In case you were wondering, today is March 14th. You know, 3/14… as in 3.14, otherwise known as Pi. So you know I had to make a pie for Pi day. This way, I have a justified reason for making pie rather than just making pie to make pie. Trust me, that could possibly come off as obsessed with pie. Which I am obviously not, right??
Anyway, Tuesday night it dawned on me that this day was coming… and I may or may not have gotten a little excited. Okay, I did. So I browsed the refrigerator and freezer for pie making materials. Butter? Check. Sugar and flour? Check and check. A fruit? Wait… what’s that buried in the freezer? Blackberries? Yes, blackberries! And then it dawned on me… I cannot think of better way to spend a Thursday than by eating a delicious blackberry pie.
So the first thing to do is to make a pie crust. Trust me, it’s worth it to make your own rather than buy a store bought crust. Since this recipe only uses one pie disk and I didn’t have enough butter to make two disks, I just split Smitten Kitchen’s pie crust recipe in half. I know what you’re thinking, not enough butter?! What have I become??
After your pie crust chills for at least one hour in the refrigerator, roll it out. I always sandwich the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper, flipping it occasionally while I rotate it clockwise and roll from the center to the edges. If you are worried about sticking, peel back the parchment paper ever so often and if there are troublesome spots, lightly dust them with flour. Once the dough is rolled out large enough, slowly remove the parchment paper and lay the dough in a 9 inch pie dish. Place that in the refrigerator while you preheat your oven and prepare the rest of the pie.
Then, toss 4 cups blackberries with sugar, flour and a tiny bit of lemon juice. Mash some of the blackberries against the side of the bowl using a spatula and set aside.
As for the crumbly part of the crumble pie, this is comprised of flour, brown sugar, a hint of regular sugar and of course, butter! You basically are using the same method as you did for the pie crust, which is cut cold butter into the flour-sugar mixture. The only difference is you will want to break down the butter more than you would for a pie crust. If you are using a pastry blender or two forks, at the end use your finger to further break down the butter. If some of this crumble sticks to your finger, it’s okay to have a taste. Isabelle agrees.
So instead of pea-sized butter pieces, you are going for smaller pieces. I guess I could compare them to rice sized? The key is to combine it to the point where when you pinch some of the crumble together, it lightly sticks together but will break apart again once you roll it between your fingers.
Now take out your chilled rolled out pie crust, trim any extra long hanging crust and flute the edge with an index finger and your other thumb and index finger.
Fill the pretty pie shell with those blackberries…
…and top that with the crumble mixture.
Place it in the preheated 400 degree oven and then turn down the heat to 375 degrees and bake until the crust and top are golden brown.
This is the point where I warn you to cool it completely. If you don’t, your pie could end up looking like this and you know, you could burn your mouth or something.
But really, it’s just a standard warning… you know, for liability reasons. So if you’re jonesing for some pie and want to dive right in, I’m not stopping you.
Oh and… we never had this conversation, right?
Blackberry Crumble Pie
1 disk pie crust (recipe below)
4 cups blackberries, thawed if frozen
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Roll out pie crust to a 12 inch round between two pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured surface. Place into a 9 inch pie plate, cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl stir together blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. With a spatula, press about one fourth of the blackberries on the side of the bowl to lightly mash them. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt. Cut in butter until butter pieces are small and moist clumps form when pressed together.
Remove pie shell from refrigerator and flute the edges. Spoon blackberries into pie shell and top with crumble mixture.
Place in preheated oven then turn down the heat to 375 degrees. Bake until crust and top are golden brown, 30-40 minutes.
Let cool completely and serve with whipped cream if desired.
Flaky Pie Crust
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup ice cold water
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter, two forks or your fingers until butter is the size of peas. Pour in 1/4 cup cold water and pull mixture together until it forms a loose ball. If needed, add more cold water one tablespoon at a time.
Form a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour.