Bilberry and Apple Pie

Bilberries are one of the many wild delights, they have the appearance of blueberries growing in open heath land and damp woodlands. They’re more difficult to pick than blueberries and therefore are very rarely collected commercially, the main difference for me is if you squeeze a bilberry they’re purple throughout opposed to the clear centre of a blueberry, it’s actually this colour that gives it all it’s flavour and that’s why they’re so much more tasty! If you’re lucky enough to be able to collect them this year make this pie and you’ll not regret it.

What you need:

To Make the Pastry (or use premade short crust pastry):

  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 3 table spoons water
  • 150 grams butter
  • Pinch of salt

To make the filling:

  • 500grams cooking apples, peeled and cored (cut them as you like, diced, quartered)
  • 200grams bilberries (or 20 minutes bilberry collecting)
  • 25grams butter
  • 100grams caster sugar

To make the pastry:

Add the flour, salt and butter to a large bowl and rub the mixture together (using your fingers is more fun but a spoon can be used) until it resembles bread crumbs. Now add the water, a tea spoon at a time, until your dough binds together sufficiently. Wrap this in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

To Make the Filling:

Heat the butter in a large pan and add the apples and sugar, leaving to cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on how soft you like your apples. Now add your bilberries and cook the lot for a further 2 minutes.

Bringing it together and finishing off:

Pre-heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. Take a medium sized oven proof dish and rub more or any remaining butter all around the inside. Roll out one half of your pastry and use this to line your dish, you can either flash bake this now or put your filling straight in, either way – put the filling in. Roll out the other half of your pastry and place it over your filling, on top of the dish, and cut off any excess. Using a knife cut two 3cm holes in the top of your pie, sprinkle with a little more sugar and leave it to bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve this hot with thick cream or lovely vanilla ice cream and enjoy.