Tag Archives: blackberries

3 Comments

Sweet.  Tart. Floral. Berries are the perfect combination of those three tastes.  And when you pair them up with a crusty, salty, flaky crust you just might feel like you're in heaven.  Think I'm exaggerating?  My friends, I wouldn't steer you wrong.

I first saw a version of this recipe on  the site Rachel Cooks.  She made a beautiful, shiny blueberry pie that appeared to hold together remarkably well.  That is one thing about berry pies that has always bothered me; they tend to be runny and the filling dumps into the middle of the pie pan after the first slice is removed.  I have experimented with adding tapioca pearls to my berry cobblers with great success.   But those little pearls can be telling and can potentially cook unevenly and flour just makes it murky so I knew there must be a way to incorporate some other thickener to get the results I was looking for.

After reading the full recipe I saw that she adapted it from a blueberry pie recipe by Baked Bree.   Again, she shows a glossy pie that held together quite well.

So after reading both recipes I concluded that the trick was indeed cornstarch.  A surprisingly large amount of it: 6 tablespoons.  I was a little hesitant to put that much cornstarch into my pie but then I realized, this filling is pre-cooked.  And you pour it into a pre-cooked pie shell.  Pre-cooking the filling allows the cornstarch to get even distributed and come fully up to temperature, allowing it to dissolve and thicken.  I was a tad wary that it might make my pie cloudy but if you look at their photos, it doesn't appear to have effected their results so what-the-hay, I would give it a try!
20120813-150604.jpg

20120813-150548.jpg

(Don't be confused by the sight of 2 pies below.  We had 2 family get-togethers that day so I went ahead and doubled the recipe so each gathering would have it's own pie.)

First things first, I had to get some berries.  The other 2 recipes call for all blueberries but I crave plump, juicy blackberries (or better yet boysenberries) this time of year, so instead I opted for a combo of fresh blackberries and frozen wild blueberries.   Off I went to a local farm stand to find some fresh blackberries.  5 miles down the road I found 7 full pints of the biggest blackberries I have ever seen.  I bought them all, even though I really only needed 4.  And yes, we ate them all.

Next in the order of things was to bake some pie crusts.  I shared that story with you earlier this week but you can click over here in case you missed it!

20120813-150734.jpg

About that time I realized I had not eaten lunch!  There was a brief intermission so I could whip up a fresh blackberry vanilla protein shake.  And eat a handful of berries.

While my pie crusts were cooling I worked on the filling which was as simple as throwing everything into a pot, stirring well till it boiled, stirring a few minutes more, then setting it aside to cool.

20120813-150746.jpg

I let the filling cool just for  bit then tossed in a few more whole berries for good measure, then poured it into my pie shells.  Into the fridge they went for a good 3-4 hours and then we devoured.  The filling stayed together beautifully and the flavor was intensely "berry".  The tartness of the blackberries rounded out the sweet perfume of the blueberries... ohhhhh, it was heaven.

The full recipe is below,  with my own changes.  I hope you can give it a try because it really was one of the easiest pies I've made and truly delicious.

Blackberry-Blueberry Pie

(adapted from Baked Bree)

Ingredients:

  • 1 precooked, cooled pie shell
  • 2 pints of fresh blackberries, plus 1/2 pint (optional); rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries (I use Wynan's brand)
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, combine 2 pints of blackberries (reserving the 1/2 pint for later), blueberries, and cornstarch, stirring gently so as not to damage the blackberries.  After the cornstarch is evenly distributed, add the salt, sugar, water and lemon juice and turn the heat up to medium high.  Stirring occasionally, allow the mixture to come up to a soft boil.  Continue to stir for 2-4 more minutes, letting the mixture get thick and coat the spoon.  Remove from heat and add the butter, gently stirring to combine.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly then add the 1/2 pint reserved blackberries then pour mixture into your cooled pie shell.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap (just to make sure nothing falls into it) and set in refrigerator to cool for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

PS:  You might have a little extra filling so might I recommend cooling it then using it to top a serving of full fat Greek yogurt?  Trust me, it's yummy.

Epilogue:

20120813-150755.jpg

If you must transport your pie before it has rested in the refrigerator for 3 hours, be sure to place it in a cardboard box or you will end up with blackberry pie filling all over your car.  You have been warned.

Catch a Glimpse Button

Photobucket
Somewhat Simple

Thirty Handmade Days

I was a busy little chicken this weekend but that did not stop me from working on TWO, count 'em, TWO recipes that I am very excited to share with you because... and I am not ashamed to say it... they both turned out  AWESOME!

This photo is just a teaser of what is yet to come, later this week.  Can you guess?  Isn't it obvious? Doesn't it make you drool?

You're gonna love it.

1 Comment

Now that summer is in full swing we have the opportunity to enjoy some wonderfully sweet summer fruit.  Berries, watermelon, peaches and so much more!  Here are a few recipes to get you started this weekend:

Pineapples are available in grocery stores year round, but they are at their best March-July. One of my favorite ways to "summer-ize" a food is to throw it on the grill and this recipe from Skinny Taste does just that. And the honey-lime-cinnamon glaze adds just the right spice and sweetness to make it a satisfying dessert.

This photo makes me drool! Who can resist a frozen treat on a hot summer day? This easy recipe from Just Cook Already only has 3 ingredients! No excuses, make this frosty treat any busy summer night.

I'm betting most of you haven't heard of a Rainier Cherry.  What is it?  Well, this cherry-farmer will tell you!  It is a cross between a big, juicy Bing Cherry and a white, flavorful Queen Anne Cherry.  When you squash them together (grafting) you get the plump, white, tasty Rainier cherry.  The Sprouted Kitchen uses Rainier's for a cooling cocktail, but if you can't find Ranier's you could substitute for any cherry in season. And if you would rather leave out the alcohol, substitute a splash of ginger ale for a refreshing mock-tail.

There are lots of melons growing in the summer time and they are so refreshing on a sultry day.  There is no recipe to link you to, but I can tell you how I made them for LeiLani's baby shower:   Using various sized melon-ballers, scoop out the flesh of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and any other melon that suites your fancy into a large bowl.  Put the bowl into the refrigerator to chill while you make the syrup.  In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of water and one cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the juice of 2 limes and allow the mixture to simmer for a minute or two.  Remove from the heat and add a couple sprigs of slightly crushed mint.  Allow mint to steep for just another minute or two.  Too much mint is nauseating so go lightly with it.  When you are ready to serve, drizzle the syrup mixture over your chilled melon.  You can garnish with a spring of mint to fancy-it-up.

Nectarines are one of my favorite fruits and pairing them up with this gingersnap crust is perfection. The creamy, rich filling is the perfect foil for the spicy ginger and the whole thing can be made a day in advance.  The recipe is called Nectarine and Mascarpone Tart in Gingersnap Crust from Epicurious.com

Visit your local farm or farmer's markets and get some sun ripened, fresh fruit to enjoy this summer!