Make the most of the seasonal bounty with this old-fashioned blackberry and apple pie – just like my Granny used to make. Tart-tasting apples and sweet blackberries in a buttery pastry crust smothered with fresh cream or custard has to be one of the tastiest desserts ever!
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Proper blackberry and apple pie
When I was younger, more years ago than I care to remember, my Granny lived with us, and Fridays were always known as Granny’s Baking Day.
One of my favourite recipes she used to make was this blackberry and apple pie made with a sweet pastry crust, filled with tart apples and plump juicy blackberries, liberally flavoured with cinnamon. She’d serve it covered with custard, or cream as a special treat.
I remember being handed a jam jar with a handle fashioned from a piece of string and being sent off to forage for blackberries from the hedgerows in the nearby lanes, with instructions not to return until the jam jar was full.
I’m sure I ate more blackberries than I actually put in the jar, but I always managed to get a jar full to take back home.
I’d get home to be greeted by the aroma of apples simmering in a pan of syrupy cinnamon and Granny would take the blackberries, rinse them and add them to the apples before encasing the whole lot in her special sweet pastry and popping it in the oven to bake until it was golden.
These days, there’s a lot less work involved. For a start, we have microwaves which make short work of pre-cooking the apples. And if you are really pressed for time you can just buy a roll of shortcrust pastry in the supermarket. Although I have to admit that homemade pastry does have the edge.
But I have to say that one mouthful of this apple and blackberry pie still transports me straight back to those days and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I’ve shared another of my Granny’s recipes for old-fashioned bacon and egg pie which is hugely popular with my readers. Perhaps you’d like to try that too.
What you will need
You will also need a 9″ or 10″ pie dish and a metal sheet pan or baking tray. I like to use a pie dish with a loose bottom so that I can get the pie out easily. The baking tray goes into the oven while the oven is pre-heating and the pie dish gets placed on the hot tray to help cook the base of the pie.
This recipe makes a 9″ or 10″ round pie.
**Get the complete recipe for this blackberry and apple pie on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
For the filling:
Apples – I like to use Granny Smith apples because they stay firm and don’t turn to mush when cooked. You could use Bramley apples instead.
Blackberries – these days you can buy blackberries year round in the supermarkets which have been properly cleaned. If you do go foraging for blackberries, you will need to rinse your blackberries in plenty of cold water before using them.
Brown sugar – for sweetness.
Cornflour / cornstarch – this is used to thicken the juices from the apples and blackberries.
Cinnamon – for extra flavour.
For the pastry:
Flour – use plain all-purpose flour (in South Africa this is called cake flour), not self-raising flour.
Butter – you can get away with using margarine but butter does make the pastry taste better. Why not try your hand at making your own butter – all you will need is some double cream and it’s easier than you might think. I like to use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt I add to the pastry.
White sugar – this is a sweet pastry so we need to add a little sugar. I like to use caster sugar because it dissolves more easily, but granulated sugar will be fine.
Salt – to taste. I like to add half a teaspoon of salt to my pastry.
Water – you will also need some ice-cold water to bind the pastry.
What to do
- You can use store-bought pastry instead of making your own.
- If you’ve foraged for blackberries make sure you rinse them in plenty of cold water before using them.
- The apples are cooked for 3 minutes in the microwave and then mixed with a sugar and cinnamon mixture while they are still hot. If you don’t have a microwave, you can put the apples in a saucepan with the cinnamon and the sugar and bring to the boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved and then remove from the heat.
- If you have a food processor you can use this to make the pastry.
Make the pastry
Place the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and add the butter which has been cut into small cubes.
Use your fingertips and rub the butter into the flour until the flour has been all combined and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add most of the water and mix with a flat-bladed knife until the pastry starts to come together. Add the rest of the water if needed.
Handle the dough as little as possible.
Once the dough starts to come together, tip it out of the bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
Press the dough together into a ball and wrap it in the plastic wrap.
Place the wrapped dough into the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
Make the apple and blackberry filling
Peel and core the apples and cut them into thin slices.
Cover the bowl of apple slices with plastic wrap and microwave on full power for 2 minutes.
Combine the cornflour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Add the sugar/cornflour mixture to the hot apples.
Stir until the apples are well coated and the sugar has dissolved.
Allow the apples to cool for a few minutes.
Once the apples have cooled, stir in the blackberries and set aside while you prepare the pastry case.
Be gentle when stirring in the blackberries – try not to break them up too much.
