Gin is good. If you’ve ready any of my other posts on the matter you’ll know my feelings about it by now, but if you’re unsure then go look at them here and here. It’s obviously best when drinking, but every now and then it’s fun to cook or bake with it. It lends itself best to go alongside citrus or floral flavours, like lemon or earl grey, but in this recipe I wanted to go for something more autumnal, and wanted something to partner with the sloe gin from my Gin Explorer Box.
Gin Explorer Box are one of those companies that send you a box of treats every month and, as the name kind of gives away, the treats come in the form of gin and some fancy tonics. They also slip in a number of edible goodies and some reading, like taste notes and recipes for both baking/cooking and cocktails. Septembers box contained gins from Slingsby, Willem Barentsz, Bath and Addingham (this was the sloe gin I used in the baking). The tonics were from Franklin & Sons, one indian tonic water and the other a sicilian lemon. Inspired by the recipe for cupcakes I decided to bake with one of the gins, and after making frosting from gin the last time I did, I wanted to do something different. Blackberries are in season at the start of October so this felt like the perfect thing to do.
The pastry shell is the recipe I have used for a couple of pies in the past, so if you want to make it yourself, go look at a recipe like my Chocolate Tart. Alternatively, don’t worry too much about cheating if you’re trying to save some time and get yourself a block of pre-made from the shop.
- 500g Shortcrust Pastry (either store bought or at the link above)
- **For the filling**
- 4 punnets blackberries
- 1.5tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp sloe gin
- .5 cup plain flour
- 1tbsp butter, cut into small strips
- 2tbsp sugar and another 2tbps for the top
- A few sprigs of thyme (more for decorating)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C(160°C fan assisted)
- Roll out the pastry until it's wide enough to fit into a pie dish and hang over the sides.
- Cover with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beans then bake for a further 5 until it's golden brown.
- While it's cooking, mix together the blackberries, gin, lemon zest & juice, flour and sugar.
- Once you've removed the pie case from the tin, spread over the filling, scatter with the remaining sugar plus the thyme and then dollop the butter on.
- Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling. If the crust browns too much, cover with foil.
- Best served warm with cream, but if you want it completely set allow to cool completely.
Gin Explorer box provided me with one month of their service free of charge in return for creation of this recipe.