August 28, 2008

like riding a bike...

...but much more rewarding.


In return for sharing the goods from his garden with me, I offered to make my friend from work whatever his heart desired. His response was immediate: blackberry pie, made with the berries he planned to pick that weekend. (Apparently I've built my reputation as a competent baker since he didn't seem to doubt for a second that I could do it.)


(driiiiiiiip)

The berries he picked were gorgeous, but of course, the filling wasn't my major concern. Made-from-scratch pie crusts can be fickle beasts and the risk of failure is always looming. I'm pretty confident of my tried-and-true recipe, but since I hadn't made it for, oh, about a year, I was understandably apprehensive. (You may recall when I wimped out not too long ago...)


Good news--everything turned out fine. I know you're relieved. I sure was. Although I didn't get a taste, my friend said that he first ate a modest slice, decided to have a bit more, and ended up eating a third of the pie in one sitting. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Ah, the power of pie.


(so flaky)

My crust recipe uses all shortening, and it's the only recipe I've ever tried. The result is a very flaky, very tender, very delicious creation. I think I'll branch out next time and try half shortening, half butter, as I've read that the butter really imparts a terrific flavor. (Well duh, Grace--how could it not?)


Breathtaking and Blissful Blackberry Pie
(a fantastic fusion of this and this)

5 cups blackberries, the more gorgeous the better
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pie crust (see below)

In a large bowl, gently toss the blackberries with the sugar. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the berries and gently toss to coat. Take care not to crush the berries, for they are quite sensitive and fragile. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes.

My Go-To Pie Crust
(an amazing amalgam of a recipe from a card that came with my
Longaberger pie plate and Cooking Light)

2 c flour
1/2 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c shortening, chilled
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 T vinegar
1/4 c ice water

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together egg, vinegar, and ice water; add to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough is moist enough to form a ball--you may not need all the liquid. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Gently press each half into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of overlapping plastic wrap; cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll 1 dough half, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Roll the other dough half, still covered, into an 11-inch circle. Place the dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until the plastic wrap can be easily removed.

To assemble pie:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Remove the top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from the 12-inch dough circle; fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing the dough to extend over the edge. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Toss the berries once more and then pour into dough. Brush the edges of the dough lightly with water.

Remove the top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from the 11-inch dough circle; place, plastic wrap side up, over filling. Remove remaining plastic wrap and press the edges of the dough together. Fold edges under, and flute. Cut 4 slits into the top of the pastry using a sharp knife. If you're feeling fancy, brush the top and edges of the pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (do not remove pie from oven), and bake an additional 40 minutes or until golden. Cover the edge of the crust with aluminum foil if it begins to get too brown. Cool on a wire rack for as long as possible. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Seriously. That's a direct order.

58 comments:

Foodycat said...

Beautiful pie! I will go to your piecrust recipe - my pastry making is crap.

Christie @ fig&cherry said...

Love the dribble shots - I'm salivating! :)

Albany Jane said...

Oh man, you are going to sweep the Coworker of the Year awards!

LyB said...

Well, your coworker is one lucky dude! Those berries are beautiful, and the crust looks perfect. :)

Rayrena said...

Wow, now there's one bike I've never mastered ;) I'm more of a trike person... you know, store bought crusts.

That pie looks amazing! I've always wanted to try making a crust with a really good lard and butter but I haven't found a place that sells good lard yet... Until then, yours sounds great.

p.s. I killed my first sourdough starter :( I'm going to try again this weekend. Thank you for your help!

Lucy said...

Oh my gosh that does look delicious!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

That pie definitely has "bliss" written all over it! It looks gorgeous! Love the drip shots. Always my favorites!

Lorraine E said...

I'm SO making this using your pie crust recipe. As a Twin Peaks fan I've always wanted to make Cherry Pie and have a Twin Peaks party but I never had a good pie crust recipe, until now! Thanks for sharing this, much appreciated :D

Prudy said...

Oh, doesn't that make me want to squeeze in one more pie before summer's end.

Marjie said...