Assemble and bake
Take two-thirds of the pastry and roll it out into a circle large enough to line your baking dish.
Don’t worry about the untidy edges, we are going to trim them shortly.
Spread the apples and blackberries into the pastry case and roll the remaining pastry to make a lid.
Use a fork to press around the edges of the pie and then trim away any excess pastry with a sharp knife.
Prick holes on top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape while the pie is baking.
You can use the leftover pastry to decorate the pie.
Brush the pie with milk and sprinkle it lightly with one teaspoon of sugar.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 375F and place a metal baking tray in the oven so it can heat up.
When the oven reaches temperature, place the apple pie on the hot baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top of the pie is golden brown.
If the pie browns too quickly, cover it loosely with a sheet of tinfoil.
You can serve this apple and blackberry pie either hot or cold. I like to serve it with custard, cream or ice cream, but it tastes equally good served just on its own.
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Tips and FAQ
I don’t think it is necessary to blind-bake the pastry. The heat from the baking sheet helps to cook the bottom of the pastry. If you do want to blind-bake the pastry, see how to do it in this post for cheese and onion quiche.
The cornflour is added to the apples to help thicken the juices that are released from the fruit as it bakes. If you don’t add the cornflour you’ll get all the juices running out of the pie when you cut into it.
Yes, you can use frozen blackberries. Just let them defrost in a colander or sieve before adding them to the apples. This will allow any excess liquid to drain away.
Yes, the pie can be frozen for up to 4 months.
Wrap it in a layer of tinfoil and then cover with a double layer of plastic wrap before freezing, and make sure that the pie is stored flat in the freezer to prevent the pastry from breaking.
You can store blackberry and apple pie in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Do cover it with tinfoil or place it in a lidded container before refrigerating.
Yes, you can use your food processor for making the pastry.
Save for later
If you would like to make this blackberry and apple pie, why not save the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily. Just click on the image below.
Alternatively, you can save the recipe by clicking on the floating heart icon on the right-hand side of the screen.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like to try one of these:
- No-bake strawberry cheesecake
- Upside-down cherry cake with fresh cherries
- Puff pastry custard slices
- Fresh pear cream slice
- Traditional South African milk tart
- Easy pineapple coconut cake
Blackberry and apple pie
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 4 Granny Smith or Bramley apples
- 2 cups blackberries
- 3 tablespoons / 40 grams brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons / 16 grams cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups / 280 grams plain all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces / 170 grams unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons / 40 grams caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 4 tablespoons ice cold water
- Place the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and add the butter which has been cut into small cubes.2 cups / 280 grams plain all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons / 40 grams caster sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 6 ounces / 170 grams unsalted butter
- Use your fingertips and rub the butter into the flour until the flour has been all combined and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add most of the water and mix with a flat-bladed knife until the pastry starts to come together. Add the rest of the water if needed.4 tablespoons ice cold water
- Once the dough starts to come together, tip it out of the bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap.Press the dough together into a ball and wrap it in the plastic wrap.Place the wrapped dough into the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
- Cover the bowl of apple slices with plastic wrap and microwave on full power for 2 minutes.4 Granny Smith or Bramley apples
- Combine the cornflour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.3 tablespoons / 40 grams brown sugar, 2 tablespoons / 16 grams cornflour (cornstarch), 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add the sugar/cornflour mixture to the hot apples.
- Stir until the apples are well coated and the sugar has dissolved.Allow them to cool for a few minutes.
- Once the apples have cooled, stir in the blackberries, then set them aside while you prepare the pastry case.2 cups blackberries
Assemble and bake
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 375F and place a metal baking tray in the oven so it can heat up.
- Take two-thirds of the pastry and roll it out into a circle large enough to line your baking dish.
- Spread the apples and blackberries into the pastry case and roll the remaining pastry to make a lid.
- Use a fork to press around the edges of the pie and then trim away any excess pastry with a sharp knife.Prick holes on top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape while the pie is baking.
- Decorate the pie with leaves cut from any leftover pastry, then brush the pie with milk and sprinkle it lightly with one teaspoon of sugar.
- Place the apple pie on the hot baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top of the pie is golden brown.If the pie browns too quickly, cover it loosely with a sheet of tinfoil.
- You can serve this apple and blackberry pie either hot or cold. I like to serve it with custard, cream or ice cream, but it tastes equally good served just on its own.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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