A dec­o­ra­tive touch for fruit pies

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Serves 8

400g black­ber­ries 1kg pears, cored and chopped 500g rich short­crust pas­try (see recipe above) 1 tbsp dry sherry 30g golden caster su­gar 2 tbsp corn­flour but­ter, for greas­ing flour, for dust­ing 1 egg

Set eight black­ber­ries aside, then place the re­main­ing black­ber­ries and pear pieces together in a large saucepan. Mix in the sherry and su­gar, and sim­mer for 25 mins un­til soft. Off the heat, mix in the corn­flour and leave to cool com­pletely. Once the fill­ing is cool, grease a 20cm oven dish, then dust a clean work sur­face with flour. Cut a third of the pas­try away, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge un­til needed. Roll the larger piece of pas­try out to ap­prox­i­mately 1cm more than would fit the dish. Line the dish with the pas­try, then fold the over­hang into it­self to cre­ate a thicker pas­try rim. Fill the pas­try case with the pear and blackberry mix­ture, then ar­range the re­main­ing black­ber­ries on top. Pre­heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Take the rest of the pas­try out of the fridge. Halve it, then roll out one piece to a 30 x 15cm rec­tan­gle. Slice into 11 strips of vary­ing thick­ness. To lat­tice, place four of the strips across the pie hor­i­zon­tally so they are not quite equi-dis­tant apart. At­tach them to the left-hand side of the pie by pinch­ing the ends into the pas­try to se­cure. Work­ing from the top strip down, lift strips one and three and fold them back on them­selves to­wards the left side. Place a new strip ver­ti­cally over the pie a lit­tle way away from the left-hand edge. Re­turn the lifted strips across the pie and over the ver­ti­cal strip. Now fold back hor­i­zon­tal strips two and four and place a sec­ond ver­ti­cal strip down the pie, a lit­tle apart from the first one. Re­peat the process un­til all seven ver­ti­cal strips are in place and the lat­tice is com­plete. Pinch the ends of the pas­try strips into the right-hand pas­try rim, then trim away any ex­cess. Us­ing a fork, im­print a pat­tern of lines round the rim to cre­ate a neat edge. Roll out the re­main­ing pas­try to ap­prox­i­mately 1cm thick, then cut out dif­fer­ent-sized leaves and petals, one at a time, by hand, to cre­ate flow­ers with leaves on top of the lat­tice. Fix by gen­tly press­ing down on top of the pas­try strips. Roll small balls of pas­try by hand and flat­ten them to make flower cen­tres be­fore ap­ply­ing in the same way. Leave to chill for 1 hr. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork, then brush all the pas­try on top of the pie, in­clud­ing the rim, with egg wash. Bake for 30 mins un­til the pas­try is golden and the fill­ing is glossy.

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