I picked up some gorgeous triple crown blackberries in town the other day, and (after we ate a bunch of them fresh) I knew I had to make this pie. First off: Westside Renaissance Market, the little neighborhood grocery where I picked up these berries, is the best local store I’ve been to in ages. It has the highest quality, freshest local products, sourced from small family farms that put so much care and love into their work. It’s absolutely on par with places like Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, but un-like Bi-Rite Market, it’s quiet and has plenty of parking. If you live in Mendocino county and haven’t been there, you should go. They’ve got everything from cold-brew coffee to nectarine cream pies to fresh breads made with freshly milled local flours. Plus they have these crazy good blackberries right now. (They are literally the best blackberries I’ve ever tasted in my life.)
This pie is what I meant to talk about, though.
This isn’t your average pie. Only some of the blackberries are cooked, and only with a little bit of sugar, and then you fold in a bunch of fresh blackberries, so you end up with this beautiful finished filling that tastes juicy and just sweet enough. Serve the pie chilled, and it’s the perfect dessert for a hot summer night.
Fresh Blackberry Pie, adapted from Vegetarian Pleasures, by Jeanne Lemlin. My mom made this pie all the time when we were little. I’ve added even more blackberries than the original recipe calls for, since there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.
Cook Time: 25 minutes or so, plus time to cool
- 1 9″ pie crust
- 5 c . blackberries
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 2/3 c. water
- 2 1/2 tbs. cornstarch
- 3/4 c. sugar
To start, you’ll need to blind bake a 9″ pie crust until it’s golden brown and fully cooked. (Using whatever recipe you like, or, if you’re like me, which is really busy, you can cave and use a store bought one from the freezer section. The organic ones were only $2.50 each here, and somehow the pre-made crust made the difference between having pie and not having pie. Summer is crazy busy, don’t judge me).
While the crust is in the oven, make the filling: Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. In a medium-sized pot, combine 2 c. blackberries with the water, nutmeg, lemon zest and the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Cook on high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has visibly thickened. Stir often to make sure the cornstarch and sugar dissolve and that the blackberries don’t stick. Remove from the heat, and fold in the remaining three cups of raw blackberries.
Pour the blackberry filling into the cooked crust. Chill before serving. (I put it in the freezer for awhile to make sure it’s really cold – something about cold, sweet blackberries is wonderful for a hot weather.)
Optional: Serve topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream, etc.