Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nothing Says Lovin' Like Blackberry Pie

The fruits of the season, I love this time of year. It is the best time of year for so many fresh fruits and vegetables...especially wild fruits. I remember growing up how much fun it was to go out and find wild blackberries, and pecans, going fishing or crabbing...all in their respective seasons of course.We would pack a lunch and go out for the day armed with lots and lots of old gallon sized ice cream buckets. Yes, there were always the little inconveniences that you always had to deal with...the bugs, the heat, the briers, getting fussed at for being hot, tired and ready to go way too early. These trips always instilled something in us that I will definitely do my best to pass on to my children...a love and respect for nature, a knowledge of where our food comes from, a sense of gratefulness, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with the harvesting of  food. 

After a day of picking, many times our grandmother was with us, we would go back to my grandparents house and Ma-mom would immediately start working on a pie dough. There was nothing better than unpacking, sorting rinsing and packing all of our finds while the smell of fresh blackberry pie filling was cooking on the stove. So yesterday, since I didn't have quite enough berries to make blackberry preserves, I made a pie like Ma-mom would have made. 

So Back to the subject at hand:

The Pie!
Blackberry Pie

Pie Filling:
5-6 cups of bzlackberries

1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar (depending on the sweetness of the berries and your personal taste.)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 table spoons of corn starch(or other thickener)
a little water

Pie Dough:
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of butter cut into small chunks
1/4-1/2 cup of ice water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract(optional)

Make the filling: On the stove combine the sugar, water and lemon juice and cook and stir on low heat until sugar is melted. Add the berries bringing to a boil and cooking until the water is reduced. Add the corn starch mixed with a little water and stir until it comes back to a boil and thickens. Set aside to cool a bit.

Make pie dough: Put flour in the mixing bowl and add small chunks of cold butter cut the butter in with two knives or a pastry cutter(or use a food processor for that step) until it reaches the consistency of a coarse cornmeal.  Slowly add the water just until it comes together and forms a ball you may or may not need all of the water. Chill the dough up to an hour to let the butter cool and the gluten in the flour relax. Cut the dough in half and leave half in the fridge until you use it. Roll out the bottom crust  and put it into the pan. Add the pie filling. Roll out the top crust if you want to make it decorative you can use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, or cut out strips and make a lattice top by weaving the pieces on top.

Bake the pie at 350 degrees F. until the crust is just beginning to brown on the edges, about 15 min. depending on your oven.

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