Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blackberry Pie

Of all summer fruit, I might not have given blackberries enough homage. Peach melba I have tried. An assortment of strawberry tarts and pies, rhubard crisp, pineapple upside down cake recipes I know almost by heart. Yet, in all my summers here I hadn't made one dessert that focused soley on the fruit. Shame on me. Blackberries have long been part of my fruit repertoire - had them in parfatis, in fruit salads, in preserves and smoothies - but never made them stand alone in a dish. Until now.

Naturally ripened blackberries do not need much else to enhance their favors. A tablespoon of vanilla, maybe a pinch of all spice, and perhaps a splash of deep red wine are all it takes. For baking, it is important to get the very ripe ones; the riper they are less sugar is needed. Look for almost even coloration (although the color changes when baked) and those without the hulls, since younger berries hang on to the hulls stronger than riper ones.

While I have included a crust recipe, store bought crust works just as well. However, I would suggest using a pastry crust rather than a graham cracker crust. The flaky pastry crust provides a noticable textural contrast to the soft berries.

Blackberry Pie
Makes one 9" pie

2 pints blackberries (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp dark red wine e.g. cabernet (optional)
1 nine inch prepared pie crust (recipe below)

1. Set oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Combine the first five ingredients being careful not to crush the berries; pour into the prepared pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for an additional 20 to 45 minutes until the juices thicken. (*See note below.) If the crust browns too quickly, cover with foil.
3. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Cookie Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg

1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
2.Combine the first four ingredients. Mix in the butter until a crumbly dough forms, then mix in the egg until it all comes together in a soft ball.
3. Using the back of a spoon or the tips of your fingers, evenly spread this dough unto a well greased nine inch pie dish, along the bottom and up the sides.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.

*Note: If you prefer a softer, more homogenized filling, allow the pie to bake up to forty five to minutes to an hour at 350 degrees F. The photo above show how it would look after 30 minutes at this temperature; the berries still have most of their structure and can be picked off the top without fally apart, just the way I like it.


Marina7 said...

Looks great!!! :)

B.B.B. said...

I love blackberries on top of anything!but pie!

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a great way to highlight blackberries! This looks simple and delicious.

Miranda said...

Yum! I love Blackberries and Pie!
This looks like a great dish.

Thank you for sharing.

Sophie said...

Oooooh Natasha, this pie looks outstanding & so yummie too!

I would like to savour a large piece right about now!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea for blackberries. Yummy!

Natasha said...

I wish I can send you all a pie! Maybe one day.

Anonymous said...

I am heading out for blackberries right now

Anonymous said...

MMM yum! I love blackberry pie and this sounds like a great recipe. Hopefully the boy will bring some fresh berries back from his family's home and I can try it :)

The Koshy Mostafas said...

I love blackberries more than any of the berries...I wonder if it's possible to make this crust with whole wheat flour ...must try it out!

Natasha said...

Thanks for stopping by Anonymous, Myblissfulbites, and KoshyMostafas. I will post a whole wheat crust recipe soon, look out it. ^o.o^

Simply Life said...

I love blackberries and that looks like a delicious pie! Well done!

Sang Nguyễn said...

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Pamela Heidrich said...

can I prepare this pie and then freeze it to be cooked later? We have a blackberry bush and berries are only good until June 1st. I would love to serve this pie on the 4th of July:)