After a long break, I’m back to baking. Keeping the theme of my last recipe, I’ve decided to cook up a lovely deep-purple blackberry pie. We’d picked about two kilograms of wild blackberries in August last year and they’d been sat in the freezer ever since – we couldn’t quite decided what to do with so many!
This recipe is quick, simple and delicious.
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Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
Servings: 6-8 portions (Fewer if you like larger portions)
Equipment that you’ll need:
Medium sized round cake tin
For the filling
Approximately 800g blackberries
80g Caster Sugar plus extra to taste
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp Pineapple Juice (optional)
For the Pastry
250g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
140g cold Butter
Place the water, pineapple juice and 20 grams of sugar in to a large saucepan and gently heat until the mixture begins to bubble. After you can smell the pineapple juice cooking (or the water is bubbling slightly), pour half of the mixture in to a mug or bowl to use later on.
Tip in all of the blackberries, along with the remaining sugar and stir well. Cover and leave on a gentle heat while you start making the pastry. If you plan on sieving the blackberry filling, you may want to add in a good handful more to the pan.
At this point you’ll want to pre-heat your oven to about 140°C/Gas Mark 4 for your pastry to blind bake in.
Sieve the flour and salt in to a large mixing bowl before adding in the butter. (Tip: Extra cold butter makes your pastry easier to make, and keeps a better structure while baking!) Gently rub the butter in to the flour using the tips of your fingers, you should avoid using your palms as the butter will melt.
When the mixture resembles pale breadcrumbs, you can begin adding cold water. Add a tiny bit at a time, mixing with your fingers – as you add more, the mixture will begin to form a dough. Avoid making the mixture too wet as it will be very difficult to roll out and will fall apart during baking.
Your dough should now be in a soft ball that isn’t too floury or soggy. Wrap the ball loosely in kitchen roll and place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Your pastry will happily sit in the fridge if you need to spend a little extra time looking after your filling.
By now, your blackberries should have melted slightly and should be bubbling away. If not – increase the heat slightly and give it a good mix. If you used frozen blackberries, like me, you’ll notice that your filling has a more liquid texture. You can drain off any excess liquid until you reach the consistency that you like. Set the mix to one side and leave to cool.
When you take the dough out of the fridge, it should be smoother and firmer. Split the dough in to two pieces and place one back in the fridge – roll out one half to roughly 1.5-2cm thick, enough to be double the size of your cake/pastry tin. Gently lay the pastry on to your tin, making sure to tuck it snuggly in to the corners – this will help prevent air bubbles during cooking. I used a tin with a removable bottom so that I’d be able to easily take it out after the pie is finished. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or dry rice.
Place the pastry case in to the 140°C/Gas 4 oven for about 7-8 minutes, or until the pastry becomes more firm. After this is done, remove the greaseproof and baking beans and place the pastry back in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
While this is in the oven, you can roll out the other half of the dough. This will form the lid. I decided upon a loose lattice weave top (directions on how to make this here!), but you’re welcome to make a solid pastry lid. After you remove the pastry case from the oven, increase the heat to 180°C/Gas 6.
Taste your blackberry filling and add more sugar if you’d like it sweeter. You can also sieve the mixture if you’d like the pips removed.
Gently pour the thick, gooey blackberry filling in to the pastry case – making sure all the edges are filled. Add your freshly crafted pastry top to the pie, making sure that it’s sealed all around the edges. Remember the pineapple mixture that we kept to one side earlier? Use a pastry brush to lightly paste the syrup over the pastry – avoid adding too much as parts of your pastry will struggle to brown.
Place in the middle of your 180°C/Gas 6 oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
After my pie was finished, I left it in the cake tin for approximately 30 minutes to cool. I used the handy removable bottom to lift the pie out of the tin and place on a cooling rack.
I’d suggest placing the pie in the fridge for a few hours after it’s completely cooled to allow the filling to set – but you’re welcome to dive in if you just can’t wait. Tastes incredible with cream or vanilla ice cream.