Blackberry Pie

Blackberry pi, in bubbling crust I’m up in Seattle with Mr. McMoots for the weekend. While the Bay Area has its fair share of invasive Rubus species, compared to Seattle one might as well put the Himalaya blackberry on the endangered species list. We went for a walk, and as soon as we hit the yuppie part of town near the water, where blackberry brambles cover the bits of unusably hilly land at the end of every cul-de-sac, I started thinking about blackberry pie and could not stop.

Seriously could not stop. At every blackberry bramble, I’d grab a couple of berries and extol the virtues of one kind of imagined blackberry pie or another: the gooey kind! the custardy kind! the kind with ice cream! Blackberry pie gripped my imagination like the brambles gripped my shirt, only, y’know, more insistently. We had no means of holding many berries outside our bellies, but eventually we found a large discarded Doritos bag, rinsed it out, and filled it up with berries. Enough for a pie, and then some.

For the pie: I used flour as the thickening agent, because it involves the least fuss. The pie came out of the oven with absolutely no hint of structural integrity beyond the support provided by the pan, and our first couple of pieces were more or less warm blackberry soup with dumpling-y crust bits floating in. But overnight, the pie became a thing of beauty. Still gushy, but firm enough that it didn’t spurt out all over the pie tin; it had developed pie structure. Chemistry, isn’t it? Or maybe patience.

But I am still thinking about corn starch and blackberry meringue for next time.


  1. skookumchick wrote:

    Oooooh, blackberries: God’s food. Our favourite use of blackberries (after, of course, eating them, sun-warmed, off the bush) is blackberry crumble. Enjoy your pie…

  2. kerrick wrote:

    blackberry… meringue?

    The world is not as I imagined it to be. I know not what I thought I knew. My entire pitiful little mind-paradigm has shredded itself on the barbed-wire fence of my own meagre human limitations.

    And it’s all…
    of YOU.

  3. kerrick wrote:

    Or perhaps the blackberry brambles thereof.

  4. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Do you just use the juice? I have found from my experiments in lemon-kiwifruit solid solution that excess cellulose intereferes with the proper setting of the custard once the kiwifruit/lemon ratio exceeds one.

    But I haven’t done those experiments since the last century- these days I rarely venture beyond the T-day stalwarts.

  5. yami wrote:

    For blackberry custard, I dunno, the seeds might need to be strained out anyway. Are you sure it’s the cellulose, and not a pH or actinidin problem?

  6. Lab Lemming wrote:

    No, but I think that kiwis and lemons have generally similar pH. Don’t even know what actinidin is. I suppose the obvious thing would be to make a pie using whole lemons instead of juice to see if that pulp makes a difference, but there is somthing depressing about baking a pie that one expects to fail.

  7. John Vidale wrote:

    You should drop by UW, we’re ensconced permanently in the brambles as of this week.

  8. yami wrote:

    Actinidin is a protein-dissolving enzyme. It makes milk taste funny, and prevents gelatin (and other congealing agents? eggs? dunno) from setting properly, but it breaks down at relatively low temperatures so is easy to destroy on the stovetop. Similar enzymes are present in pineapple and papaya.

  9. Darrell Deyne wrote:

    If you want wild berry pies to be firm you have to boil some bones, or carry a bag of gelatin with you. You will still have to wait for it to cool, but the finished product will look more like a pie instead of soup.

  10. Darrell Deyne wrote:

    Could someone tell me of the dangers taking antibiotics with a certain poisoning asocialated with spinach. Something about shuting down body organs if you take antibiotics after consuming contaminated spinach which has this certain bacteria.
    please send to my e-mail ASAP.
    Thank you, Darrell

  11. myrl wrote:

    have you ever heard of a blackberry
    and do you have a recipe for one

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