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Hedgerow Pie by Mark Hix from Mark Hix on Baking (Quadrille)

Serves 6-8
Prep time:  30 mins (+ 1hr 30 mins chilling)
Cooking time:  45 mins


For the pastry

110g soft butter

135g caster sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

225g strong white bread flour

a pinch of salt

125ml double cream

For the filling

600g blackberries, fresh or frozen

120g caster sugar

3 tbsp water

1 tsp arrowroot or cornflour

200g blackcurrants, fresh or frozen

1 egg white, beaten together with 1 tbsp caster sugar

Icing sugar, for dusting



To make the pastry, cream together the butter & sugar by hand or using a mixer. Sieve the baking powder & flour together & stir into the butter mix with the salt, then slowly pour in the cream until well mixed. Leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 mins. Roll the pastry out on a floured table to about 3mm thick. Cut a disc large enough to line an 18cm x 3cm deep, loose-bottomed tart tin. Cut another disc to fit the top. Lightly grease the tin with butter & line with the larger disc of pastry to just above the top of the tin. Leave to rest for 1 hr in the fridge Meanwhile, put 200g of the blackberries into a saucepan with the caster sugar & water, bring to a simmer & cook for 3–4 mins. Mix the arrowroot with a little water, add to the berries & simmer for 2–3 mins more, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl. Leave to cool a little, then mix with the blackcurrants & remaining blackberries. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Remove the pastry from the fridge, line the tart tin with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans & bake for 10 mins without colouring. Remove the baking beans & paper from the pastry & leave to cool a little. Spoon the berry mixture almost to the top of the pie shell without overfilling with liquid. Brush the edges of the pastry lid with a little of the beaten egg white, lay over the top & seal the edges by pinching with your fingers. Brush the lid with more beaten egg white & make a 2cm slit in the centre with a knife (this will allow the steam to escape while cooking). Bake the pie on a tray for 20–25 mins until golden. Turn the oven down a little or cover the pie with foil if it begins to colour too rapidly. Leave to rest for about 15 mins before turning out. Serve dusted with icing sugar & accompanied by a generous spoonful of sour cream.


Nigel’s Top Tips
  • To avoid a soggy bottom on your pie, sit it on a baking tray in the oven to ensure it’s heated from underneath.
  • If the pie looks as though it’s browning too soon, cover it with foil or turn the oven down a bit.
  • You can use dried legumes such as peas, lentils, beans to blind bake.

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