Blueberry-Blackberry Pie

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Technically, the summer hasn’t left us just yet.  And while I am a confessed not-summer-fan, there are elements of the season that delight me: flowers, hikes, and, of course, seasonal cooking.

As my edible farewell to summer, I made one of my favorite summer recipes one last time: blueberry-blackberry pie.

I’ll admit that transitioning from my city-girl life to living in the more rural setting I found myself in five years ago was a challenge, but I’ve grown to see so many advantages, especially from a culinary perspective.  In the woods behind our home, large blackberry bushes cover the edge of the woods.  At the beginning of spring, the bushes begin bursting with pops of red; the berries make their debut.  Within weeks, red gives way to black, and we inevitably make our way down to the field to collect the berries for me, braving the thorns and our dogs, who demand berry snacks along the journey.

With summer coming to a close, I decided to allow my stock of plump blackberries to depart as well as I made one last blueberry-blackberry pie.

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Blueberry-Blackberry Pie
A Goodbye Wave to Summer

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter – should be well chilled
  • Egg wash – one beaten egg yolk combined with one tablespoon water

Berry filling:

  • 3 cups blueberries – fresh is best!
  • 2 cups blackberries – skip the freezer section, folks.
  • 1/3 cup starch
  • 1 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Combine salt, butter, and flour in your standing mixer using the paddle attachment.  Mix for approximately one minute until well blended.  Gradually add the ice water into the mixture and blend until just combined.  Be careful not to over blend.  You will see small dots of butter in the mixture.
  3. Remove dough from mixer.  Blend together with your hands and then separate into two balls.  Place one ball in the refrigerator covered; the other on an amply floured work surface.
  4. Roll the dough on your work surface into a circular area – approximately 10 to 12 inches in diameter.  Let it rest while you start your berry-licious filling.
  5. In a large bowl, combine all your filling ingredients in a bowl.  Stir until completely combined.
  6. Using a potato masher or similar pulverizing device, gently (and I can’t stress this enough – gently!) mash the berries to allow the sugar to infuse the berries and release the juices.
  7. Return to your resting crust.  Gently lift and place in your circular pie pan.  Gently press the edges into the pan, forming a smooth surface.
  8. Gently spoon your berry mixture into the crust.
  9. Remove your other ball of dough from the refrigerator.  Add extra flour to your work surface and roll it out to the same diameter as your previously rolled dough.
  10. I recommend employing your standard schoolhouse ruler here to ensure that your lattice work is the picture of perfection.  Using your ruler and a butter knife, slice as many ruler-sized strips (approximately one-inch strips) as possible.  Discard any corners.
  11.   Once the strips have been cut, begin gently placing them vertically atop your filling, leaving approximately one inch between each.  Once covered, lay the remaining strips vertically across the pie.  The result will be a criss-cross masterpiece.
  12.   Cut any ends of the strips that are hanging over the edge.
  13.   Using your favorite utensil – I just go with a fork – to gently press the edges of the crust along the pan’s rim, adhering the crust to the rim and creating a design work along the edge.
  14.   Grab a brush – I use a grill brush – and lightly apply your egg wash.  Cover the top of the pie with an ample coating.  Don’t be afraid.  This is the stuff that makes golden brown greatness.
  15.   Place your pie in the oven.  I recommend placing the pie on a cookie sheet or pizza pan to avoid uneven heating on the bottom.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  16.   Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and making you feel like a baker genius.
  17.   Allow pie to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before slicing.

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Baking Notes:

I played around a lot with the sugar content in this pie.  On my first go of it, I only used half a cup of sugar.  Definitely not enough for these not-so-sweet berries.  Then, I tried two cups, which made me feel like a visit to the dentist was in order.  The sweetness was overpowering.  Experiment with the sugar content of your filling and find the best balance for you.

I made this pie with conventionally sourced flour and sugar and then mixed it up and baked it using organics.  The taste difference was significant and well worth the difference in cost.  I did use conventionally grown blueberries in all my renditions of this pie along with blackberries from our field, which are not exposed to pesticides.  But there may have been some berry-loving dog slobber that didn’t make it past the washing process.  Ha!

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