I’ll be honest, my baking antics in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen didn’t quite run to plan this week. ‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry’, as John Steinbeck wrote, seems such an appropriate phrase.
Continuing on with my GBBO ‘bake along’ antics, I knew that I wanted to give Portuguese Tarts a try as soon as I realised that the remaining bakers would be tackling them in ‘the tent’. It seemed to be the perfect bake for us to attempt particularly because each week, when I visit my parents, we share a pack of (dare I say shop bought!) egg custards.
Having never tried, let alone made, the Portuguese counterpart to our English egg custard, I scoured my recipe books and made a batch of Portuguese Tarts from scratch which we chose to customise with a swirl of melted chocolate! Although unplanned, they look pretty perfect for Halloween celebrations in my mind!
But, and here lies the rub, despite looking great they just didn’t seem ‘right’ despite using a recipe from a reliable source. It may have been something to do with folding meringue into the custard mixture just before being baked, which, had I watched the episode more closely and listened to my instincts I may have spent more time in trying to find another recipe! Being a huge fan of custards it’ll be a bake I return to in the future, and baking along with the Great Bloggers Bake Along I have a collection of Portuguese Tart recipes to turn to, such as these Portuguese Custard Tarts Made Easy from my blogging buddy Jacqui!
So, getting to the point, our planned GBBO inspired bake this week wasn’t good enough to share with you and so we took inspiration from the Signature Challenge of decorative savoury pies. And I’m sure the observant amongst you will be saying, “but that’s not a savoury pie!” This is true, but having some blackberries and pears which were needing to be used it seemed more appropriate to put the fruit to good use and produce a sweet decorative pie instead.
Now, although I say ‘sweet’ this homemade lattice crust pie contains relatively little added sugar simply because it really doesn’t call for it. All of the fruit used in this pie (blackberries, pears and an apple), is the sort that can be eaten straight out of the fruit bowl and is therefore sweet enough. So other than a little icing sugar used in the pastry and a sprinkling of caster (or granulated) sugar over the pastry lattice crust, the vast majority of the sugar in this bake is perhaps what you would describe as being ‘natural’.
Lattice crust pies are really effective and happily don’t take too long for the strips of pastry to be ‘weaved’ together. If you’ve new to creating a lattice crust pie, do check out my Date Tart recipe where I share a video of how to easily create a pastry lattice crust. Of course, though, if you’re particularly pressed for time it would still look great if you were to simply lay the vertical strips directly over the horizontal strips. But if you really wanted to go to town with the pastry decoration, why not create a plait to define the crust as I did with our Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tarts and even use some shaped pastry plungers to add even more interest with pastry flowers and hearts!
So, here’s how to make Spiced Blackberry & Pear Lattice Crust Pie
spiced seasonal fruits, this Blackberry & Pear Lattice Crust Pie is
low in refined sugar, easy to make and equally good served with custard,
cream or ice cream.
1 x 18cm Loose Bottomed Tart Case (see note a below)
Hands on time: about 25 – 30 mins Bake time: 40 – 45 mins Yield: 1 x 18cm Pie, served 4 – 6 people
For the Pastry (Pate Sucree)
- 280g Plain Flour
- 100g Icing Sugar
- 100g Butter, unsalted & chilled
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
For the Filling
- 2 tbsp Ground Almonds
- 2 Pears
- 1 Eating Apple
- generous handful Blackberries
- 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Egg, divided
- 2 – 3 tsp Caster Sugar
Notes: a) Use a smaller or larger pie case using what you have available, though of course the measurements of fruit may need adjusting as appropriate. b) The pastry can be kept wrapped and chilled for a day or two before use. c) If you prefer, the lattice weave can be build on a piece of greaseproof paper and then transferred to the tart case. d) If you’re short of time don’t bother ‘weaving’ the pastry. Simply lay the a few strips of pastry horizontally and some more vertically. e) The pastry off-cuts could be used for making a few jam tarts, or a currant slice for instance.
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