It’s blackberry pickin’ time!
This week, Times-Gazette reporter Tim Colliver is in the kitchen with us again. Tim has blackberries, and of course, he made the mistake of telling us he had plenty. So, I said, “We need a blackberry pie.”
I forgot to tell him I was out of the office last Friday, and guess what? Tim brought in blackberry pie and ice cream. I did not get any, but Tim promises I will get my very own blackberry pie some day and I am holding him to it.
For all of you who need a great recipe for blackberry pie, here you go, brought to you by Tim Colliver. Thank you so much, Tim, for sharing this wonderful recipe… even though I didn’t get any! Everyone at the office said it was great.
Please, keep the recipes coming. Everyone is enjoying them. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 937-393-3456.
The following is from Tim:
When we moved back to this area after the passing of my mother, the old family homestead outside of New Market needed some work. The house, built in 1968, was just fine, but the 15 acres that surrounded it looked like a jungle.
Perseverance and a good lawn mower pushed back the wild frontier and we discovered a small plot of maybe 10 or 12 thornless blackberry plants that Mom had set out. More mowing increased that number to close to 50.
When all was said and done, Mom had set out nearly 100 of those plants, and they rewarded our clearing of the weeds with a bumper crop of blackberries the size of your thumb in 2006.
They make great jelly, jam, cobbler and pies. I brought in a homemade blackberry pie to the office last week after thawing out a big bag ‘o berries marked “2017” and around here, it didn’t last long.
Old Fashioned New Market Blackberry Pie
This recipe is geared for a nine-inch pie with two crusts, so you’ll need:
• 2 cups self-rising flour (you can use all-purpose if you like, just be sure to add one teaspoon of salt).
• 2/3 cup of lard or shortening.
• 4 to 6 tablespoons of cold water, more if needed.
For the pie filling:
• 4 cups blackberries.
• ½ cup sugar.
• ½ cup all-purpose flour.
• Generous dusting of cinnamon.
• 4 tablespoons of real butter, sliced from the stick.
In a large bowl, mix everything together except for the butter, and then put aside.
With a large fork, cut the lard or shortening into the flour until it has the consistency of little peas. Gradually add enough water and mix with your fork until the pie dough is moist enough to roll up off the sides of the mixing bowl. Divide the dough in two and roll out one portion onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Roll it into a large circle a couple of inches wider than your pie dish.
Then comes the tricky part. Dusting the dough with flour, use a wide spatula or a “shovel” and slide up under the pie dough about half way and gently fold the dough over. Fold the dough over again, making sure you have four equal parts. (My 1974 Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr autograph model shovel comes in real handy for this!) Carefully place dough onto the pie plate and unfold, pressing firmly on the sides and bottom.
Spoon the blackberry mixture into the pie plate and smooth out, placing the four squares of butter equally around it.
Repeat the rolling out process with the remaining ball of pie dough, carefully folding it into fourths like you did earlier. Place and then unfold it over the blackberries. Gently compress the dough at the rim of the plate to seal. Taking a sharp kitchen knife, trim the overhanging pie dough from the rim of the pie plate and flute as desired. (I like the tried ‘n true method of using the thumb and index finger on my left hand and then pushing the dough with the index finger of my right. Takes a little practice, but after a while, you’ll have a pie worthy of a blue ribbon at this year’s Highland County Fair.)
Cut several slits in the top crust to allow for venting. Place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan since some of the blackberry juice has been known to boil out during baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown, let cool and enjoy with or without a big scoop of ice cream.
But what to do with the left over pie dough? You could just pitch it in the trash, or do what Mom did for Chris and me when we were but wee lads exploring the wilderness of our 15 acres. (Sounds like “Little House on the Prairie,” doesn’t it?)
She would roll out the remaining pie dough into a square and cover it with generous amounts of sugar and cinnamon before rolling it up. It would go in the oven for about 10 minutes and after it was through baking, she’d slice it up and we had a great homemade snack to enjoy with a glass of milk.
Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef. She can be reached at 937-393-3456.