Sunday, May 22, 2011

My, My, My...Blackberry Pie! And a CONTEST!


Note: I asked Mollie Bryan to share some of her piemaking expertise with us. She has a new series coming out in 2012--and it features scrapbooking! So you can tell, she's a woman of superlative taste.

We all have seasonal rites and markers. For some it’s the school year, for others, the garden cycle. While I appreciate and participate in both of those rites, I must admit, deep down, my favorite seasonal marker is pie. And summer is the best time for pie.

No matter where you live, it’s the time for the produce—and make no mistake, the old axiom of “the fresher the better” is true when it comes to fruit that fills pie. Whether it’s the summer’s ripest peaches, or its juiciest berries, choosing local, organic fruit for pie will yield the best flavor.

My favorite summer pie? No question. It’s blackberry.

Nothing is quite so satisfying as picking your own berries. Perhaps it’s the knowing where the food came from and taking part in this ancient practice of foraging. For me, it dredges up the sweetest memories of growing up in the country during long rambling summer days, which is forever burned in my mind along with my mother’s oven opening to display summer’s most delicious treat—blackberry pie.

If you don’t have access to fresh blackberries and must use frozen berries, it’s best to measure them while still frozen because they shrivel as they thaw. Thaw and drain the frozen berries before placing them in the pie shell. Otherwise, the pie will be watery. Use cornstarch or potato starch, which gives a clear, jewel-like color and has less flavor than cornstarch.

Mollie's Blackberry Pie

(Makes one 9-inch pie)

One pie crust, prebaked

4 1/2 cups blackberries

3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch

1 cup sugar

In a small saucepan, mash one cup of berries with a fork.

Cook over medium heat until the berries begin to break down and give off juice.

Mix 3 tablespoons of potato starch or cornstarch with 1 cup sugar.

Add to the berry mixture and cook until thick and bubbling.

Sugar will be dissolved, mixture will coat a spoon and a finger run along the spoon will leave clean edges.

Cool to lukewarm.

Place the remaining berries into the baked pie shell.

Pour the mixture over the berries and stir around gently to distribute evenly.

Chill for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with whipped cream.



Mollie has graciously consented to send one lucky winner a copy of her cookbook. Just post a comment and I'll select one randomly. That's as easy as...pie!


Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies (Ten Speed Press, 2009) A sweet collection over 60 pie recipes, and Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley (Ten Speed Press, 2006)


Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome, Mollie! Sounds delicious. Too bad we've only found about four blackberries in our garden so far.

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

Thanks, Linda! I was thrilled to be asked. In Virginia, we have no blackberries yet--at all. I grow my own, as well, though it's taking awhile for them to get established. Patience!

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks for this recipe, Mollie. I've got a huge patch of raspberries, so I think I might try a little substitution. Berries are berries, right?

Victoria's Place said...

Hi Mollie and welcome! Yummy, your pies sounds so good! I will have to keep my eye out for some blackberries.

Jessica said...

Yum! I love pie!

Terri Thayer said...

Welcome, Mollie. Here in northern CA, we have olallieberries. I'd never seen one before, it's sort of a reddish blackberry. Yummy.

I confess though if I want berries or pie, I go to the farm stand.

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

Yes, Alan. That's a great substitute. Olallieberries, Terri? I've never heard of them.I'll check into them, though. Thanks for the welcome, Victoria. And Jessica...I love pie, too!

Anne Marie said...

sounds delish!

signlady217 said...

When I was a kid we had tons of wild blackberries bushes growing in our backyard (big yard) on top of some piles of boards that had been there forever. Between the stickers on the berries bushes and the rusty nails on the boards, berry picking could be pretty dangerous! :)

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

My favorite is kiwi berries. Anyone heard of them? I had them at the Farmers' Market in Vienna, Virginia. They are green, about the size of a large blackberry, and they have seeds inside like their grownup cousins the Kiwi Fruit.

Sarah said...

I love pie! Thanks, Mollie!

Julie said...

You're absolutely right, summer is the primo time for pie, especially rhubarb pie! Not that strawberry-rhubarb stuff some restaurants have, which doesn't do justice to either fruit, but real rhubarb. Love it! It's best if I make it myself, but Marie Callendar restaurants do a pretty good one, too.

The Crumby Baker said...

Ooh...this recipe sounds delicious! AND I've been dying to get this book! My co-worker brought it in the other day and there were sooo recipes I wanted to try!!

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

I've never heard of kiwi berries. I bet they would make a pretty--and tasty--pie.

Susan Kramer said...

What a cool blog, are you a scrapper also? My favorite pie is peach. But I also favor the 'berry' pies ... making me hungry.
We actually have a sour cherry tree that produces wonderful fruit and makes for great pies! Susan Kramer, Harrisburg, PA

Brian A said...

Mmmmm...Blackberry Pie. Can't wait to see what othere treats are in mollie's book!

Monica Ferris said...

The only fruit pie I've made with any success is peach-blueberry (more peaches than blueberries, which add a hint of tartness). Now I'm all eager to get out the rolling pin!

Anonymous said...

Oh,the blackberries look good. My sister-in-law used to go out and pick Huckleberries when they were living in Spokane.
We usually have raspberries, but our weather has been so strange this spring that I am not sure we will get many.
Becky Preston

Therese Walsh said...

Drooling my way over to say I'd love to win a copy!

mollie bryan said...

Thanks, Susan for the kind words about my blog. And yes, I am a scrapper. In fact my first novel is a scrapbooking mystery, SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS. It will be out next year.
Thanks everybody for commenting and good luck on winning the book! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

My sweet husband loved blackberry pie. He would grab a bucket, head out and then come home with a big grin on his face. He never minded if my blackberry pie was soggy or the crust burnt. He was always just glad that I baked him a pie.

Thank you for bringing this memory back to me. I miss my darling man.

I hope I'll be able to make pies again someday. Not now, but someday.

Blogger won't let me post as me (stubborn today!) so I'm going anonymous but I'm Sarita.

Can't be anonymous when sharing stories about my husband! It just won't do!

Lovely post.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Therese Walsh, you WON! Please email me at with your postal address so I can share it with Mollie.