Sporting fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, dates and green apples, this fancy fruit pie is to die for.
To make pastry, put flour, custard powder and chopped up butter in a food processor and pulse until it forms bread crumbs, add 4-6 tbsp cold water until it forms a dough. Wrap dough in cling film and refrigerate.
Prepare the cherries, strawberries and dates by slicing into small pieces (and removing the cherry pip), save 2 cherries on the stems for decoration. Roll out pastry dough and line the pie dish leaving an overhang of about 1”. Line with baking paper and fill with rice and blind bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Remove rice and baking paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Mix 1 whisked egg with some of the left over pastry until it forms a paste, brush over pastry base and place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes to seal.
Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a simmer, add blueberries. Allow to simmer and bubble away for 5 minutes, then add the cherries and continue to simmer for a few more minutes. Pour into a strainer and leave to strain all of the liquid out. Place the strained fruit into a large bowl and add the remaining fruit and toss gently to combine. Add the arrowroot and 4 tbsp of semolina and mix with hands to combine thoroughly. Grate the apples then put inside a tea towel and wring out all of the juice. Add to the fruit mixture and place into the fridge.
Roll the remaining pastry out until bigger than the size of the baking tin and cut shapes out of the lid (flowers and vines) and cut out some leaves and strawberries on some rolled out fondant. Sprinkle baked pastry shell with a teaspoon of semolina and then pour chilled fruit into pastry base, brush all around the tops with egg wash and top with the pastry lid and press firmly to seal and pinch all around to create a nice edge, trim off remaining pastry with a sharp knife. Brush lid with egg wash and sprinkle with white sugar. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the top of the pastry is browned.
For the crème anglaise, warm the milk and vanilla seeds and the pod in a saucepan over a low heat until simmering. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale, remove the vanilla pod and slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture. Put a bowl over a pan of just simmering water and pour the mixture into it, cook it while stirring constantly for about 15-20 minutes until it has thickened slightly. Stir in the cream and strain into a jug.
The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99.
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