Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Apple and Bramble Hat

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Apple and Bramble (blackberries) have to be the quintessential flavour combination for September here in the UK.   That's when the apples are ripe and the hedgerows are bursting with fresh blackberries, free for the picking.  When we lived down in Kent, we were surrounded by orchards and we were welcome to go scrumping each autum, which is the word they use to describe picking up the windfalls.  

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I do so love the names that they give to their puddings over here in the UK.   (Pudding itself is another word for dessert!)  You are going to absolutely love this Apple and Bramble Hat that I am showing you here today.  It's a steamed pudding, with a suet crust . . .  coming out almost like a steamed pie really.  Just look at that flakey pastry crust there . . .  you can see the juices  from the fruit on the bottom of the plate.

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I suppose they call it a "hat" because this pudding slightly resembles a Turkish Fez hat.   Pie, pudding, hat . . .  it doesn't really matter what it is called.  Just know that it is absolutely delicious, and a lot easier to make than you would suppose.  If you click here, you will see a photo tutorial I did on how to do the crust, in a previous post.  It's the same method for this.

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This pudding is filled with lots of lovely tart cooking apple and sweet purple blackberries, with some warm baking spices, butter and a bit of lemon juice . . .  all steamed until beautifully blended together for a really delicious and hearty early autumn pudding.

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You tear the "hat" open a bit while it's still hot and prior to serving and drop in a nice dollop of clotted cream if you wish. It's not essential, but comes highly recommended.    Otherwise you can just spoon it into bowls, warm . . .  and serve it with some vanilla ice cream, pouring cream or custard (creme anglaise.)  That of course is up to you and how decadent and naughty you feel like being.  ☺

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*Apple and Bramble Hat*
Serves 6  

A delciously simple steamed pudding filled with lightly spiced and sugared apples and blackberries, and butter . . .  You are supposed to tear open the top and pop in a tablespoon of clotted cream prior to eating, but this is optional.  

225g of self raising flour (1 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS)
pinch salt
110g of shredded suet (1/2 cup)
(can use an equivalent of grated frozen butter if you wish, but the pudding
will be richer)
6 to 8 TBS cold water
1 1/2 pounds cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
a small punnet of fresh blackberries (about 1 cup)
75g of soft light brown sugar (6 TBS packed)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1/2 lemon
50g unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
clotted cream (optional)  

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Butter a 2 pint pudding basin (4 cup) really well.   Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.  Drop in the suet and give it a swirl.   Stir in enough cold water to make a soft, light dough.   Knead lightly and roll out on a lightly floured board to a large circle 1/4 inch thick.   Cut off one quarter of it and set aside.  Use the remaning 2/3 of the dough to line the pudding basin, sealing the cut edges well together.   You should have somewhat of an over hang.  Mix together the sugar, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and lemon zest.  Layer the apples and blackberries in the pudding basin, sprinkling a bit of the sugar mixture in between the layers.  Gather up the remaining dough and refoll it into a circle large enough to cover the top of the fruit.  Dot the butter over top of the fruit, and then cover with the dough circle, tucking it down around the edges.   Trim the edge of the bottom pastry and then fold it over the lid, dampening it to secure it and pressing it together firmly.   Cover with a piece of well-buttered pleated greaseproof paper, allowing room for the pudding to rise.   Secure with some string around the edge of the bowl.  Place in the top of a steamer and steam for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, topping the steamer off with boiling water as necessary.   Turn out onto a warmed serving plate and tear the top of the pudding open.  Drop in the clotted cream.   Serve warm. 

Note - If you don't have brambles try using some sultana raisins instead.   Then it would taste somewhat like a dutch apple pie!


  1. Oh my goodness, Marie! The pastry tutorial includes the recipe for beef, ale and parsnip pie, which looks yummy.
    Both pies look absolutely delicious..I may have to try both?

  2. What a wonderful"surprise":)
    Thank you Marie!

  3. Darkened, do try both! You won't be disappointed, I promise! Xx

    So glad you enjoyed Monique! Could this be one for J? Xx

  4. Marie I love blackberries and this look amazing and you made me reminder a lovely friend of mine whos nick name was Bramble and she was from England.
    A lovely person and she loved made bramble jam:)

  5. haha I am sitting here wondering why I called Darlene Darkened??? Sorry Darlene! Meant Darlene!

    Gloria, it sounds like a fairy name! Bramble. I think Bramble is a nicer name than blackberry don't you? xxoo


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