Some days you just need pie. And those same days are often the ones you know before you even start that it is probably not a good idea, but it is also absolutely necessary.
Today was that kind of a day for me.
Nothing was going right. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed (oh hey! I guess I would have actually had to SLEEP – thankyouverymuchnonsleepingbaby – in order to wake up on any side of the bed!). I was grumpy and out of sorts all day.
Which of course means that just about everyone else was grumpy and out of sorts too. (Except Non-Sleeping Baby herself. She was just fine and dandy all day!)
I couldn’t do anything right. So, of course I thought that I should add to the madness by making a pie!
Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I have the same fear of pie crusts that you have.
But you know what? Pie is forgiving.
Pie is rustic, and simple, and full of heart. Pie is home and love and joy all in a little round pan. Bubbling, juicy, sweet, flaky… and hopefully served with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream on top… pie is just about perfection. At least in my little world.
Pie reminds me of my sweet baking grandma. The one who planted this food loving seed that is so firmly planted in my heart. The one who taught me to cherish these fresh, wild blackberries God has blessed us with in the Pacific Northwest, and the one who taught me to measure and roll and sprinkle and bake, and most of all to share with those I love.
I saw our first-of-the-season blackberries today when I was driving home and I just knew I had to make a pie. No matter what. No matter how badly my day was going and how badly I just *knew* this pie would turn out.
And you know what? I was right. It wasn’t pretty. My kitchen was hot, my dough was soft, I was impatient and stillgrumpy, and I patched and rolled and filled anyways. A sloppy pie is still a pie. A patchwork pie is still beautiful and tasty and heartwarming.
Pie is love.
I hope you have blackberries growing wild all over your land, or your neighborhood, or your parks. If you do, enjoy them. Love them. And teach your kids that a few pricks and cuts now and then are worth it. Oh so worth it.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter, diced
- 7-9 tablespoons ice cold heavy cream
- 6 cups fresh or frozen wild blackberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter, diced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon/sugar, optional
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt and then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles a bowl of coarse crumbs (most about pea sized). While stirring with your fingers or a fork, sprinkle in the heavy cream and keep sprinkling and stirring until the dough feels a bit moist and starts to hold together when you press it in your fingers.
You may not need all the cream, you may need a bit more. Just go slowly and test a bit at a time!
When the dough starts to hold together when you press it, divide it into 2 portions and wrap each half in plastic wrap, pressing into a thick round disk shape. Place the plastic wrapped disks in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil and place that in the oven to preheat also, on a rack on the top 1/3 of the oven (this is to help catch drips!).
Grab a 9" deep-dish pie plate and set it aside for a bit later.
In a large bowl, toss together the berries, and the rest of the ingredients except for the butter and cinnamon/sugar.
On a well floured surface, roll out one half of your pie dough to about an 11" circle. Carefully transfer it to your pie plate and press it firmly into the bottom and sides. Trim the crust to just the edge of the pie plate and place in the fridge.
Re-flour your surface and roll out the other half of your dough into another 11" circle.
Remove the pie plate from the fridge and dump the berry mixture into the crust. Dot the top of the berry mixture with the butter bits and then gently lay out the rolled out dough onto the top of the pie.
Press this crust down gently around the edges, trim the overhang to about 1" and then fold the top crust under the bottom crust edge, pressing firmly to seal as you go around.
Carefully cut some slits into the top of the pie and then sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and sugar if you'd like.
Cover the edges of the pie with foil and then place the whole pie into the preheated oven, directly onto the foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
Let the pie cool if you want prettier pieces. Serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream!
recipe adapted from Sweety Pies