|Last week I made the Blackberry Sage Light & Luscious Body Souffle and it was fantastic. Since I had blackberries galore, I had to make a blackberry pie. I used a recipe from an America’s Test Kitchen episode that was originally aired on January 3rd 2009. The Best Blueberry Pie episode video can be found online, if you would like to watch this pie being made. This recipe truly brings a new meaning to the phrase, “It was as easy as pie.”
I did substitute blackberries for the blueberries, but the change of the berries didn’t change the desired slice-able pie. The resulting pie was enjoyed and quickly eaten by our staff.
Makes one 9-inch pie
Foolproof Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup vegetable shortening , cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water
Measure 1 1/2 cups of flour, salt and sugar into the food processor bowl. Pulse briefly until the ingredients are blended. Add butter and shortening and pulse until the flour mixture has been completely coated with butter and shortening. At this point, I think it looks like coarse cornmeal with some large clumps. Add the last cup of flour and pulse again until mixed. Pour the crumbles of dough into a medium mixing bowl. Add cold vodka and water to the crumbled dough and press with a rubber scraper to blend. Mix until the dough is tacky and holds together. Divide the dough into two halves and roll into balls. Flatten the balls into disks and then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 45 minute and a maximum of 2 days.
Once the pie dough has chilled, remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the chilled dough on floured work surface and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle, leaving the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Gently place the dough in a pie plate and adjust the dough to fit in the pie plate, while leaving the overhanging dough. Refrigerate while working on the filling.
6 cups fresh blackberries (about 30 ounces)
1 Granny Smith apple , peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca , ground
Pinch table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg , lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (optional for a glaze)
Before preparing the blackberry filling, adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place 3 cups of blackberries in a medium saucepan and place on the stove, turning the temperature to medium heat. Use a potato masher and mash the berries several times to aid releasing the juice from the blackberries. Cook until approximately half of the berries have broken down and thickened. You will have to continue to mash and stir the berries while they cook. Once the berries have reached this point, remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the apple.
Peel the green apple and then grate using the large holes of a grater. Place the apple into a clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Dump the apple into a large bowl and add all blackberries (cooked and uncooked), lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, sugar and ground tapioca to the bowl. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the chilled dough in the pie plate. Place butter over the top of the filling and set aside while you roll out the second disk of dough.
Remove the other disk of chilled dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the chilled dough on floured work surface and roll the dough into a 11 inch circle, leaving the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Gently place the dough over the pie filling, leaving an overhang of pie dough. Trim the pie dough using kitchen shears or a paring knife, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so you create an edge that is flush with the rim of the pie plate. Press the edges with either your thumb and forefinger or with the tines of a fork to ensure the edge of the crust is sealed.
You can brush the egg mixture over the top and sides of the pan if you desire a golden glaze after baking, but it is not necessary.
Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. After the pie has baked for 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until the juices bubble and the crust has browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Slice the pie and enjoy!
Vodka allows the dough to stick together without adding more water that will make the crust a complete soggy mess. The vodka does not contribute any flavors and cannot be substituted. You can use either fresh or frozen berries. Simply do not thaw the berries and they will behave just like fresh berries in the finished pie. If you are having a hard time grinding the tapioca, use a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or a small food processor.
I would really like to show you a picture of the finished pie, but it was eaten before I could take a picture of the beautiful pie.