Homemade Fresh Blackberry Pie.
Blackberries just might be my favorite berry. Or, at least they are today. In this moment. Which makes fresh blackberry pie my favorite berry pie. Or at least it is today. In this moment. Mostly because I happen to have a homemade blackberry pie cooling on my windowsill.
Did you know that Oregon is the leading producer of blackberries in the world? I was a little curious about what it would be like to live on an Oregon blackberry farm, so I did some googling and found this article about the Pennington family. The Pennington’s moved to Oregon from Colorado in 1991, bought a blackberry farm and turned an old barn into a store and berry market. Not only do they grow and sell blackberries, they make and sell homemade berry pies, jellies and jams.
I am a wee-bit jealous of these people. I mean, they live here, amongst acres and acres of fresh blackberries, where they bake and sell blackberry pies all day. I’m inspired and envious all at the same time.
So, I set up my own little pie shop this afternoon and baked my own blackberry pie. And, while I don’t have blackberry fields from which to enjoy it, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Because blackberry pie is delicious anywhere you eat it.
You’ll notice that this blackberry pie recipe includes plums and a shredded granny smith apple.
Both the plums and the apple are difficult to identify once the pie is baked, but they add complexity to the flavor that I find irresistible. Plus, the apples contain an added bonus: natural pectin. The pectin from the apples means that you won’t need as much thicker (cornstarch and tapioca in this case) as you would otherwise.
Fruit pies can be challenging because you want all that filling to stay put and not run all over your plate and make your bottom crust soggy. But too much flour, cornstarch or tapioca can give the pie filling a non-appealing gelatinous texture. The natural pectin from the apples allows you to keep the cornstarch and tapioca at a minimum.
For all of us not fortunate enough to live on a sprawling blackberry farm, a homemade fresh blackberry pie just might be the next best thing. I hope you’ll bake one of your own and share it with people you love, and let me know what you think about it.
- 1 recipe Fool Proof Pie Crust, chilled for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator
- ¾ cup granulated sugar plus 2 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- the juice and zest from 1 large lemon
- 1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored and shredded
- 6 cups fresh blackberries
- 2 small black plums, unpeeled, pitted and cut into ¼ inch slices
- 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into ¼ inch chunks
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- In a large bowl, add the ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, nutmeg, honey, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add the shredded apple and blackberries and stir gently just to mix. Allow filling to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while, to allow the tapioca to soften.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tbsp of cold water and set aside.
- Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to a 12-inch circle that’s about ⅛-inch thick. Using a large spatula, gently loosen the dough from the work top, fold it in half and then fold it in half again. It will form a triangle shape. Lift the crust and place it in a pie plate with the point of the triangle in the center of the plate. Gently unfold the dough in the pan and press into the corners gently. Leave any dough that overlaps the edges of the plate in place.
- Layer the slices of plums across the bottom of the crust and then pour the blackberry pie filling on top. Dot the surface with the butter.
- Roll another portion of the pie dough into another 12 inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick. Just as you did with the bottom crust, using a large spatula, gently loosen the dough from the work top, fold it in half and then fold it in half again. Lift the crust and place it on the top of the pie with the point of the triangle in the center. Gently unfold the dough to cover the blackberry filling completely.
- Trim the edges of the crust so that you have about a half of an inch hanging over the pie plate. Fold the edges under, forming a rim around the pie that is higher than the pie plate. With one hand on the inside of the edge and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your other hand to form a U or a V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
- Gently brush the egg wash over the top crust with a pastry brush and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. With a sharp knife, cut 5 slits, evenly spaced to form a circle, in the top pie crust.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375, rotate the pie in the oven and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling in the center of the pie is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, about 4-6 hours, before slicing.