Recently I had the pleasure of visiting and falling in love with a new continent. Granted, I only saw a very tiny fraction of a very tiny fraction of it, but Australia had me at hello (and efficient public transportation). It only took a small suggestion from my generous hosts that they’d heard I occasionally bake pies and the mention of a bounty of frozen mulberries left over from the previous season’s pickings to prompt me to whip up this pie.
The fresh mint was thrown in because there was a copious lot of it in the garden, and lately I’ve been interested in pairing fresh herbs with as many foods as I can. Now I’m just wondering what pie or baked good might elicit the use of cilantro (or coriander as they call it down undah, and known as dania in my current place of residence, Kenya).
Luckily, the pie passed muster and I was allowed to stay for the remainder of my visit, phew! There is nothing like a delicious pie to say thank you to kind hosts, especially hosts with a treasure trove of frozen fruits and fresh herbs to enjoy. And given that it was just the beginning of a beautiful Spring in Oz, a refreshing, fruity, minty pie like this could not have more perfectly hit the spot.
Mulberry Apple Mint Pie
A delicious and refreshing pie, which can easily be made vegan if desired.
1 double pie crust
4-6 crisp apples (like granny smith)
2 cups mulberries, frozen or fresh
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 heaping teaspoon fresh lemon zest plus juice from half a lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup corn flour or tapioca flour
1 tablespoon oil or butter
1 egg, beaten OR 1 tablespoon milk (for brushing the crust)
On a well-floured surface, roll out one half of your chilled pie dough so that it is at least 2-3 inches bigger than the diameter of your pie dish. Fold in half and half again, then gently transfer to your pie dish. Unfold and press firmly into pie dish, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Place in fridge to chill.
Preheat oven to 425º F, placing the rack on the lowest rung.
Chop your apples into 1/2-inch thick wedges (you can leave them in long slices or cut the slices in half). In a medium saucepan, heat your oil or butter. Place apples in saucepan along with sugar; cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until apple slices are soft. Add mulberries, lemon zest and juice, and flour to the apples and gently stir until no flour is visible.
Remove pie dish from fridge and pour fruit filling, spreading evenly. On a well-floured surface, roll out second half of pie dough. You can either do a full-top crust or lattice-top. If doing a lattice top, cut the dough into 1-inch thick strips and place criss-crossed over the filling. Once the top crust is in place, trim any extra-long overhanging dough, then press the top and bottom tightly together, folding over themselves and into the inside of the pie dish. Using your fingers, press firmly and crimp the crust slightly if you’re in a decorative mood. Brush the top and edges of the dough with egg or milk, then place onto the low rack in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 ºF and bake an additional 35-45 minutes, until crust is deep golden brown and fruit is bubbling. If the crust starts to burn at any point, you can place aluminum foil lightly over the top.
Let cool for at least 20 minutes before thoroughly enjoying with some ice cream!