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.