I love this concept. The idea is that you make and bake the pie on the same plate that you will serve it on – superb! Just my kind of thing as I do not like too many dirty dishes.
This is the ultimate family pie. Place the whole pie on the table with a big jug of steaming custard and everyone can dive in and help themselves. When I first made this recipe, the damsons came from our garden and the brambles (blackberries) from the nearby hedgerows. If you do not have damsons, you could use plums instead.
I get so excited about the seasonal fruit that I dare not let any go to waste, so if you have plenty of damsons to spare, freeze them for a later date.
Ingredients & Method
- 450g Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 100g fresh brambles or blackberries
- 150g (prepared weight) fresh damsons, quartered and stones removed
- 20g pecan halves, roughly chopped
- 20g ground almonds
- 50g golden caster sugar
- a pinch of table salt
- a pinch of ground ginger
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and select a suitable round enamel plate or ceramic plate (about 20cm in diameter) to make the pie on. Set aside.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 5mm thickness. Cut out two rounds, both 22cm in diameter. Line the plate with one round of pastry, place the other round on a baking tray and then place both rounds of pastry in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
Put the brambles, damsons, pecans, ground almonds, sugar, salt and ground ginger in a mixing bowl and stir to mix. Pile the fruit mixture on to the lined plate, brush the edge of the pastry with water, then gently lay the second round of pastry over the top and press the edges together to seal. Use a knife to trim off any excess pastry, then crimp around the edges of the pastry. Pierce or slash 3 steam holes in the top of the pie using a metal skewer or sharp knife. Brush the top of the pie with the egg yolk mixture.
Bake the pie in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown. Remember to place a baking tray on the shelf underneath the pie in the oven as the pie is bound to leak some sugary fruit juices.
Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with hot custard, clotted cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.
You could make your own filling and just use the concept for this pie, if you like. Instead of the damsons, try using diced (peeled and cored) cooking or eating apples or pears, and instead of the brambles, you could use raspberries or (stoned) cherries.
The ground almonds are there to soak up some of the juiciness of the brambles and damsons and the ginger adds a little spice. The ginger can be substituted with freshly grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon or ground mixed spice, if you like.