As well as a blackberry suet pudding (my personal favourite) I also prepared a rustic-style pie that works well both as a dessert or as a tea-time treat. This is a very rich pie with an even richer pastry, given the twist of adding a little custard powder to the mix, which both helps colour the pastry and also gives it a subtle custard flavour.
Country-style Blackberry PieServes: 6–8
For the Pastry (Dough):250g (2 cups) self-raising flour
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
250g (1 1/4 cups) chilled butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
60ml (1/4 cup) water
1 tbsp raw cane sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
For the Filling:4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
900g (2 lbs) fresh blackberries, washed and drained
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp finely-grated orange zest
Method:For the filling, blend the cornflour with 8 tbsp water to form a smooth slurry. Pour into a pan and mix with the sugar, orange zest and 1/4 of the blackberries. Bring to a boil and cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
For the pastry, combine the flour, icing sugar, custard powder and butter in a food processor. Pulse for about 15 seconds, or until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg and water and process for 15 seconds until the mixture comes together as a dough (add more water as needed).
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead for about 2 minutes, or until smooth. Cove with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and set aside to chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until smooth.
After this time, take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out on a well-floured work surface until large enough to cover the base and sides of a 23cm diameter pie plate. Spread the cornflour mixture evenly over the base then top with the remaining whole blackberries.
Roll out the remaining pastry until large enough to cover the top of the pie. Brush the edges with egg and press along the edges to seal. Trim the edges neatly with a sharp knife and brush the top with the beaten egg. Using a fork, crimp the edges tightly to seal then pierce with the tines of the fork.
Sprinkle sugar over the top then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for 35 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Allow the pie to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve hot, sliced into wedges and accompanied by cream or ice-cream.
This pie can also just as easily be made with blueberries, tayberries, bilberries, blackcurrants or even raspberrires/