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Archive for May, 2012

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Blackberry pie

I can’t quite explain my recent interest in fruit pies, other than the fact that I can’t WAIT for summer and I’m in culinary school, which means I spend all of my time thinking about food.  Plus, I was beginning to feel like me and my kitchen aide mixer were in need of some serious bonding. Oh, and I had an extra round of dough leftover from last week’s pie fun, which left me with a serious urge to experiment further with crumb toppings.

While I would be perfectly happy eating a rhubarb pie each week for the rest of my life, I thought a new recipe might be appreciated among this audience. Also, I couldn’t justify another $20 spent on rhubarb (really?! $10 a pound NYC?).

I entered Trader Joe’s with an open mind and empty basket and left with loads of fresh blackberries, a couple of oranges, some really nice walnuts and a six pack of Simpler Times.

When I arrived home, I realized that I have never made a blackberry pie before. After gathering dozens of recipes and my online research, I dove right in.

I can now tell you from experience that blackberries are not to be overlooked when it comes to fruit pies. If you don’t believe me, take Mario Batali’s word for it.  They have a nice tart flavor that really balances out their naturally sweet juices.

Enjoy!

Blackberry pie
Yields one 9-inch pie

Pie Ingredients
1/2 recipe (one dough round) of pie dough, recipe here
6 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out pie dough and pre-bake with pie weights, as directed here. Set aside to cool. Turn oven up to 450 degrees.


Crumble Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut in pieces
¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional, any desired nut will work)

Combine the flour with the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  Add the cold butter and mix with your fingertips, gently crushly the bits of butter until they are broken into smaller pebbles and the mixture resembles a streusel. Gently toss in the walnuts. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Assemble the Pie
Toss the blackberries with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and orange zest. Sprinkle over the blackberries and toss until combined.

Pour the blackberry mixture into the prepared, slightly pre-baked pie crust, mounding blackberries slightly in the center of the pie. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the blackberries, slight pressing it in to secure it.

Place the pie on foil lined baking sheet and place on a rack in the lower third of the oven. I would recommend covering the crust of the pie with foil, like this, to prevent it from burning while cooking. You can choose to add the foil now, or keep an eye on the color of the crust and add the foil once its reach a desired golden brown color.

Bake the pie at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 45- 50 minutes or until the pie is golden brown all over and the filling is bubbling over.

Cool the pie completely at room temperature and store, uncovered (to keep the topping crisp!) at room temperature. Enjoy within 48 hours, or refrigerate for a longer shelf life.

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