Autumn Fruit Pies

prep 35 mins, plus cooling cook 45–50 mins
  • 175 g (6 oz) blackcurrants
  • 125 g (4 oz) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • 375 g (12 oz) ripe plums, stoned and diced
  • 150 g (5 oz) blackberries
  • milk, to glaze
  • 175 g (6 oz) lard
  • 175 ml (6 fl oz) milk and water, mixed half and half
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 375 g (12 oz) plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Make the hot water crust pastry (see page 11), adding the sugar when heating the lard and milk-and-water mix. Leave to cool for 20 minutes while making the filling.

Put the blackcurrants, sugar and water in a saucepan and heat for 5 minutes until soft. Mix the cornflour to a paste with a little extra water, add to the pan and cook, stirring until thickened. Take off the heat and stir in the cinnamon, orange rind, plums and blackberries. Set aside.

Reserve one-third of the warm pastry, then cut the remainder into 6 pieces. Press one piece over the base, up and slightly above the top of a 250 ml (8 fl oz) individual pudding mould. Repeat with 5 more moulds.

Spoon in the filling. Cut the reserved pastry into 6, then roll out each on a lightly floured surface to form lids. Cut small heart shapes in the centre of each lid. Place over the filling and press the edges together well. Trim off the excess pastry and flute the edges (see page 17). Brush with milk and sprinkle with extra sugar and cinnamon.

Put the moulds on a baking sheet, then bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 40– 45 minutes until golden. Cover with foil after 30 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then serve in the moulds.

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