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I have had this recipe for a very long while and cooked it many times.  It’s one of those hearty winter puddings that you couldn’t imagine eating in the middle of summer – kind of goes with lamb and barley soup and more of a pie than a cake.

Like many people, I didn’t really have a past until I turned forty – that is, I did, but it didn’t concern me – I just lived in the moment and then, it just kind of descended upon me and spun me up like a ball of fairy floss on a stick that just keeps on growing.  Well, my mind was turning the other day with sticky sweet memories thinking about my mother’s pies and how good her pastry was – so I rang her to ask her secret and her reply was ‘cold hands’ – so there you go.  She doesn’t make her famous pastry anymore but I hope mine would get her smile of approval.
800g can of pie apples or 1kg fresh cooking apples, peeled, sliced and stewed until soft with a little honey or sugar without adding any water – do it gently!
1 cup blackberries (optional) added to the apples just before they finish stewing
NOTE: if you are not adding berries, add some cinnamon and sultanas to the apples
2 1/4 cups self-raising flour (I use wholemeal)
2/3 cup cornflour (this gives the pastry it’s crispy, crunchiness)
2/3 cup caster sugar
200 g butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1.  Preheat oven to 180oC
2.  Lightly grease 23cm springform pan
3.  Put the sifted flours, sugar and butter into a food processor bowl and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4.  Pour in the egg, vanilla and milk and process until mixture wraps around the blades.
5.  Roll out 2/3 of mixture and press into cake tin reserving 1/3 for lid.
6.  Spoon in apple and berry mixture, then cover with pastry lid.  Roll over edge of pastry to form sealed crown.
7.  Glaze with a beaten egg and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden.
This is not an elegant desert and is supposed to be rustic looking.
NOTE:  You can use any fruit to add to the apples – rhubarb, raspberries, blackcurrants etc – just make sure that the fruit is par-cooked, but not sloppy when you put it in the pie otherwise the pastry will be soggy and the whole thing will fall apart!
To serve: Lightly dust with icing sugar and it is definitely obligatory to serve this with custard.  Seconds anyone?
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