Sloe gin bramble pie
- October 2014
- Serves 12
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 45 min, plus chilling
We’ve given the classic blackberry pie recipe a boozy update by adding sloe gin, before baking in a sweet pastry case.
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- 15.6g (9.3g saturated)
- 61.4g (35g sugars)
- 2kg British blackberries
- 75ml sloe gin (or brandy or cassis)
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 6 tbsp cornflour
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk, beaten, to glaze
- Double cream to serve
For the pastry
- 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature but not too soft, cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g golden caster sugar
- Good pinch salt
- 1 medium free-range egg
- Put the blackberries in a pan with the sloe gin and golden caster sugar. Set over a low-medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes until you have about 1 litre juice. Drain the blackberries, reserving the juices, then leave to cool completely. Return the juices to the pan and reduce to a thick syrup (see tips). Once the blackberries have cooled, mix them with the cornflour.
- For the pastry, briefly whizz the butter with the flour, 50g sugar and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly pulse in the egg, then 2 tbsp cold water, until the dough just comes together. Tip onto a floured surface, split into two (roughly two thirds and one third), then roll each into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap each disc in cling film, then chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 210°C/fan190°C/gas 6½ and put in a baking sheet to heat up. Take the larger disc of pastry out of the fridge. Roll it out to 0.5cm thick on a lightly floured surface and use to line the base and sides of a 5cm deep ceramic or metal flan/pie dish measuring about 18cm across the bottom and 23cm across the top. Once you’ve lined the dish with the pastry, spoon in the cooled blackberries. Put the blackberry-filled base in the fridge.
- Roll out the second piece of pastry to a 23cm circle. Remove the dish from the fridge and lightly wet the edges of the pastry base. Top with the second layer of pastry and crimp, using your thumb and forefinger, to seal. With a sharp knife, make a few slits and a hole in the top and, if you like, use any pastry trimmings to decorate (re-roll, cut into shapes and affix with a little water). Brush the top with the beaten egg yolk to glaze it. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes, then glaze again.
- Bake on the hot baking sheet for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp – cover the top with foil if it browns too quickly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the dish for 2-3 hours so the filling can thicken. Serve the pie in slices straight from the dish, with lashings of cream.
The syrup from the blackberries isn’t needed in this recipe, but it’s great as a base for a gin and tonic. Or use it to drizzle over sorbets and ice creams (you may need to sweeten it a little).
If you’d like a sugary glaze for the pie, sprinkle the pastry with a little demerara sugar before baking.
To make sure the filling is heated throughout, push a metal skewer into the centre, then carefully hold it to the back of your wrist. It should feel very hot.
Make the filling and pastry separately up to 2 days in advance, then assemble and bake at the last minute. Or construct the whole pie and freeze, unglazed and unbaked, well wrapped, for up to 1 month. Glaze, then bake from frozen – you’ll need to add at least 30 minutes to the cooking time but be wary of the top browning too much.
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