If you caught some of my posts last summer, you'll remember that we grow blackberries. We've only got about half a dozen bushes, but man do they produce! We have fresh blackberries to eat daily starting around June each year, and they continue to produce heavily for about a month. There is always plenty left over to make jam or to freeze for later use.
This time of year I am usually very ready for the short, cool winter days to end. I'm itching to get out in our gardens and start planting. I begin to crave our homegrown produce. Since it's not quite that time yet, I have to find other ways to satisfy my impatience. A good place to start is by cooking something yummy with some of the berries I put away last season.
If you've never made a berry pie, it's really a very simple process. If you caught my homemade chicken pot pie post a while back, you'll know that I don't usually make my own pie crusts. If you do, it will add a little time to this recipe, but not much. Or you can use a store-bought crust like I choose to do.
This is an old recipe that embraces the wonderful flavors of the fruit itself. It uses the absolute basic ingredients without adding anything "weird" to the mix. You simply cook down your frozen berries to make a thick, bubbly pie filling, then sandwich it all between two crusts. It's simple yet rewarding. And if your family is anything like mine, you'll have a gaggle of small children hovering in the kitchen wanting to know when they can sample it.
Ready to get started? Let's go!
The good stuff- what you'll need:
The ingredients list for this pie is quite short. It's likely you'll have most of it in your refrigerator or pantry.
Two pie crusts, either store-bought or homemade
5 cups of frozen blackberries
3/4 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
All the steps:
The steps you will follow to make your bubbly, delicious pie are almost as easy as the ingredients list. In no time at all, you'll have your pie together and in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Carefully place one of the pie crusts into a nine-inch pie pan. Using your fingertips, gently press it smoothly against the bottom and around all the edges of the pie dish. If you need to cut off any excess crust from around the top of the pan, do so carefully using sharp kitchen shears.
Next, you'll prepare the filling. Pour the blackberries into a saucepan and place them on the stovetop over low heat. Mix in the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Sometimes it's easier to blend it with a fork at first, at least until the fruit begins to thaw. As the fruit thaws, turn the heat up to medium. Cook the fruit until it has fully thawed and the mixture has thickened. It took about twelve minutes for me but since all stoves vary, watch yours closely. Stir the mixture often while it's warming.
You can see in the photos below that the mixture will get syrupy and thick. It doesn't need to boil or even get "hot." Once the berries are completely thawed and the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, the mixture should feel slightly warm to the touch. It's fine to move on to the next step at this point.
After the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour it carefully into the waiting crust in the pie pan. Using a spatula, carefully spread it out until it is even. Dot the top of the mixture with the butter.
Now you're ready to place the top crust. Carefully set the crust over the pie plate and press it gently against the fruit filling. Crimp the top and bottom crusts together to "seal" the pie. Again, if you need to trim away any excess crust, carefully do so using kitchen shears. Make several small slits in the top of the crust with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape while the pie bakes.
Place your beautiful pie in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. I cooked mine for thirty minutes and it turned out perfect. Once it's done, carefully remove the pie from the oven and allow it to fully cool before you cut and serve it- if you can wait that long!
This pie will make a great afternoon snack on its own, or you can serve it with some vanilla ice cream on the side. Either way, it's bound to be a hit with berry lovers!
Tip: if you don't have blackberries, or just don't love them, you can use any other berry to make this pie following the same recipe. I'm thinking it'd be great with strawberries, too! If you make any variations, I'd love to hear how it went!