A freshly baked pie, bursting with berries and fragrant with juice, is to summer what hot chocolate is to winter: a classic that captures the season in edible form. Too many of us forget how easy this delicious dessert is to make. The crust is fun for kids to mix and roll out, and the filling overflows with vitamin- and antioxidant-packed berries.
1 cup sugar (adjust according to sweetness of berries)
5 tbsp flour
½ tsp cinnamon
4 cups blackberries, rinsed
coarse (turbinado) sugar, optional
What You Do:
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add butter and shortening and mix in using two knives until the clumps are pea-sized (butter is for flavor and shortening is for tenderness, so no substitutes!). Add ice water, teaspoon by teaspoon. Use as little water as you can and stop as soon as you can form the dough into a ball; overmixing will make it tough. It’s okay if you can still see pieces of butter in the dough. Separate into two balls of dough (one larger than the other for the bottom), wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator 20 minutes or longer.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out larger portion on a floured pastry cloth or cutting board. Set gently into ungreased pie pan, patting down edges. Continue chilling other portion of dough until you have made the filling and are ready to roll out top crust (it will get sticky as it softens).
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add berries and toss carefully with a dash of vanilla. Spoon into raw pie shell and top with rolled out top portion. Crimp edges with your fingers and cut slits into the top to vent steam. If you have extra dough scraps, roll out again and cut out a berry shape to decorate top.
Brush top crust lightly with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower temperature to 350 and continue cooking 30-40 minutes or until pie is lightly browned and bubbly. If crust is browning too fast, cover with tin foil. Let cool, and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Pressed for time? Don’t be tempted to use store-bought crust. Instead, make a homemade crust and bake the empty shell. Fill with sliced strawberries and homemade whipped cream, or vanilla custard and fresh fruit.