Monday, July 9, 2012

Wild Blackberry Pie

Yesterday morning, we got up bright and early (and by that I mean we trudged out of bed before the sun was even up) to beat the heat and pick blackberries out in rural Virginia. These tart little berries apparently grow wild out at one of the hunting leases. 
So, we put on some truly attractive outfits to protect ourselves from the bugs and the angry blackberry prickles and sweat out every toxin that could have ever existed in our systems. 
 After a graceful attempt to climb through some brush, I lost my footing and fell into a particularly ornery patch of blackberries and their protective thorns. My arms are now covered in scratches and scrapes. But we hit the mother lode in that little area and it was totally worth it!
Now we are left with buckets of berries to enjoy in all sorts of tasty varieties. First order of business? A birthday pie for our good friend Tim. Hope he enjoys it! (I made one for myself too, and I know I sure did).


Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-7 tablespoons ice water

Pie Filling
  • 6 cups fresh wild blackberries, rinsed and picked clean
  • 3/4 cup sugar (adjust depending on the sweetness of the berries)
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces


Pie Crust
  1. In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to mix. 
  2. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Slowly add the ice water, pulsing until mixture is moistened and just begins to clump together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it into a ball. 
  5. Knead the dough 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. 
  6. Gently shape the dough into two disks. 
  7. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  8. If using immediately, use this time to prepare pie filling.
  9. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. 
  10. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round.
  11. Transfer to a 9-inch round pie dish.   
  12. Roll out the remaining dough to an 11-inch round. Use to top the pie once filling is added.
Pie Filling
  1. In a large bowl, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and quick-cooking tapioca (or cornstarch). Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Spoon the berry mixture into the dough-lined pie dish. Dot the top with the butter.
  4. Brush the overhanging pastry with water and carefully set the top crust over the berry filling. 
  5. Press the edges of the dough together and trim the overhang to 1 inch. 
  6. Fold the edge under itself and crimp to seal the edges.
  7. Score the top of the crust with a sharp knife to create air vents for the steam to escape.
  8. Bake the pie in the center of the middle rack of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any juices that might bubble over while cooking.
  9. First, bake the pie at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. 
  10. Then place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie to protect the edges and tops from getting too burnt. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  11. Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
Lyd and the Birthday Boy!

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