Wren Kitchens are currently running a nostalgic competition over on Instagram and are on the look out for family recipes, passed down through generations.
As soon as I heard about Wren Family Favourites, this recipe for my maternal grandmother’s Hedgerow Pie sprung to mind. Whenever I visited my grandparents’ house in rural Surrey as a child, my grandma would always have rustled up something from scratch for dinner and there was always pudding!
I have fond memories of this Hedgerow Pie, made using wild berries, depending on the season, from the woods opposite their house and apples from the big tree in the garden. It was even better when my sister and I were there to help pick the fruit and bake with her. We especially enjoyed making cats with raisins for eyes from the leftover pastry!
Served with homemade custard, this warm pie is ultimate comfort food for when it’s cold outside. Luckily my grandma wrote down the recipe, allowing me to recreate it now she’s not here and I thought I’d share it with you as it’s too good to keep to myself! I used leftover frozen blackberries from the garden this autumn, together with cherries and blackcurrants but you can use any berries that are available to you.
For the pastry
500g plain flour
100g caster sugar
For the filling
1 large bramley apple
400g mixed seasonal berries
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
To make the pastry, work the flour and butter together using your fingers to make fine crumbs. Add the eggs and a splash of milk gradually until the mixture comes together as dough.
Leave the pastry to rest for half an hour or so and when ready, roll out half of the pastry onto a floured surface until 1cm thick. Gently lift the pastry and use it to line a 23cm pie tin, trimming around the edges.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC fan whilst you chill the pastry for 10 minutes. Once chilled, prick the pastry with a fork, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beads.
Bake it for 20 minutes then remove the paper and beads before baking for a further 10 minutes until brown.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the apples into slices and place in a saucepan over a low heat together with the butter and sugar. Once softened, add the berries, flour and cinnamon and stir the mixture until it comes together.
Roll out the leftover pastry, again 1cm thick, to make the top. Fill the tart with the cooled mixture and brush the surrounding edge of the pie base with a beaten egg. Then gently place the pastry over the pie and trim around the edge, making sure to leave an overhang. Double over the overhang and pinch together all along the edge. Brush with the remaining egg mixed with a dash of milk.
Scatter with sugar and bake in the oven for 1 hour until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before serving and scatter again with sugar. Best enjoyed with cream, ice cream or custard.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as it brings back a lot of happy memories for me. If you have a family recipe you want to share, make sure you upload a photo to Instagram captioned #WrenFamilyFavourites. Linda Barker will choose her favourite each week and the overall winner will receive a handy appliance for their kitchen. You can find out more about the competition and get involved here.