Blackberry and Apple Crumble Pie

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I love when Autumn finally comes around, as it means I can indulge in one of my favourite dishes, blackberry and apple. I used to have it every morning in Autumn, blackberry and apple compote on top of Greek yoghurt, or my mums blackberry and apple crumble in the evening. However since been diagnosed with numerous food intolerances, these dishes have become a thing of the past. This week I decided to challenge myself to make an equally yummy dessert with blackberry and apple, which as well as being gluten and dairy free, is refined sugar free as well, and I have to say I’m over the moon with the result. So here it is, my healthy and intolerance friendly blackberry and apple crumble pie.

 

Ingredients:

Filling:

2 cooking apples (peeled and cored)
450g blackberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
150g dates (pitted and chopped)
1 teaspoon mixed spice

Pastry:

200g gluten free oat flour
50g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
20g dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g coconut oil (plus extra for greasing)
pinch of xanthum gum
pinch of salt

Pie dish: approx 2cm x 24cm

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C

2. Blitz the oat flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, dates, and xanthum gum together in a food processor.

3. Add the vanilla extract, coconut oil and salt and blitz. If the pastry is still too dry, add more coconut oil until it is less crumbly.

4. Grease the pie dish with a little coconut oil.

5. Take 2/3rds of the pastry and roll out into a circular shape, about 2mm in thickness. Line the pie dish. (Don’t worry if it is a little crumbly, you can press bits in to fill the holes)

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6. With the leftover pastry, crumble it into a bowl, and then place this and the lined pie dish into the fridge.

7. Whilst the pastry is chilling, chop the apple into chunky slices.

8. Place the chopped apple plus all the other filling ingredients into a saucepan, and leave to stew with the lid on over a low heat for about 15 minutes.

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9. Once the apple has softened, take the lined pie out of the fridge and pour the filling in until it is just below the rim of the dish. Take the crumble mixture and sprinkle it over the top of the pie.

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10. Place the pie into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until the pastry starts to brown. Enjoy!

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Charlecote, Warwickshire

Autumnal BlissGourds

As we are now into the depths of Autumn, I thought I would share a suitably themed post. This week I was lucky enough to find this blissful spot in a village called Charlecote in Warwickshire. This plant and flower centre is opposite the gates to the Charlecote Park National Trust property, and was just teeming with pumpkins, gourds and squashes of every variety imaginable. What made them even more special, was that none of them were imported, all were grown right there in the grounds.

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Although when I visited it was a less than pleasant rainy day, the sight of so many pumpkins of all sizes and colours, soon bought a smile to my face and brightened up my day.

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I mean, have you seen these Turk’s Turban pumpkins?! They were so glorious and unusual I wanted to buy them all! Picking just the one was certainly a challenge…

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Who wouldn’t want a miniature pumpkin?

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After seeing all these I have to admit, it will be hard to ever go back to buying a standard orange pumpkin from the supermarket, a collection of these on the table looking far superior to a carved pumpkin.

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What makes this plant centre even better is that it also has its own organic fruit and vegetable shop. The goods of such a quality that you will wish you lived next door.

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Very sadly, the owners of this delightful centre are retiring, and with no-one willing to take it on, it will be closing its doors for the last time on the 5th November, and I’m sure, will be sorely missed by the local community. So, if you have the chance, and are in the area, make a trip here, even if just to marvel at such an extraordinary collection of Autumnal vegetables, as it seems many there were doing. I don’t blame them one bit.

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