Some day I will be brave enough to try my own pie crust. Some day I will be brave enough to try my own pie crust. Just not today. Those blackberries were so pretty, and the pie looks beautiful!

kat said...

Pie crust has aways scared me too but I really should try it. I had a friend who was vegan but would use butter in her pie crusts because she said it was the best way to get the flavor.

OhioMom said...

It is so good that I do not stand alone as pie-crust challenged, my problem is not taste but getting one of those perfectly fluted crusts :)

As a boomer I grew up with crust made from 'lard', too bad that something that tastes so good has been put on the "no no" list.

Your pie looks delish! The blackberries at our market this year were huge. I ate them up before I could bake with them .. LOL

Pam said...

Beautiful! We have a TON of blackberries growing around our house. My daughter really wants to make a blackberry and apple pie? We'll see if it works. I love your crust recipe but I think you are right, butter would add a fantastic flavor.

Katie said...

I have to make a pie and now you have done it. Pie crust is scary but its about time I gave it a shot.

Krysta said...

oh man... can you come over and teach me how to make pie crust? i cannot make one to save my life.

Dawn said...

sweet charlotte!
my heart skipped a beat with this one!

sliceofsueshe said...

Looks delicious. I haven't had pie in forever...guess I need to get crackin!

kimberleyblue said...

Good for you - for making it in the end, and for making it so well! Looks really nice - before you know it, people will be asking you to make their wedding cakes (or maybe wedding pies?)

Deborah said...

If I send you some goodies from my garden, will you send me one of these pies?? I like a half butter/half shortening pie crust, but if I had to choose all of one, I'd go with shortening. The texture is so much better than with butter!

The Blonde Duck said...

I don't know what you do during the day, but if you're not a pastry chef, you should be one. Move down to the Pond and open up a pie shop. I'll be your top customer (and widest!)

I love the "drripppp!"

Erinn said...

I'm just in awe of anyone who's actually brave enough to make pie crust from scratch (isn't that what those frozen things at the grocery store are for?) let alone someone who makes it, and makes it well.
I want PIE.

Bridgett said...

Now that is tempting with the luscious drip down the side! I am crap at making pies...they usually turn into a soupy mess. I should just try your recipe!

Beth said...

I've got a whole heap of balckberries in my garden at the moment. I suually make crumbles and muffins with them but this looks great, will give it a try

Tiffany said...

This looks fantastic! Mmm.
I just made my first from-scratch pie crust this week, and I have to say- it really wasn't as awful as I imagined. It was all butter and turned out well. But, the idea of using half shortening and butter is one I'd like to try.
(And as a sidenote, have I told you that my neighbor hates pie? Who hates pie?! After seeing your pictures I am even more baffled by his hatred of pie. It's just too good to dislike!)

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

That second to last picture looks so edible! I really wanted to take a bite. BTW, I use half shortening, half butter, and I love it!

Bunny said...

I want to make a pie crust like that!! I use all butter too but I'm gonna try the 1/2 and 1/2 recipe, yours looks so good!

Marilyn said...

Oh Grace, I'm running back to the kitchen to squeeze a few more pies out of summer. Lovely drip!

Kim said...

Grace if you were near by I would have to come over for a slice of pie. This is truely a splendid dessert.

hot garlic said...

I am literally SALIVATING over this pie {and everything else I saw on the first page, both s'mores treats look amazing to me!}.

Honestly, I am not sure I have seen another picture of a pie that made me want to eat it more!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I hope to see you again since I'll be back here again for sure!

Veronica said...

The crust looks so flaky! What a great deal you've worked out with your co-worker. Let's see though vegetables or pie...vegetables or pie? Pie wins!

Y said...

Love the name of your pie! Nothing like a pie that someone else has baked for you, I say! If you lived near me, I'd be showing up at your door every day with as much fruit as my arms could carry, in hope that you would bake me something too :)

Lori said...

If I give you some of the peaches I boughtf from the Farmers Market, will you make me a pie? How close are we anyhow? 100 miles, 200 miles? In the Fall I would like a grape pie too. I know, I know, get off my butt and make my own. I suck at making pies.

noble pig said...

