave Korean Jesus alone! He busy! WITH KOREAN SHIT!”

Being a massive fan of the likes of Superbad and Pineapple Express and with most offerings from anyone to do with those two titles since being (for lack of a better phrase) pretty crap, 21 Jump Street was a sight for sore eyes. It may be difficult to believe that a comedy movie remake of a 1980s Jonny Depp TV show co-starring teenage heart-throb Channing Tatum could be on anyone’s ‘Films of the Year’ list, but you’ll realise just how wrong you are after you’ve seen him jumping through a gong whilst tripping balls on hallucinogens.

#9 Sightseers

“He’s not a person… He’s a Daily Mail reader.”

In 2011, Ben Wheatley released a film called Kill List, a film which I would describe as a barely comprehensible, over-stylised and over-hyped hour and a half of your life.

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Project: Northern Monkey

Dir: Oliver Megaton

Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

Liam Neeson is back as retired CIA operative, Bryan Mills in Taken 2. But with the first film having such a cult status and following, could a sequel with a dampened down 12A certificate ever be as good?

The answer is no. And what an obvious answer that was.

The questionable censoring of Taken 2 takes away any and all hope of it being any way near as brutal as its predecessor, and with that, any prospects of it being any way near as successful were flushed swiftly down the drain too.

Plot wise, this is what The Hangover 2 was to The Hangover. The very slight difference is that this time it’s Bryan (Liam Neeson) and his ex wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) that get ‘taken’ as an act of revenge for the events of the first film…

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What I’m doing now:

I frequently apply for jobs and use this website as my online portfolio.

“Hey!” I often say to prospective employers, “I’m such a good writer and you should definitely hire me. If you don’t believe me you can head on over to cinemadhouse.co.uk and see for yourself!”.

But on arrival, the last post here is from almost exactly a year ago and it must look like I’ve done absolutely nothing since. Well I’m here now to tell anyone who thinks that, that you couldn’t be any more wrong.

Truth is, amongst some social media freelancing, I created and have since been editing Project: Northern Monkey, a site covering Manchester-based cultural goings on.

See? Not only can I write, but I can create a brand, gather/manage a team and format their work whilst still writing myself and running social media platforms.

All my posts since it began have been going up there instead of here.

If you’d like to, you can check them out here or at www.pronomo.co.uk

CineMadhouse

The things I do for journalism: FRONT workie challenge

I love FRONT magazine. I love FRONT magazine so much, I would dress up as a Roman Centurion in tin foil and cardboard with a brush on my head and parade the streets of London just to show how much I love it. In fact, I’ve already gone and done just that. Click the link to see the pictures, and read about how organised I am when taking tea orders:

WORKIE CHALLENGE: BE A CENTURION

CineMadhouse