Apple and blueberry is such a classic combination, there’s no wonder it’s popular in so many countries around the world. This Romanian Apple and Blueberry Swirl Pie (Invartita) recipe from Irina Georgescu’s cookbook, Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania wraps an apple and blueberry filling in an egg-enriched dough that is rolled up and formed into a spiral. Once baked, it’s brushed with a syrup glaze and served warm.
Read our review of Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania to learn more about Romanian cuisine.
Romanian Apple and Blueberry Swirl Pie (Invartita)
For the dough:
- 250 g (9 oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10 ml (½ fl oz) vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 egg
- 100 ml (3½ fl oz) milk
For the filling:
- 200 g (7 oz) apple, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Splash of lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 60 g (2½ oz) butter, melted
- 75 g (3 oz) ground almonds
- 100 g (3½ oz) blueberries
For the syrup:
- 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
- 50 ml (2 fl oz) water
To make the dough, mix the ingredients together and knead for about 10 minutes. The whole process of making this pie is quite tactile, so I like to knead the dough by hand and feel its texture turning smooth and springy. Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling.
To make the filling, put the apple, sugar and lemon juice into a pan over a low heat and cook gently until the apple is soft but not mashed. Add the cinnamon and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) cake tin, springform tin or non-stick baking tray.
Place a clean linen tea towel measuring about 65 x 50cm (25 ½ x 20in) on the kitchen table, with one of the long edges closest to you. Dust the tea towel generously with flour and place the dough in the centre. Using a floured rolling pin roll the dough until it is very thin, perhaps 2–3mm (⅛in), and covering the tea towel (you may need to use your fingers to stretch it to the edges).
Brush the dough with 30g (1 ¼ oz) of the melted butter, then sprinkle over the ground almonds evenly. Spread the apple filling onto the dough, then dot with the blueberries. Grab the edge of the tea towel and use it to roll the pastry gently away from you and over itself to form a tight coil. Brush lightly with the remaining melted butter. Place in the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.
To make the syrup, place the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven, brush all over with the syrup, then bake for a further 5 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly, but serve it warm.
Recipe extracted from Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania by Irina Georgescu with permission from publisher Frances Lincoln. Book photography by Jamie Orlando Smith. The book is currently available from Amazon UK (at time of publication) for £15.99 (RRP £22.00).