Saturday, September 3, 2011

the goose loves blackberry pie

Last weekend was UP's Orientation. Can you believe I was moving into the dorms 7 Augusts ago? (Six full years since we moved in, right Jackie? Haha). Wow.

Anyway, Billy's still there, now on the operations side of everything, and worked really long hours from Thursday through Sunday while I hung out with the dog. On Saturday morning, after taking the dog to the dogpark, I got coffee and walked around the St. John's Farmer's Market, where I saw these lovely things:
 Yes ma'am, blackberries. Deliciously LARGE blackberries! And I knew I had to take them home that minute and make Billy a giant blackberry pie out of the berries. Because he loves pies, you see, and so far in our year plus of marriage, I've only made him two. A (most delicious) apple pie and an even more delicious (because it has chocolate) Boston Cream Pie. But two pies for almost 14 years of marriage isn't quite enough.
 So I handed $11 dollars over at the Farmer's Market and took my half crate of berries home, where I sorted and rinsed them. You can see Bentley carefully watching me. The lucky dog got the they're-so-soft-they're-practically-molding berries. Talk about a purple mess. :)
 And I found a recipe online, complete with illustrations.
 Blackberry Pie:

Pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie
6 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. If you are making your own pastry, prepare the pie dough according to recipe directions and refrigerate.
2. Rinse and sort the blackberries. Drain thoroughly on paper towels.
3. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl. Add the blackberries. Toss lightly to combine. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
5. To prepare the pie shell, lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the larger portion of the chilled dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Fit into a 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang. (Fit purchased pastry into the pie pan.) Spoon the blackberry mixture into the pastry. Dot with butter.
Roll out the remaining dough into a circle about 1 inch larger than the pie pan. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with water. Fold the dough circle in half, lift off the work surface, place the pastry across the center of the filled pie, and unfold. Trim the edge ½ inch larger than the pie pan and tuck the overhang under the edge of the bottom crust. Crimp the edges with a fork or make a fluted pattern with your fingers. Make several decorative slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
6. Make an egg wash by combining the egg with the water. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon sugar over the top. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any juices that overflow.
7. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
8. Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mmmm, pie. And it was delicious. Although I'll admit the consistency was a little soupy. The pie itself was great, but oodles of juice poured from the sides when it was cut. No problem, really, because the juice is good on vanilla bean ice cream or for drinking up straight, but if you're a less-juicy person, you might add more flour or tapioca or something.
Billy was quite happy with his pie. He might even be willing to work long weekends more often, if it meant more pies. Lucky for him, his birthday is coming up, so he might get another pie for just getting older. :)

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