Oh my...how good is this? I am too always weary of the pie-crust-devil that never fails to visit during the rolling out process. I see though he did not visit you! Lucky girl.

canarygirl said...

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin about....your pie is perfect! And I have to say, I'm quite envious of your wax bean bounty. Reminds me of my childhood(you know, like a couple weeks ago? lol)...those babies are good steamed with just a bit of butter and salt and lots of pepper.

Sandie said...

Next to blueberry, blackberry is my favorite fruit pie...tied right in there with strawberry.

The tiny heart you included on this crust tops it off nicely---could it have appeared any sweeter? Ahh...I have a sudden urge to bake. (Thank goodness you hadn't published a photo of cute babies!)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That is one beautiful pie!

lisa said...

Just delicious looking! I always make pastry with all butter. I'll have to branch out some day.

Peabody said...

Your blackberry pie looks gorgeous.

cookinpanda said...

Gorgeous pie. Such wonderful blackberries. I like the list of ingredients in your crust. I just might have to give it a go and relinquish the comfort of store boughts.

RecipeGirl said...

I SUCK at making pie crust. Just horrible. I wish someone could teach me some sort of magic recipe that is completely fail proof even for an idiot-pie maker like me. I tend to avoid pies altogether mostly!! Yours looks fab. And super oozy delicious.

Laura said...

Gorgeous... now I wish someone would make ME blackberry pie. Why don't I know you?

Bobby said...

Grace, mmm, blackberry pie... I love it! I confess, I never never made a pie crust before (always go with the box mix :(). You appear to be an expert though. Later.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Um... YUM! Your friend from work is so very lucky, this is gorgeous!

linda said...

The blackberries look pretty! Your pie looks delicious! I've never made a crust with shortening before but mine aren't that flaky (probably because I don't use it). I'm a butter addict so the thought of using shortening myself...I just couldn't ;)

nicisme said...

OMG, love it! The photos are awesome Grace!

KJ said...

Oh, yummy, yum, yum! We don't have shortening here in Australia. Pie crusts are usually made with all butter.

Jaime said...

i love blackberries! dorie's pie crust recipe was my first pie crust and i'm probably too scared to try any other recipes, for fear they won't turn out...!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I'm going to try your go-to pie crust and hope that it becomes my go-to pie crust too. Or I really should give up doing pie.

giz said...

Don't even get me going on pie crusts. Your pie looks stunning - perfect - your friend made a great trade. Everyone says pie crust is a breeze - I'll try yours - please tell me it's idiot proof.

Jacque said...

Oh my! That looks absolutely fantastic! And it's interesting that the color is not more purple... I wouldn't have expected the reddish color.

Great job, your friend is lucky :)

Vera said...

Grace, the pie looks perfect! What a lucky recipient!

Jeanne said...

Holy moly, look at the colour of that pie filling! There are so many gorgeous English blackberries around at the moment, I'm going to have to try this! I have a go-to pie crust recipe that I always use - it's all-butter and you can pratically hear your arteries slammign shut, but damn it's tasty ;-)

L*Joy said...

gorgeous flaky crust. Wonderful work that will surely score you heaps and heaps of more baked good requests.

Kevin said...

Your pie crust looks like it turned out great!

Lore said...

Flaky and tender says it all when it comes to pie crusts! I'm glad it turned out well and my oh my I would've eaten the entire pie..uhm and I would've needed somebody to remind me about breathing while eating ;)

Elle said...

It IS beautiful and breathtaking! Or was it blissful and breathtaking? Oh well, it's all three! I'm so envious of people that can make nice pies. It's definitely takes talent.

Ann said...

I'm all about the blue-or-black-berry pie. ALL ABOUT IT.

Except for the part where you can't stop coming back and back and back to it as long as it's in the house - how 'bout that part? Why does pie do that?

Anonymous said...

That's my mom's pie crust-and we've never steered away from it either! We give away pies at the holidays and Everyone always wants to know how we make THE best pie crust! I say stick with the shortening ;)