← Back to Search Results
baking English
Blackberry and Apple Pie Recipe-3826

Photo by:
Comments: 0


Though most of us think of fruit pies as having both a bottom and a top crust, this recipe is for an old-fashioned British pie, usually baked in a deep oval porcelain pie dish, with only a top crust. This eliminates the risk that the bottom crust may become soaked through with the abundant juices of the filling and remain underbaked, or become soggy after baking.

This recipe is adapted from Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book (Athaneum, 1982). Jane Grigson was one of Britain’s most gifted food writers of the twentieth century, and she has left us an outstanding legacy of excellent food and writing. This particular recipe cleverly calls for cooking half the blackberries with some water and the apple parings to take advantage of the abundant pectin in the apple cores and peels to thicken the juices of the pie. It is a pretty juicy affair, nonetheless.

Yield: One 12-inch oval pie, about 8 generous serving.


Cream short crust pastry:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 7 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Blackberry and apple filling:

  • 2 pounds tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced (reserve the peels and cores)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pound (about 3 half-pint baskets or one and a half 12-ounce bags frozen) blackberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Egg wash: 1 egg well beaten with a pinch of salt
  • Additional sugar for sprinkling the dough


  • One 12-inch-long enameled iron or earthenware gratin dish, about 2½ quarts in capacity


1. For the pastry dough, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add the cream and pulse 2 or 3 times, but do not allow the dough to form a ball. Invert the dough to a floured work surface and carefully remove the blade. Gently squeeze and press the dough together and form it into an oval. Chill the dough in plastic wrap while preparing the filling.

2. For the filling, in a large bowl toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing the rest of the filling.

3. Put half the blackberries and the apple peels and cores in a large saucepan. Stir to combine and add the water. Cook over medium heat until the mixture becomes very juicy and liquid. Continue cooking until the juices are slightly reduced. Strain the mixture to eliminate the peels and seeds and measure it. You should have about 2/3 cup liquid. If you have too much, boil down the mixture. Stir the sugar into the strained juices and set aside.

4. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

5. Make a layer of about a third of the apple slices in the gratin dish and sprinkle about half of the blackberries over them. Repeat with another third of the apples and the remaining blackberries. Top with a layer of the remaining apples. Pour the cooked, sweetened blackberry juice evenly over the fruit.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured work surface. Flour the dough and press it with the rolling pin in gentle parallel strokes to soften it slightly. Roll the dough to the size of the dish you are using. Slide a cookie sheet or a 12-inch tart pan bottom under the dough and transfer it to the dish, sliding it onto the filling. Brush the egg wash on the dough and sprinkle it with sugar. Cut several 2-inch vent holes in the top crust with the point of a knife.

7. Bake the pie until the pastry is baked through and the apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Push the point of a knife through one of the vent holes to see if the apples have softened. When they are fully cooked they should offer no resistance to the knife.


The dish traditionally used for this pie is not readily available from American sources. I have chosen an oval gratin dish (you can also use a 9 × 13 × 2-inch glass pan). It makes a thinner pie, but it also increases the amount of pastry in relation to the fruit, which I think is best. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature. Use a large serving spoon to scoop out portions of the pie, first cutting through the crust into a portion-sized piece, then scooping under the filling to lift out a piece of the pie. If you don’t manage to get enough of the fruit on the spoon, pile more next to the portion of pie. Serve with thick liquid cream. Grigson says that clotted cream, sometimes available in American supermarkets, is the best. Failing either of these, whipped cream makes an adequate substitute.

Keep the pie at room temperature until you intend to serve it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep leftovers at room temperature.

© 2005 Nick Malgieri

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Serving size is 1 slice. Nutritional information does not include additional sugar for sprinkling the dough.

524kcal (26%)
78mg (8%)
18mg (29%)
213mcg RAE (7%)
77mg (26%)
366mg (15%)
14g (71%)
23g (36%)
2mg (14%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

complete-book-of-indian-cooking-350-recipes-from-the-regions-of-india Complete Book of Indian Coo...
by Suneeta Vaswani
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
allergy-free-desserts Allergy-Free Desserts
by Elizabeth Gordon
ice-creams-and-sorbets-cool-recipes Ice Creams and Sorbets: Coo...
by Lou Seibert Pappas
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
lucid-food Lucid Food
by Louisa Shafia
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
good-to-the-grain Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
the-mozza-cookbook The Mozza Cookbook
by Nancy Silverton
antipasti-fabulous-appetizers-and-small-plates Antipasti: Fabulous Appetiz...
by Joyce Goldstein
le-bernardin-cookbook Le Bernardin Cookbook
by Eric Ripert, Maguy Le Coze
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?