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Blackberry Pie Recipe & Video

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This delicious Blackberry Pie has two layers of buttery crisp pastry with a generous layer of lightly sweetened fresh blackberries in between. I love the look of this pie, with its golden brown pastry stars that give you just a peek of the glistening fruit underneath. And while the blackberries keep their shape after baking, they are wonderfully soft and tender with their garnet colored juices all thick and syrupy. Absolutely perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

 

Pie makers tend to have definite opinions on what is the best type of pastry for making pies, and for this Blackberry Pie I always use a short crust pastry. I love its buttery flavor and crisp and crumbly texture. It is easily made in the food processor, just remember that the butter and the water need to be very cold. Once made, the pastry must be chilled until firm. The tricky part is rolling out the pastry. In order for it to roll out smoothly, without it sticking to the counter or tearing, it has to be at the right temperature. Too cold (it will tear), too warm (it will stick). This "feel" for the dough will come with practice, so don't get discouraged if you have some trouble at first. If the rolled out pastry tears a little as you put it into the pie plate, just patch it. Now, for the top crust of this Blackberry Pie you simply cut the rolled out pastry into stars. This gives the pie a nice look but, more importantly, it serves the purpose of allowing the bubbling fruit juices underneath the crust to evaporate. This is particularly good when using a juicy fruit like blackberries.

Lastly, this is your basic recipe for a fruit pie filling. It combines fresh berries (use could use a combination of blackberries and blueberries) with a little lemon juice to perk up the fruit's flavor, some sugar for sweetness, a pinch of ground cinnamon for flavor, and cornstarch for thickening. The filling is placed in your pastry lined pie plate, dotted with butter, and topped with the stars of pastry. Final touch is to brush the pastry with cream and to sprinkle on a little sugar. Bake in a preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling. If you see the pastry browning a little too much, cover with a pie shield or aluminum foil. Once the pie comes out of the oven there is always the temptation to cut into it right away. Resist if you can. Fruit pies need several hours to set so that when you cut into them the fruit is juicy but these juices do not run. Excellent plain but even better with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Pie Crust:  In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). 

Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim any overhanging pastry to an edge of 1/2 inch (1.5 cm). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 13 inch (30 cm) circle. Using a 2 inch (5 cm) star cookie cutter, cut the pastry into about 20 stars. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Blackberry Filling: Place the blackberries in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Gently mix the sugar mixture into the blackberries. Remove the chilled pie crust from the fridge. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared pie shell. Dot with the tablespoon of butter.

Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with a little cream.  Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the pastry stars in a circular pattern on top of the blackberries. Brush the pastry stars with cream, making sure the cream does not pool. Sprinkle with a little sugar, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

Place the pie plate on a large baking sheet and bake the pie for about 25 - 30 minutes and then, if the edges of the pie are browning too much, cover with a foil ring or pie shield. Continue to bake the pie for another 15 - 20 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown color and the fruit juices begin to bubble.

Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for several hours. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Reheat before serving.

Makes one 9 inch (23 cm) pie.

View comments on this recipe on YouTube

References:

Sax, Richard. Classic Home Desserts. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York: 1994.

Stewart, Martha. 'Martha Stewart's Baking Book'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 2005.

Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water

Blackberry Filling:

5 cups (2 1/2 pints) (1.2 L) fresh blackberries

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

Glaze:

Cream

Granulated white sugar

 

 
 
     
 

 

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